12 posts

So, Aaron is now blogging for Adobe at the "Community Kitchen" blog site with the other Adobe Community Mgrs.  It has been over 6+ months now since making the transition from Sun to my new community.  But, it is still all about developersand "creatives" doing cool stuff on the web, mobile, and multi-screen.

Two weeks ago I attended my FIRST AdobeMAX conference; it's a bit different than the old JavaOne's....and a "heckuva" lot different that most recent JavaOne.  Adobe holds a Community Summit the day before MAX -- we had 200 User Group Managers attend; and, they really know how to take care of their community leaders with: preferred seating, deep conference discounts, private panel sessions, conference gifts, + lots more. 

On my New Blog, there are ALSO some useful info/tips foranybody running a User Group, things like: how to organize, promote, and run your user group that was discussed at our Community those files/mp3s/photos find those here: A “MAX” Experience @AdobeMAX 2010. (see the downloads & MP3 section)

The more I get around to other developer communities....the more similarities I discover between them...

Next stop for Me: DEVOXX 2010 ... Hoping to see some of the JUG Leaders there.  -- Aaron

Aaron @ AdobeMAX 2010 with some Java Champions

Hello JUG Leaders & Champions....

I've been busy of late, but I wanted to let you all know that I landed safely with a new job at Adobe. I will be one of their new Community Managers working with several of their user group communities: Flex,Air, ColdFusion, Photoshop User Group(s) + many more.

Officially started today 3/15.

Ran into my old friend Chet Haas in the Adobe SF office last week during team meetings...looking forward to working with that "filthy rich clients" guy again. Special thanks to James Ward who cared enough to mention my name to my new boss @ Adobe... really appreciate that.  And then there is Janice Campbell (former NetBeans team), who is also at Adobe working on platform localization and with the community relations... In fact, there are lots of Sun folks here at Adobe....

But, 30+ days after the Great RIF... I just want to thank all of you JUG Leaders, Java Champions, and NetBeans Dream Team... for your comments on my blog, twitter, and facebook made a difference in my future... YOU guys will always have a friend at Adobe, whatever your software politics may be...

My new home will be here....And here is one of their community members--check it out...the Flex Gangsta

(Oh yeah, this is going to be fun!)


P.S. On a sad note, today, I heard that Simon Phipps and Tim Bray have also moved on to new things...wish them both the best of  luck... more on the exodus here.

Obrigado, my friends,  It is time for me to leave Sun/Oracle. Thanks, to all of the Java Champions, NetBeans Dream Teamers and JUG Leaders who have just been terrific over the last (5) years....You guys are "cool"! Stick together and maintain your connections with each other.

See you on the other side... But, I probably won't be too far away  ;-) 

JUGs/JC's support Nichole Scott, she's gonna need it, really!

Special Thanks, to Bruno Souza (aka "braziljavaman") for teaching me pretty much everything I know about online communities.

And finally, Special Thanks, to James Gosling and all of the Java Technology Evangelists that I have worked with over the years....(Thanks James, for joining my Facebook account -- Kewl!...and please don't wear a tie)



Viva! Las Vegas!

"This is Houston... signing off..."

JavaFX Layout Secrets w/Amy FowlerTHIS IS HOUSTON....

]]>The Silicon Valley JavaFX JUG met for its 2nd meeting on Jan 13th, 2010. SVJAVAFXJUG once again had another rock star speaker in Amy Fowler. Amy Fowler is a Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems, and is one of the founding members of the Java Swing GUI Toolkit. . Over 70 people attended this meeting at Sun's Santa Clara Auditorium. Plus, 40 folks were watching remotely via ustream.


Amy's talk entitle "JavaFX Layout Secrets" dealt with a number concepts including:
- the resizable mixin class (what JavaFX elements are resizable and which are not)
- layouts & transforms, nodes inside Containers, Text Layout Bounds
- Concrete Containers and concepts like: Stack, HBox, VBox, Tile, Flow, Panel
- Growing and Shrinking in the scene-graph
- The 10 Layout Commandments in JavaFX...(Per Amy, now down to 8 something w/new JavaFX 1.3 features-see photos below)
***UPDATE 1/19/10 from Stephan Janssen ***

"....JavaFX Layout Secrets" with Amy Fowler SvJUGFX talk available on - - Audio not super but content is great!...." -- Stephan007  via twitter


PHOTOs from the Event:

Questions from the Online audience were:

  • Do the layout efficiency changes effect the well known issues of JavaFX apps flickering in the browser?
  • Did the JavaFX team ever decide on the question: "Should "lookup" drill down into CustomNode?" -"?
  • Which layout can we used to implement the gridbag layout kind?
  • Any discussion or possible ideas we can glean from the MigLayout in JFXtras?
  • Will all the layouts mentioned tonight behave the same on mobile profile?
  • Is there any future plan of releasing javafx platform for Blackberry?

Attendee Comment:
“..Amy does an awesome job in explaining the upcoming features in 1.3, this in addition to what is there in 1.2 Javafx layouts."

Prizes Too!
There were also prizes too given away at this meeting. Stephen once again used his JavaFX Prize wheel to give away the prizes which include his Pro JavaFX book, a SunSpot (a sensor device programmable in Java + has its own VM), the Artifactory Add-Ons Power Pack License ($1,750 value) + more...and as always Free T-shirts courtesy of Sun.

Other Particulars and Logistics:

  • I attended this meeting with my boss Nichole Scott (Sun Java User Group & Developer Programs) and Java Champion Kirk Pepperdine. I contacted Kirk the day before, he was in town teaching his Performance Tuning class in San Francisco for Sun Learning Services. Kirk brought (2) of his students from his class to the JUG meeting.
  • After the meeting, we all grabbed a beer at a local restaurant with JUG Leaders Stephen Chin and Keith Combs also. At  the bar, I also learned that Kirk's students both worked for General Dynamics in Maryland, managing IT solutions for the Health care sector. They both enjoyed the JUG meeting and were interested in exploring ways to apply JavaFX technology to the healthcare sector.
  • Touched-base w/Urzula Ladniak (JavaFX Marketing) They arranged for the meeting space, pizza, and drinks...very much appreciated by everyone!
  • Nichole and I helped Stephen & Keith out with attendee check-in at the door while they setup their video equipment. This was the first meeting held at Sun's campus in Santa Clara.

The next JavaFX meeting on FEB 10th, 2010 will feature JavaFX Mobile Dojo - Hinkmond Wong...JavaOne Rockstar, JavaME Champion, and JavaFX expert. (Hinkmond also answered several audience questions at the end of Amy's session)

For THIS Meeting entry:
Note -- Parleys Viewership stats as of Jan 15th, for SVJAVAFXJUG's first meeting w/Richard Bair has received over 7,200 views on bad first time out.

Ustream feed:


I had the opportunity to attend the Community Leadership Summit (CLS) West Event (wiki, attendee photo gallery, eventbrite registration site, CLS session notes page, etc) this last weekend(Jan 9th, 2010) at the Devry campus in Daly City. It was an unconference event.  Lots of Community Leaders from different Tech Companies were there which was interesting to me working for Sun--it was a sort of a Community Cabal. STATS: 31 un-conference sessions. (8) classrooms utilized.  80+ people were in attendance, lots of familiar faces from other Bay Area community events. My Notes on the "Communities Go Global" are below as well as a graphical representation which Bay Area Tech Companies and Communities that participated or programs that were discussed.

Here was the Agenda... well's an un-conference.. check the CLS Session notes for details

9:00amAttendees Sign In at DeVry

10:00amUn-Conference Begins


5:00pmUn-Conference Ends at DeVry

I didn't know what the sessions were until they were posted upon the board after the initial welcome pep-talk by the organizers who explained the conference format and ground rules.

Briefing by CLS Organizers

 Open Session w/CLS West Organizer


Here's a snapshot of the Agenda board with all of the sessions posted.

CLS West Agenda Board


A Community Leader's Cabal

What was interesting, to me, about CLS West was that there was an extraordinary concentration of Community Organizers/Facilitators from the San Francisco area who were much like myself.  These “community” folks were doing similar things I've been doing, but at other Bay Area Tech companies. After the event, I thought (at great length) about all the folks I met and read about...trying to get my mind wrapped around what had taken place... so, I came up with the graphic below. It displays a sort of Who's Who of SF Bay Area Communities...folks (programs represented) who either signed up or attended the CLS West event. Many of whom, I had a chance to talk to... I know of many others that could be placed onto the grid (Disclaimer: the graphic only represents my view on things)

Community Cabal

Sessions  I Attended

I attended the following sessions.

  • Community Video with Deirdre Straughan (A Sun person from Colorado involved in the OpenSolaris Program)

  • Community Goes Global with Rachel Luxemburg (Adobe User Grp Programs) and Teresa Giacomini (OpenSolaris User Groups...another Sun person)

  • Community Building Over Time- with Su Rya

  • Community Metrics with Ray Gans (Ahh, yet another ex-Sun guy – the former OpenJDK community mgr at

And so, I tried to record some notes...I am willing to donate this content back to the CLS wiki – as soon I can get a hold of “Van” to tell me how... For this BLOG Entry I am only going to cover (1) of the (4) sessions I attended and that is...

Un-Conference Session: Community Goes Global  (my NOTES)


Community Goes Global


{I got in after things started...this is where I started picking things up...this captures some of the discussions we had in this session}

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] …..I do want to address the issue of local and organic versus Corporate and Remote... Community Program Resources versus the dynamics of a large company. People in the Field (Field Sales Personnel) whose motivations are completely different than that of the people trying to run the Community Program …..Field Sales people are all about: “ I gotta make my comp plan and if [community stuff] doesn't get me sales, then I don't really care about it...”

[Matt Thompson – former Sun Technology Outreach Director now w/Microsoft Developer Communities] …..And I think, one of the learning points we came up with, was aligning the community by what was going to drive them. One of the challenges for us was educating the local communities [ie Java User Groups] was The local community groups really wanted to reach out locally to the corporate field offices. So, there is a classic example we saw in Greece... The guy that running the Greek Java User Group was telling US [the corporate Community Program Mgr]...and kept sending us email: “Your guys in the local field office suck, they don't know what community is, they don't want to help us...etc...” So we told themstop talking to them and work with the corporate community program coordinator/manager. We're [at corporate] here we'll listen...Alignment of what the community wants and what the corporate program goal tends to be the critical piece... What I am interested is in how others have handled it... Microsoft has a different approach in which MS has incentives for the field office to care which leads to interesting behavior...Yes, it is nice working for a company with money that can do that.........One of the things that Sun did was put all of their Community People, all of their technology evangelists at a corporate level and those people then reported to the Software Product/Technology Teams at some level. At Microsoft, they put all of these Community people in the field....entirely different approach. That causes a lot of different behavior....that means that I have a lot of Evangelists who in the back of their mind care about sales...that's interesting... [but it does nothing for the ultimate goal of technology/product adoption or the level of market share/developer share]...[Rachel commented: There's nothing wrong with that....]...Yes, it is just different....SO there are different ways in which you can divide this up...THE REAL QUESTION is not where the corporate entity puts the Evangelists or Community Liaisons, but HOW the COMMUNITY perceives or reacts to these people...that becomes the important piece... [there is a trust factor with your community]... And that is one of the reasons why I am here today... the first thing, I heard when I walked into CLS West today was “What's Microsoft doing here?”... Like Wow, obviously I have some work to do....

[Steve – from the Audience] – I am slightly confused by the term “Community”.... How do you define or break-down a community...

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] In the OpenSolaris Community, it is a group of technology people who are contributing to its development, So when Matt talks about Community....people like me who are sitting inside Sun [a corporate entity], who talks to [OpenSolaris] User Groups all over the world who need resources, speakers, giveaways, product release information, infrastructure for their mailing lists, points-of-contact in the engineering/development team, processes of how to contribute code/bug fixes/plug-ins, etc These people are out in “the community” and they come and ask me for these things, and I try to help them get what they need... So I am a “Community Person”

[Aaron Houston – Sun Java User Group Community] – I also like the terms “Facilitator”...and “people connector”... I am a “Community Person” as well... I work for the Community... I am at Sun's corporate level talking to all of the various product teams or technology evangelists that I can reach out and plug-in the User Groups into the conversation.

[Justin Kestelyn – Oracle Technical Network OTN] – At Oracle, the community leaders and the developer program people are like a Router...between people who are actually interested in technology and those who are developing/creating the technology...

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] Even at Adobe, granted it is not open source, you still have that same sort of community... You still have those groups of people coming together and who want to connect to the company... commercial software user groups...

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] There are some User Groups that are truly users of the software and then there are developer communities who are building things for a larger community of users...and the Oracle User Groups are primarily end-users of the product with some developer tools groups as well..

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] ..[for Adobe].. it tends to split up between the developers and the designers. The Flex User Groups, obviously, tend to be Flex developers...whereas a Photoshop Users Group, is primarily end-users... not developing Photoshop...

[From the audience] – what about the global nature of communities... to get back on track...

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] So yeah, there is this issue of Remote and Corporate... so one tactic we've been adopting is regional coordinators... who are community people [non-Adobe employees] who are volunteers who are self-organizing events/groups in the community... We've had success in South America with community leaders working with a regional coordinator … and who is a relay point for the corporate community program manager... the person is bi-lingual which also a big help...because the varying levels of language fluency across South America... Spanish... Portuguese...etc. The Regional Coordinator is a volunteer and we gave that person a conference pass to Adobe Max...which is our annual developer conference... and that's pretty much it for compensation.

[From the audience] Two Questions [directed at Rachel Adobe]
#1 How many employees do you have globally to support these communities? Do you have an employee in each region?

#2 If your community people are volunteers what is their motivation for doing this work for free?

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] [Answer] They love the product and they really love the company. I know that sounds corny, but it is amazing how many of them are out there...

[Matt Thompson – Microsoft] There are number of “Champions” programs out there... Microsoft has their MVP program.. Sun has their Java Champions program... There are a number of ways to do this...

The other thing I have seen happen... is coordination across local communities whether they be around a particular product or and Open Source project.... they start creating links within other communities elsewhere globally... and it usually comes down to a person... I was looking at this model in regards to the Apache Foundation on how they build local communities around Apache technology in different places around the world... What I realized, what they really were doing.. is just picking somebody in another country... and saying “ You are now the Champion “ for this project... and ends up exactly looking like what you would do at a corporate level program... so the motivation again is... they are in the center of knowledge and “in the know”

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] But that doesn't exactly work in Asian companies or India... There are challenges in China and Japan... for example...and we run into that quite frequently... The cultural expectations are quite different than in the West or in Europe...

[From the audience] On Volunteers...The challenges from other countries is there no legal binding...and the community leader is not a legal employee...the contract is purely on a volunteer basis... Different countries.. .Different cultures have different motivations to be a volunteer... HOW do you manage them to achieve your Goal?

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] That's why I get so many grey hairs... [audience laughter] It all comes down to personal relationships... It really hard to do this in a one to many comes down to building relationships one at a time... so the community manager understands why they are doing something... and the volunteer community leader understands what they are getting out of it...

[From the audience] Relationships have stability issues. You cannot scale this..

[Matt Thompson – Microsoft] So Sun did an interesting experiment in scalability... around the education space, they built champions at how many universities Teresa?

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] started with 50 and now were over 500...

[Matt Thompson – Microsoft] With a very small headquarters team... and these are students with little or no motivation to do what Sun wanted... other than they love the technology and it is a great resume builder... the resume piece of this, when we went to Asia and it actually work for us.... By distinguishing yourself, by associating yourself with Sun or a Microsoft or Adobe... You do have something else to add next time you want to go talk about what you want to do with your next job.

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] ... intangible yes, intangible compensation is still be able to put on your resume that you are the regional coordinator for Sun or does matter...It makes a difference and it helps these people in their businesses... careers...

[Aaron Houston – Sun Java User Groups] So I like to add for the motivation part... for these guys that are remote... it is about personal relationships... a lot times I can pick up the phone and call my User Group Leader or Java Champion in some part of the world... and through my network of technical champions or presentation speakers... I give them information about if a hot speaker is going to be in their area... and then try to connect the parties.. and then, in the end it's a win-win for everyone involved.. including Sun because it's about technology adoption... and Speaker often gets to speak to likeminded people in a different parts of the world...shared experiences... and perhaps business contacts... the User Group leader gets an interesting speaker... it is an opportunistic approach..sometimes greatest things happen out of the contacts we make...

A Community Of Community Organizers – A Multiplier Effect

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] And this is where the motivation factor comes in...because it is now about more than a one-to-one relationship... it is about developing the relationships between others... and that's where you can get into an interesting multiplier effect... If you've got a community of community organizers, then when those people start organizing and starting organizing with each other... Then, that is when things get really interesting... and that's when you become able to overcome the limitations of the small team... back at headquarters... Then, the regional community organizer can then become a self-supporting unit for each other and reinforce what the Corporate Community Manager is doing... THAT is when it gets really interesting...

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] What have people done to develop those community relationships? If people relationships have scalability issues, then if you tell two friends...and they tell two friends...

[audience member] Part of it is what all the open source communities are doing... it is about having the infrastructure... and not just the infrastructure but the empowerment procedures.. what is the process for starting say a French Mailing list...for this particular open source project... And then... How does it become the official French mailing list... Having both the procedure for accessing the infrastructure and the procedure with officially being associated with the Brand...

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] We're dealing with that localization issue right now... How does one anoint the official Adobe User Group in France... An Official User Group manager will present an NDA to the proposed group...and the benefits we provide them... and we have a trial period...

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] For the OpenSolaris User Groups...and I'm pretty sure it is the same for the Java User Groups... Someone sends an a user group request to the advocacy community mailing list on and a “contributing member” to the list may vote +1 on the mailing list.. and then they are brought into the community... and they get project space, mailing list etc..

[Stephanie Liu – Google Technology User Groups] – How does that +1 happen...

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] It could be because the contributor knows that person submitting the user group request....and the thing is... how much support are they going to get from Sun? Those things will vary depending how active...

[Aaron Houston – Sun Java Users Groups] And... How organize they are....

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] There is always some metric... there..

[Teresa Giacomini – Sun OpenSolaris Community] Partly, because it is an OpenSource community....there are no strings attached... Oracle User Groups are much more formal...

Incubating New User Groups

[Aaron Houston – Sun Java Users Groups] So I would like to say something about the Incubation process mentioned... I work with the JUG communities on there is an “incubated” project status available for new JUG project request...but the JUG has to tell me more or write information on his project page about the JUG: How to contact the JUG leader? How to join the mailing list? When the meeting take place? When the meetings might take place? And then any additional information about any meeting they have already been doing... when this happens they move out of the incubated status and are listed geographically on the

[I am adding this post-session]... if new JUG leaders join the JUG leader's mailing list, then there are community JUG leaders active on the list who can then place them on a much nicer google JUG mapwhich plots all of the active JUGs on thereby helping others find their JUG... as the JUG coordinator... I point people to this map and I email new JUG leaders when they request.. We also have JUG leaders who are the community leaders doing this map updating + project approvals...the process is not perfect and it has its rough spots...but we have over 400 JUGs on and 170 JUG Leaders on the mailing list that I correspond from the 170 JUG leaders I can reach over 100,000 JUG members... so it does scale...

Multiple User Groups in the Same City/Region

[Anon] So what about Global politics?.. How involved should the corporate community manager be? For Example... (2) Guys each starting User Groups in Kiev in the Ukraine...they don't get along... they broke off and started their own groups... Even though I didn't want to see the split groups... and they are still are squabbling..So I am curious to see how other communities handle that.. How involved do you get in micro-managing it?

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] We think that having multiple groups in the same location is confusing to the community...We don't want (2) Flex User Groups in the same area... We take the stance that we only recognize only ONE Official group... but if there unofficial groups...Well, we're not going to stop you...

[Anon #2] Why not let them Duke it out as (2) independent groups and see who wins?

[Aaron Houston – Sun Java Users Groups] We haven't seen that issue [needing to pick an official group]... I've got a perfect example.. We have (2) User Groups in New York City... they each have a different focus..**We recognize them both**... and if there were other user groups in the same location we would recognize them as well... But, again... it is how well they organize themselves that ultimately wins the day...and additional support... and whether not they can coordinate and let us know if we bring a speaker to their area...can they accommodate?... if not, then maybe next time around... Our Developers often belong to more than One Java User Group and they attend multiple meetings depending on who has the most interesting speakers...

[Matt Thompson – Microsoft] I think the health of the community has a lot to do with it... We're looking at this from the point of Silverlight... So we have a lot of folks in the media space that are interested in this.. I was down in Los Angeles just the other day... talking to a bunch of people who want to start Silverlight Users Groups.. So I've got FIVE separate people wanting to start Silverlight User Groups all within 10 miles of Hollywood... Same problem.. And they all don't like each other...Umm not because they all don't like each other personally... it is because they all work for different competing media companies... One of the things we are taking away from this.. And what I learned from Aaron on this...The local community will naturally fall into 1 or 2 Groups... FIVE won't survive.. So the question is... Can you as a company or a community program manager give it enough time for things to settle out... So Ukraine.[referring to Anon #1's question] for example...can you allow those groups to evolve... and see what happens... One will likely give in (I've been to Kiev once..) and one will likely die off on its own... because it is just not going to get enough support..

[Rachel Luxemburg – Adobe] So what about in your case? Are you really going to allow (5) groups to exist?

[Matt Thompson – Microsoft] Yes... all 5 are being incubated... all 5 are getting attention...One of the advantages of working for a company like Microsoft is that we can do that... We can support (5) for 6 to 10 months and see how the situation evolves...What we've asked them to do though.. is to coordinate their individual schedules so when we send speakers to their area... that speaker can hit 2 or 3 of those user groups on one trip.. in a week.. NOT.. one this week...another the following week... etc...

************************************END OF MY NOTES*******************************************************************************************

 Couple of Blog Entries from other Folks:

Community Leadership Summit West: A Family Success

Couple of shout outs to a couple of community folks whom I've worked with in the past...and was happy to see them at the CLS West Event...

Janice Campbell -- Adobe (formerly w/Sun's NetBeans Localization team)

Janice Campbell Software South America Localization Guru

To our JUG Partners at O'Reilly User Groups -- Marsee Henon -- Thanks Again. for all the support over the years... Your books are getting out there to the Java User Groups via Sun's JUG carepackages... We also partner with other publisher's supporting Java Users Groups.

Marsee Henon -- O'Reilly User Groups Program

 Lastly... A book I need to get a hold of... The Art of Community... among others...

 The Art of Community

ORIGINALLY Posted on December 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM PST (before site was 
taken down)

Last night, I attended the very first JavaFX JUGmeeting in Silicon Valley. We has a special guest speaker in Richard Bair who gave an introductory talk on JavaFX. Also, Josh Marinacci happened to be in town from Portland, Or.  Stephen Chin plugged Josh into the talk line-up before Richard. Josh commented that he was the "appetizer" before the main course...(i.e. Rich's talk). Josh showed-off his Project MaiTai(an open source tool for building interactive artwork-written in JavaFX) and he also demo'd the Java Store...showed how easy it is to get involved in that and perhaps make a little $$ on the side.

Stephen Chinand Keith Combs are leading this JUG. Hat's off to them. It is not easy to be a JUG Leader, but having a co-leader is a big help. They had a very nice turn-out with 60 folks in the room and 40 more virtually through the live streaming event that they coordinated. Stephen Chin has the video of Richard Bair and the slides up on

(need to have the parleys desktop client loaded to view--or just go to parleys and look for the "spaces" section -- not the "channels" -- spaces)

So, we had quite a few people in the audience, some notable local JUG community leaders: Michael Van Riper (SVWUG), Kevin Nilsson (SVWUG), Aleksander "Sasa" Garganta (San Francisco JUG/Marakana). Some Java community leaders and I  took the opportunity to present Kevin Nilsson his "Java Champion" shirt, since he was recently admitted into the Java Champion's community.  We also had other notable folks attend this meeting: Stuart Marks (Sun JavaFX team) was in the room + some members from the JavaFX marketing team who invited folks tobecome a JavaFX partner; details here; and, Jim Weaver ( was watching the event remotely.

Took some photos of the event (I always do). Below is a Picasa Slideshow of the photos... I saw "Sasa" (SFJUG) also taking photos as well, so I will get that info later.


There were some cool prizes given away...probably the most valuable to a Java Developer was the DEVOXX Parley's membership to view all of those presentations; but, there were JavaFX books/eBooks/T-shirts/SunSPOT Developer Kits/and more. Stephen Chin used his JavaFX-based Winning Wheel to giveaway the prizes (the source code is available free:

Lastly, very special thanks to our Google host for the venue + Pizza! And to Michael Van Riper and Kevin Nilsson helping Stephen and Keith put this thing on

... I think it was a very successful, Guys... lots of comments on the page. I have a feeling I will be attending more of the Silicon Valley JavaFX meeting(s).

This is Houston... Just cleared out my iTouch of Tweets from the DEVOXX09 conference....Man! were there a lot of Tweets... Here's a list of the one's I've "starred"... Ack! there were hundreds more...



date timesendertweet
15/Nov/09 12:09 PMsbglasius (Soren Berg Glasius)Eating dinner with 9 other #devoxx attendees. By wed we will be 40 attendees from #javagruppen [Danish JUG]
16/Nov/09 12:00 AMvanriper (Java Champ)vanriper: It is amazing how the use of Twitter makes a dev conference more live and the information is flowing constantly #devoxx (via @javapapo)
16/Nov/09 03:59 AMatoroSometimes a bit laggy, by RT @javapapo: This DEVOXX Twitter board on the top of the wall is very cool!! #devoxx
16/Nov/09 04:09 AMgsudharsan (Sudharsan)A Java conference without the Sun logo for the 1st time. Feels weird. #devoxx #sun #java
16/Nov/09 06:37 AMgsudharsan (Sudharsan)#devoxx The twitter board on the hallway is a cool idea
16/Nov/09 09:47 AMjavapapo (Java Champ Paris A.)RT @agoncal Writing a collaborative blog for the @ParisJUG about #Devoxx with Google Wave. We found a pos use for Google Wave
17/Nov/09 06:55 AMnetmikey (Mike Meessen)There are quite a lot of Macs here at #devoxx. The “non-sun” jvm doesn't seem to bother the java crowd here.. May I get one too boss? Please?
17/Nov/09 06:57 AMpeligriA lot of chatter at #devoxx. Alexis and Antonio..JavaEE6 session full (600?) full list
17/Nov/09 01:06 PMDieAmselRT @diversit: What is future of #netbeans atOracle? I think it will die soon. #devoxx
17/Nov/09 05:53 PMjavafx4youjavafx4you: RT @peter_pilgrim: Devoxx sneak preview of NetBeans 6.8 JavaFX Rad tool was majorly impressive. Thanks Tor Norbye
18/Nov/09 01:21 AMGeertjanW#devoxx: are any of the tools and libraries shown in the Oracle demos (1) free and/or (2) open source? Just wondering
18/Nov/09 01:22 AMdickwall (Java Champ)Oracle saying all the right things wrt alternative jvm languages during #devoxx keynote. Scala/lift demo too.
18/Nov/09 01:22 AMsistar (Ralf Sigmund)RT @fdiotalevi: #devoxx Oracle's keynote turned out to be a presentation on OSGI...come on, oracle these slides are so 1997.
18/Nov/09 01:22 AMnetmikey (Mike Meessen)Oh, now I get it: Everything (like AppSrvs) is open but to be able to use it, you need fancy graphical..expensive tools from Oracle #devoxx
18/Nov/09 01:23 AMbouiawNever seen a demo as ridiculous asOracle video demo at #devoxx
18/Nov/09 01:23 AMDanny lagrouwNext Oracle demo: deploy the web app as a vmware image. Hmm interesting #devoxx
18/Nov/09 01:24 AMjavapapo (Java Champ Paris A.)Oracle must understand that the java dev community is by far smarter than the loyal oracle admins. This keynote is bad sorry #devoxx
18/Nov/09 01:24 AMgeertjanW#devoxx: parts of I've seen from theOracle demos remind me of Apache Felix stuff shown in the BOF yesterday
18/Nov/09 01:25 AMjavatools community#devoxx oracle keynote: “Community is the most challenging place for Java today”
18/Nov/09 01:27 AMckitop (Christophe PHU)#devoxx: I need the same Emergency magic thing, like Steven G. Harris has, to use with my boss
18/Nov/09 01:27 AMgeertjanW#Devoxx: Someone should tell Oracle that not one single programmer in the world wears a tie!
18/Nov/09 02:08 AMvanriper (Java Champ)vanriper: still getting use to Chet Haase as Adobe Evangelist at #DEVOXX even though he moved from Sun to Adobe almost 2 years ago
18/Nov/09 04:21 AMhaochengRT @dickwall Wow. Apple's ears must be burning. That's the third or fourth slam against the iPhone app store approvals during #devoxx
18/Nov/09 07:24 AMpatbaumgartner#JEE 6 vs #Spring 3 - @Agoncal makes a lot jokes about the @SpringSource guys in the front row #devoxx
18/Nov/09 10:03 AMJan_vissersHighlights of #devoxx today – Brian Goetz and Cameron Purdy back-to-back concurrency/distributed related talks #in
18/Nov/09 02:27 PMjohaneltes#devoxx keynote: Adobe has a tool to turn an Air App into iPhone app. What makes a bundled flash player less bad than an independent one?
18/Nov/09 03:00 PMhansolo_ (Gerrit Grunwald)#Devoxx: just back from JUG leaders meeting which was great...feels good to meet all these other JUG leaders out there and share experiences
18/Nov/09 06:48 PMMohan_82Nice 1..RT @tug: If you announce that closures are in JDK7 at a conference. You should have the decency to give a URL to the spec. #devoxx
19/Nov/09 04:16 AMzerzio (Serge Libotte)I'm not a geek #devoxx
19/Nov/09 07:31 AMtehjoejag (Joe Wright)Fantastic keynote by @unclebobmartin. He's like a version of George Carlin who's passionate about professional software development #devoxx
19/Nov/09 10:09 AMLetouilleur (Nicolas Martingnole) de jeudi a #devoxx
19/Nov/09 10:14 AMbrianleathemI'm loving all this real-time #devoxx coverage via twitter
20/Nov/09 12:00 AMluciobenfante (Java Champ)Almost at home. Thanks #devoxx, what a great conference!
20/Nov/09 10:32 AMpuredanger (alex miller)who was the #bestspeaker at #devoxx? Vote with #bestspeaker tag!
20/Nov/09 01:33 PMguiliguili (Guillaume Lasnier)back in Paris after 3 fantastic days at #devoxx. It was nice to know about hot topics and share ideas with the community
20/Nov/09 01:41 PMguiliguili (Guillaume Lasnier)My hot topics from #devoxx;sun oracle bid, closure in #jdk7, #scala, #javafx and #jBPM
20/Nov/09 03:17 PMoracletechnet (Justin Kestelyn)MP3 & transcript: JUG BOF with James Gosling @ #devoxx
21/Nov/09 01:17 AMStephan007 (Stephan Janssen-Java Champ)Please enter our #devoxx 2009 Survey @
21/Nov/09 03:42 AMpholdings#devoxx: did not see the RAD designer tool for #javafx, was demoed on tues; heard good things. “matisse for javafx”, they say
21/Nov/09 03:42 AMpholdings#devoxx: #javafx team extremely secretive about dates, specific features, tools in next release; disappointing, more like apple's approach
21/Nov/09 10:58 AMErikBrakkeeAfter getting motivated to use JavaFX at #devoxx, JavaFX now looks more like a bad dream and could be DOA
21/Nov/09 01:13 PMlambdac#devoxx recap 2: James Gosling
21/Nov/09 03:36 PMmorgendagenphotos from Devoxx 2009
22/Nov/09 08:18 AMlhochet (Ludovic HOCHET)#devoxx 09 photos (pics from the JUG Leaders post BOF bash at Club Axxes w/JUGGY)
01/Dec/09 12:00 AMrichsands@robilad Remember your SHARP criticism for Sun & Java? Some said “Go away you jerk” then. But without you, there'd be no Free Java
01/Dec/09 11:57 AMrichsandsRichsands: @ Robilad Without passion there's no progress. A strong community has passion. If flames = personal attacks...though I agree with you.

"This is HOUSTON...." -- Here is a collection of voices and quotes from the DEVOXX conference last week...

Well... DEVOXX is over... It was a busy week; and, I had planned to record a 100 voices from DEVOXX... Well it didn't happen...just like at JavaOne.... the events, the technical sessions, BOFs, and the personal time I spend with the JUG Leaders and community leaders all took its toll on my best intentions. However, I did come up with some interesting recordings and my question got into the Java Posse BOF (thanks to Kevin Nilsson SVWUG) -- they will be last on my list compiled below. FYI, some of the speakers are not native english speakers, but I wanted to interview them anyways, because they had a lot of passion for Java. And of course, if there are any corrections, I can be contacted from the JUGs Community Page (look in the right-hand column for an email address to jugprograms)
12/2/09 Couple of Updates already... Aaron
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed below in this blog are of those of the respondents; I am simply reporting what I have observed at DEVOXX
So, WHAT was the question I was asking people at DEVOXX?

What is your greatest concern for Java?

And Here's the list... with the Quotes, links to the MP3's so you can listen in...and again I  apologize if I didn't get your name or info right; just send me an email and I will correct.

  1. R09_0002 -- Andrei Yuchenko -- Hague/Amsterdam Netherlands -- Java Developer
    "...My greatest concern is the independence of the [Java] the past, it has enjoyed a certain amount of freedom...and companies who counted on the Java Platform could rely that it would continue to evolve in a independent fashion... Oracle is known for its commercial take on things, so really I am afraid that this freedom may evaporate..." --Andrei Yuchenko

  2. R09_0003 -- Lior Bornshtain -- Netherlands/orig from Israel -- Chief Java Architect -- AllShare Banking Solutions
    "...I do really trust that good things will continue with the OpenJDK, regardless of which company is behind it...More of a concern to me is Sun's other products like GlassFish, OpenESB...Hmm...maybe actually the runtime itself...What would happen if Oracle wants to merge it with this is currently the main worries for me... "[Lior is an active GlassFish User and is trying to gain GF adoption at his company] --Lior Bornshtain

  3. R09_0004 -- Berto Mendonca -- living in Belgium/orig from Forteleza Brazil -- co-leader & Doctoral student
    "...My viewpoint is as a community leader in Caere, Forteleza - Brazil are so many technologies [i.e. Ruby, Scala, Groovy, etc] that are trying to bring productivity [to the Java Developer community]...and our great concern there is that those technologies are taking people from our community, because we love Java, of course, but it's all about productivity, cost, and what people adopt [as their core skills/technology] my biggest concern is how Java can be more productive for all comes from the opinion of the community...we want to keep Java as a focus, develop it, develop the community, but we should show to them [Java Developers] this is good for them, their job, to make money, to be I hope the current development team continues to improve Java, make it faster...more productive " --Berto Mendonca

  4. R09_0005 -- Cadi Zouheir -- Paris, France -- Paris JUG co-lead & senior software architect
    "...The question of what happens after the merger between Oracle and Sun...I don't know what the future will be of the [Java] Language and the Platform...What will be the commitment of the company after this merger...I don't know if it will be the same commitment by Oracle to the community after this make the [Java] language and its community dynamic and active..." --Cadi Zouheir

  5. R09_0007 -- David DeWalle -- Paris, France -- Paris JUG co-lead -- Java Developer/Architect
    "...I love the contact with the [Java] code...I write web clients... so I have a lot of concerns, because I am passionate about Java...My first love is with graphical interfaces, so with Java it is really fun...Java evolved a lot in regards to the back-end [enterprise Java], so as someone who works with the front end [rich clients, GUIs].. SWING has not evolved, really. Personally, I think that was a I would like to see more advancement of SWING..When you see what will come with Java 7, you realize that SWING is still late...will there be any additional SWING Specification in Java 7? ..." --David DeWalle

  6. R09_0008 -- Christophe Jollivet -- Tours France; co-lead Tours; contributing technical writer for (all-French Java Portal); Java Developer
    "...My greatest concern is for the Community around Java, because we have a lot of people who drive the community...people with 'Shining Eyes' when they speak of Java...So sometimes we [Java Community] need support, which Sun did by hiring community people [The Sun technology outreach personnel and evangelist(s) to interact with us - the community]..and I'm afraid that this isn't the way of thinking for Oracle..." --Christophe Jollivet

  7. R09_0009 -- Mathieu Ancelin-- Poitou-Charentes, France; co-lead -- Junior Java Developer + involved in OpenSource Community
    "...My greatest concern for Java is related to the Oracle-Sun is about the new features of the [Java] Language... I don't know if Oracle would support new features in the [Java] language...don't know if they would support the community for a long time....concern that we won't be able to do anything new with Java in the OpenSource community...I would like to see an OpenSource commitment to Java from Oracle...." --Mathieu Ancelin

  8. R09_0010 -- Sven Reimers -- Germany -- Senior Systems Engineer/Java Architect ND Satcom doing Rich Client Apps also NetBeans DreamTeam member
    "...Given the fact that my work is based on the NetBeans platform...not sure what will happen to the NetBeans platform in the merger with Oracle...there is still no communication..We are always trying to figure out with this is a platform that will really be supported and driven from Sun or Oracle...there is a lot of applications based on it [NetBeans] will be interesting to get a bit more information about this, since we [ND SatCom] invested heavily in this...[bonus question--How do you use Java and Oracle at ND SatCom?] ....We have a Java rich-client NetBeans server-based application...and we are using Oracle as our primary database...we have a large customer and we ship about 200 installations of Oracle along with our product...." --Sven Reimers

  9. R09_0011 -- Peter Pilgrim -- London, UK -- Java Architect w/ Investment Banking firm in London, Java Champion, JUG Leader London JAVAWUG
    "...My greatest concern for Java right now is perhaps that it could fragment into various pieces...with the developers not really caring who provides Java... I am hopeful that it won't happen...obviously the transition from Sun to Oracle will be successful...and the Java Virtual Machine will continue to be the main platform out there that attracts people who want...would like open-source software and would like to develop software for any machine [PC, Linux, Apple etc] out there in the world...." --Peter Pilgrim

  10. R09_0012 -- Florian Vogler -- Lake Constance, Germany -- Java Designer for Ground based Satellite Systems at ND Satcom
    "...Difficult to my opinion, I'm a little bit confused about the information [out there]...everything is a bit hidden...I don't know what is going on in Oracle or what will go on with Sun in the future...I think most people think of Java and think of Sun... it [the names] belongs to each other... and I don't know how open Java will be in the future...and in my company [ND SatCom] we work a lot with NetBeans and I don't know how it will be supported in the future... there are no answers no information being made available to us....what discussions are going on...that's the problem no information..." --Florian Vogler

  11. R09_0015 -- Frank Greco -- NY, NY USA -- Sr. Architect; Dir. of Technology for, Java Champion; Founder/Leader of NYJAVASIG; USA's 1st + Largest JUG
    "...My biggest concern is with the current Oracle/Sun acquisition...I know Oracle is trying to do their best to take Java and Sun's technologies and do something constructive with them, but as a Java developer and as a lead for the New Java Special Interest Group (NYJAVASIG) we are just concerned that Oracle will not keep a lot of the Open Source philosophy, feeling, and culture that's been a mainstay of the Java Community under Sun's direction..." --Frank Greco

  12. R09_0016 -- Stephan Janssen -- Belgium -- Sr. Software Developer; Founder of Belgian JUG; DEVOXXconference organizer; Day Job: founder/owner an e-learning platform
    "...So for me, for Java, as a conference organizer for DEVOXX, it takes place nicely 6 months away from JavaOne, so what is nice is that we have a lead of 6 months for announcements [about Java] for the European Java developers, so just a few hours ago [at the DEVOXX conference] Mark Reinhold announced that we will have simple closures in JDK7, and he announce this at DEVOXX...So we have two points in time: at JavaOne and at DEVOXX where we can have nice announcements [about Java]...So my concern is what is going to happen to JavaOne? And let's say there are different scenarios where JavaOne stays in June, then great! But, as you know, there is no call for papers yet [for JavaOne]..... but let's say, worst case scenario for us, if Sun-Oracle decides to put JavaOne in front of say Oracle OpenWorld in October, then that would be like 3-4 weeks away from DEVOXX that would hurt us and it would hurt the Java Community, because the two conferences would be way too close to each other.... all the announcements would happen at JavaOne...and we wouldn't have any mobilization period to find speakers, to get topics, because it would almost be a replica of the JavaOne conference...and if I am not in the loop as the organizer for would be really difficult. So that's my biggest concern for Java..." --Stephan Janssen

  13. R09_0018 -- Peter Van de Voorde -- Belgium -- Sr Software Engineer in Java with in Huizingen
    "...At the moment, my greatest concern is for the Java User Groups (JUGs); what is going to happen with it? How is it going to be supported? How is Oracle going to handle it? Because Oracle User Groups are totally different and organized [differently than Java User Groups] and Yeah, I am a member of the Belgian JUG (BeJUG) steering committee and we're a little bit worried about it...but we'll see..." --Peter Van de Voorde

  14. R09_0019 -- Xavier Hanin (slightly garbled) -- Bordeaux, France -- member of the Bordeaux JUG, Java Developer first, also Java Architect
    "...I think my greatest concern is about the Java Language itself, I am currently exploring ways to use different languages on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) itself, because I really like the JVM itself, and I currently exploring different languages like Scala, Groovy, and so on..." --Xavier Hanin

  15. R09_0021 -- Antonio Goncalves -- Paris, France -- Sr. Java Developer, Java Architect; Java Champion; co-lead Paris JUG; JCP Expert Group mbr; book author; DEVOXX presenter
    "...Well, I have plenty of concerns about Java...I think the greatest concerns I have is about the Java Community Process (JCP) is not clear where the JCP is going...the JCP has improved a lot [the past few years]...the JCP was opening up, there were more JSRs being opened, there was a revival of open source reference implementations...when you talk about Open Source, you also talk about the community behind it...the JCP was opening up, being more driven...more public mailing lists...the JCP was just about on the right path, now my concern is Yeah, now what is going to happen to the JCP... for me, I think the best thing is to have an independent organization like W3c, or Oasis or something like that... maybe that could be the best that could happen to the JCP... And so, when you see what is happening with JDK7 which doesn't have any Java SE 7 which means no specifications at all, so there are people working on the next version of the JDK, but there is no specification [as coordinated by the JCP process] it has been a bit confusion about the JCP. What is it's role? What should it be?... Where should it start? ... Where should it stop?..." --Antonio Goncalves

  16. R09_0022 -- Samuel Mellert -- Karlsruhe, Germany -- Software Developer for IT hosting company in Karlsruhe; Co-JUG leader Karlsruhe JUG
    "...Well, with the merger with Oracle, the Java Community Process is not going as it was.... from the community to the top, unlike at Oracle where it is from the top...down.... therefore there are some issues that were lost in the process...Another concern [his opinion], is that Java isn't that big of a deal for Oracle...because they are in the database space...I think there are trying to use mySQL to sell Oracle databases and Java is just a side-game for them..." --Samuel Mellert

  17. R09_0023 -- These are the Introductions of the JUG leaders who attended the JUG BOF on Wed Nov 18th, 2009

    James Gosling mentioned that his concern was that Java would turn into the next COBOL...time-marks on my previous blog entry

  18. R09_0025-- Bert Ertman -- The Netherlands -- Technology Manager for the IT Consulting Co. InfoSys; JUG Leader Dutch Java User
    "...My greatest concern for Java is that in coming few months after the merger goes through... that something awkward happens that cause Java to be forked, one of the other major companies comes in says we're gonna hold it [Java] here like IBM or SAP...and they say we go to Apache Harmony and become another Java and become another COBOL...or another Corba for that matter..." --Bert Ertman

  19. R09_0026 -- "JUGGY" (the JUG mascot) -- Island of Java, Indonesia (after all he is a "Java" Finch) -- JUG Mascot on
    "...My greatest concern for Java is that Duke disappears...I want Duke to be amongst us [Java Developers] forever...Duke, We Love You!..." --JUGGY the Java Finch
    [Duke is the Java Mascot, largely created by James Gosling]

  20. R09_0027 -- "Bert" -- the Netherlands -- Delivery Manager for Atos Origin(Dutch IT integrator/ Java consulting); corporate sponsor and a corporate member
    "...My greatest concern for Java right now is that it stands still while we wait for this merger...nothing is happening... I hope that Oracle will support the Java User Groups as much as Sun has...." --Bert from Atos Origin

  21. R09_0028 -- Darko Palic -- Germany -- Java Enterprise Architect/developer; Java User Group StuttgartLeader
    "...So since Oracle is buying Sun, it is completely unclear what will happen in the future....which technologies survive, what will be the next technology for UI [User interface], Will SWING Survive? Will JavaFX survive? ..." --Darko Palic

  22. R09_0029 -- Thomas Kruse from Muenster, Germany -- Java Developer and Consultant for telephony/communications sector; JUG Leader of the Muenster JUG
    "...So since Oracle is buying Sun, it is completely unclear what will happen in the future....which technologies survive, what will be the next technology for UI [User interface], Will SWING Survive? Will JavaFX survive? ..." --Thomas from Muenster Germany

  23. R09_0030 -- Gerrit Grunwald -- Dortmund, Germany -- Java Applications Scientist with Raith GmbH a semiconductor lithography and navigation solutions co. Muenster JUG
    "...My biggest concern is for the NetBeans platform, I hope that it will survive and will provide an alternative IDE for developer....and of course JavaOne? [will there be another JavaOne] --Gerrit Grunwald

  24. R09_0032 -- Niels Herremoeg -- Denmark -- Independent Java EE Consultant and Architecture; JavaGruppen (Danish JUG) Leader
    "...So my greatest concern is that the Sun-Oracle merger will get bogged down in legal details and that will hamper the development of Java and allow competitors to spread few and doubt about the future of Java as a platform...." --Niels Herremoeg

  25. R09_0033 -- Nicolas Martignole -- Paris, France -- Well known and productive "French Bloggeur"; Java Developer, Paris JUG member
    "...So I was at the James Gosling presentation [JUG BOF]...and I think what we have to learn from the feedback from the community, the [Java] language is evolving and what we said [in the JUG BOF] is that we will be 'COBOL' guys and so my biggest concern is that..are we aware that we are getting older and we have to keep in touch with these new languages [ie Scala, Groovy, etc].. I was really impressed with what James Gosling said about the Scala perspective [the there could be an ease of use issue, since not everybody understands how complicated Scala is] and the groovy language, and I think as a Java developer we have to stay in touch with what is going on in the community...and maybe we should switch our brain from the Java language side to the Java Platform are we able to move to the next step..." --Nicolas Martignole

  26. R09_0034 -- Ludovic Hochet -- Tours, France -- Java Developer/Architect; Tours JUG member
    "...So my greatest concern for Java is that it is stagnating...and really when see things like Groovy, Jruby, and Scala they get a lot of attention; those languages seem to be evolving whereas Java seems to be staying as it is... --Ludovic Hochet

  27. R09_0035 -- Stephen Colebourne -- London, UK -- Java Developer for a travel e-commerce website; Java Champion
    "...My concern really is the big issue that's been in the room for the last (2 1/2) years, where Sun Microsystems deliberately chose not give a license to Apache for their version of Java -- Apache Harmony...There's quite a lot of background issues and political sides to the debate, but the reality is in terms what it actually means to developers, is that at present, unless something changes, there won't be a Java 7, there will only be an JDK7... there will only be Java from ONE wouldn't have for example JRocket, because there will be no way to define what specification JRocket will have to meet...and similar things like that... it seems like a minor esoteric legal issue, but it isn't... it's really about big politics and big money...and that's something that has seized up the entire JCP process for (2 1/2) years... so we would quite like to get it sorted please..." --Stephen Colebourne

  28. R09_0037 -- Lucio Benfante -- Padova, Italy -- Java Consultant,  ; JavaDay conference co-organizer; Java Champion, Java OpenSource Developer -several projects, including "JUG-Events" on and "Parancoe"
    "...At present, I think [my concern is about Java's simplicity] it is about simplicity...building a Java system is too I am a big fan of the Spring Framework...I think it is the most simple method for building complex applications in the Java eco-system...I think it should be easier to choose a technology and use in your [software] application..." --Lucio Benfante

  29. R09_0038 -- MORE from Lucio Benfante about Oracle acquisition and NetBeans RCP...and support for NetBeans Rich Client Platform.
    "...I have a big concern about the Oracle acquisition...I'm afraid about the NetBeans Rich Client Platform (RCP)..I think Oracle is missing a big point about the NetBeans platform...Oracle is obviously in competition with IBM...IBM has Eclipse RCP...the only alternative at present is the NetBeans RCP as a platform...Spring has started to develop its own RCP platform which is a good point for Oracle not to dismiss the NetBeans RCP which is already is a value that already intrinsically exists in the NetBeans Community..." --Lucio Benfante

  30. R09_0040 -- Kevin Nilsson -- Silicon Valley area, CA, USA -- Java ME Developer for, Co-Leader Silicon Valley Web User Group (SVWUG), DEVOXX speaker on CometD
    "...So for me...two years ago at JavaOne, I attended a talk about Servlets 3, and I was very excited by everything I saw...the web fragments...being able to get rid of the web xml...all of these exciting new features...but, then again JavaOne...I saw the same talk...and now at DEVOXX I see the same talk we are a year and half later and we still don't have it finalized...we still don't have Servlets 3 in the Virtual Machine or release anywhere...there is a preview version in GlassFish...but it is not finalize...not stable...for me this is a really big concern for Java.. I feel if we can't move faster, then we're going to become the next COBOL...we need to move the language faster to keep Java strong..." --Kevin Nilsson

  31. R09_0041 -- Stephan Epardeaux -- Nice, France -- Java Architect in Enterprise Development; Co-Leader Riviera JUG
    "...So my greatest concern for Java is the backwards compatibility, so we saw new features that were introduced in Java 5, we see new features that want to be introduced in Java 7; it seems like backwards compatibility is holding us [developers] back in terms of what we can do and cannot it looks like we are very limited with changes we can put into Java with regards to backwards I wonder if there is not a good time in the near future to break backwards compatibility..." [James Gosling addresses this in MP3 #24 from the JUG BOF in the 25min 00 sec - 32min 00 sec segment of that MP3] --Stephan Epardeaux

  32. R09_0042 -- Michael Van Riper -- Silicon Valley area, CA, USA -- Java Developer and Chief Web Technologist at; Java Champion, Co-Leader SVWUG
    "...So I have a couple...but my short-term concern is JavaOne? we would probably closing soon the call for papers...and I know with the impending deal with Oracle...that nothing is really being done long-term...seems like we are running out of time to have a JavaOne...whether Oracle was for it or not...because of this whole merger mess, so I am really concerned that if this isn't settled soon then there won't be an option to have the timeframe that it is supposed to be [May-June 2010]..." --Michael Van Riper

  33. R09_0043 -- "Luchan" -- Romania -- Java Developer for international betting/gaming website; Transylvania JUGmember
    "...Oracle bought the Java... What will happen to Java in the future..." --Luchan from Transylvania JUG

  34. R09_0044 -- Kirk Pepperdine -- Hungary/orig from Canada -- Java Performance Tuning Consultant/Specialist/Trainer; Java Champion; DEVOXX Speaker
    "...My greatest concern for Java is really to do more with the Community that Sun has managed to build around Java....every aspect of Java...and we've developed a level of trust with Sun and my concern is with the acquisition with Oracle... I do hope they [Oracle] will maintain the same level of community involvement..." --Kirk Pepperdine

  35. R09_0045 -- "Don" from DEVOXX staff & London, UK -- Java specialist working for a company who customizes confluence and specialized wikis for use in the enterprise/social collaboration websites; also member of DEVOXX technical/systems staff --
    "...So we've two areas that have been growing, Java the Language and Java the Platform...Java Platform is becoming really standardized, but we're getting big fragmentation inside of Java the Language...and that has dissipated somewhat with things like JRuby coming through...especially Scala...a lot of areas pulling us in different directions...and we are now being distracted by what may or may not be in JDK 7... everyone seems to be focusing on the fragmentation of these languages...concerned about another branch(s) of Java..." --Don from the DEVOXX Staff

  36. R09_0046 -- Bill Venners -- California, USA -- Founder/Editor of the Artima Developer Website(LEARN, THINK, IMAGINE);Scala Book Author; Java Champion, DEVOXX presenter
    "...I'd say that there's uncertainty with the Oracle/Sun acquisition...and what's gonna happen...I'm not sure I am concerned...just concerned that something will happen that we [as developers] won't like...but, I think things will be fine..." --Bill Venners

  37. R09_0047 -- Anton "Toni" Epple -- Munich, Germany -- Consultant and Trainer for the NetBeans platform, NetBeans DreamTeam Member
    "...I'm a leader of the Tools Community together with Fabiane and Daniel Lopez... My concern is about Java and the openness of Java is right now a little bit people are asking themselves: Will Java stay as open as it is? Will it be more like closed-sourced? What is the future of other projects like OpenJDK....right now people are considering how they should proceed with Java..." --Toni Epple

  38. R09_0048 -- Mattias Karlsson -- Stockholm, Sweden -- Java Developer/Architect with Ciber a financial services software integrator; Java Champion; JUG Leader of JavaForum-Swedish JUG; Conference organizer for JFokus
    "...So for Java the language, [concerned about] the diversity at the moment...the JCP... But, as a JUG Leader and a conference organizer...earlier we got very good support from Sun, they helped the JUG and they were always very supportive of the conferences...They [Sun] isn't doing that anymore or as the deal with Oracle has really affected this...we'll just have to wait and see what happens....There's a big concern that we don't get the same support from Sun at the is the conference site..." --Mattias Karlsson

  39. R09_0049 -- Vincent Brabant -- Brussels, Belgium -- Java Developer; former Java Champion & Netbeans DreamTeam member; contributing writer to (All-French Java Portal)
    "...Hi I am living in Brussels...and my greatest concern for Java is I would like to see continued development on the Java Virtual Machine and the HotSpot...they are quite powerful and enable me to write code that is quite powerful..."--Vincent Brabant

  40. Lastly, the Java Posse commented to my Question. My "super-stealthy" JUG leader (Kevin Nilsson) ask them the question during their BOF Q & A at DEVOXX... (actually Dick Wall and Carl Quinn had a heads-up on the question before...) 
    Java Posse Podcast #287 LIVE from DEVOXX on to the 00:47:21 time mark in the "Q & A" session
  41. carlCarl Quinn: "...My biggest worry, and hopefully it will be unfounded, is that the leadership of Java is a bit fuzzy right now... JCP seems a bit stalled...Sun is on hold waiting to see what Oracle is going to do...tough time...I think if we can weather through this and Oracle steps in and resolves issues with the JCP...that would be awesome..."

  42. torTor Norbye: [Dick to Tor..."you can assume/interpret the question any way you like" -- yep that was the idea, Dick ;-) -- HOUSTON] "...I don't think Java, really, has many concerns at all...I clearly want to get the EU thing cleared up, so the ownership transfer can take place and we can basically move forward... Java the platform is pretty solid.. Java the Language, with JavaFX Sun can pretty much do whatever they want which makes for very rapid improvements... and I really like that...every release [of JavaFX] is exponentially better than the last...You don't want that for Java...One company putting whatever they want in, because there are so many people who rely on Java being what it I think we need different solutions for those (2) problems [Java the Platform and Java the Language] ...."
  43. joeJoe Nuxoll: "[my greatest concern]... From a business perspective, it is pretty obvious...the company that owns the entire boat ["boat" being a reference to Java?], is in dire straits and that's gotta get resolved...I agree with Tor...even if Sun caught on fire and burned..disappeared tomorrow...I think the Java is going to be around for a really long time still because there are so many other companies who are invested in it...Java is NOT just one language and a platform... it is a platform that they focusing on trying to get as many languages as they can to solve as many different problems as they have, or that they can think of...last one, technically speaking, about JavaFX...especially with the slip of Java 7 to sometime next year a lot of the cooler things they are going to need [for JavaFX] to be competitive in today's marketplace..they are not going to have modularity [a modular JDK] until then [later] and that's a big deal for competing against Flash...."
    Tor retorts:"...Just to clarify.. JavaFx isn't Java and it doesn't have to run on a pure Java stack, so you could run JavaFX on a phone that doesn't have a Java stack under it...and the next generation graphics stack doesn't have AWT or SWING under it...."

  44. dickDick Wall: "I'm gonna start upbeat...I think the JVM is in great shape...there are many people who have done great work here... making the JVM ready for multiple languages... Java the language, however, is something that I have been wrestling with a lot recently...for the last (4) years I have been following the news pretty closely...there is some new development work happening all the time, but it is gradually being swamped or just overcome by stuff we've already solved dozens of times...and I think it is because when the language kinda stopped moving so did the problems we were solving with I think that closures which came as a totally surprise to me [here at DEVOXX, referring to Reinhold's announcement] and is a real shot in the arm that will invigorate a lot of stuff. I think we are going to see a lot of libraries...pick it up...we're going to start seeing some new problems being solved with Java the language..."
    Tor Adds: "I think the platform is really what the crown jewels are here, and that's the most important part to push forward....and I don't think you want to do anything too dramatic with Java, that's why I like this closures proposal..seems to find the right balance..." 

Also, Geertjan Wielenga did a similar thing by asking a question at DEVOXX, videotaping the results:"One thing you learned at DEVOXX". That video is over at DZone-Java Lobby and that is also worth checking out...."Thanks Geertjan...."

Also, I want to thank Philip Hickman, in London, for his services as my file hosting services provider while I was in Antwerp...he's got reasonable prices for online file hosting Philip... and I hope the downloads of these recordings won't break your server...

Here is a raw recording of the JUG BOF at DEVOXX with James Gosling who was our special host. We had 56 Java User Groups represented at DEVOXX; We had 60 people in the room with James. Detailed list of topics discussed by timing marks in the MP3 recording. MP3 is 19MB to download and is 40+ min long. Here's bits and pieces, so here is the disclaimer: Please Listen to the MP3 before making any judgments/opinions of the transcript....

Here's a temporary link to MP3 (I'll move the file to later -- HOUSTON):

00:00 - 03min 10 sec -- discussion by Michael Van Riper (Silicon Valley Web Users Group - SVWUG), Kevin Nilson (SVWUG), Bert Ertmann (Dutch JUG sharing their experiences at the Oracle Open World meetings with Oracle User Groups and Oracle User Group Program and OTN personnel.

03min 10 sec - 05min 35 sec Introduction of James Gosling.... then Gosling; Gosling reacts to JUG leader discussion about Oracle User Groups.
Gosling:"So there is no interesting question that I can answer here....[but] You guys have been talking about JUGs and Oracle....they're just figuring this [JUG community] thing out ....their heart seems to be in the right place and it does....Oracle comes from a remarkably different space....their notion of a person from their user group is someone who wears suspenders who knows what 'slash-slash-go-dot-sys-in-dd' is.... and if anybody knows what that means then leave I just disqualified myself...but it's IBM360JCL...."

05min 35 sec - 08min 14 sec James Gosling gets into the Q & A....
[JUG Ldr] When can you come to the Riviera JUG in Nice France... "
Gosling: "I'm going to this smart card conference in Paris tomorrow...Yeah Aaron is the right contact [for you guys to get a hold of me]'s not hard to get to me to France...but then I have to tell my wife.... "
[JUG Ldr Question] JavaOne?
Gosling: "There is nothing I can say about JavaOne...there are piles of undecided stuff...and some of the math at this point is going depend on the EU...."
[JUG Leader Question] Is there anything we can do to help with this process?
Gosling: Letter writing campaigns know... 'Hi Larry... I really wish...' --- Umm whether or not it will make a difference or not I don't know... can't hurt... "

08min 14 sec - 11min 49 sec JUG Leader discussion with James about how the Java interacts with its community...
[JUG Ldr] "....might not be a wise decision to not to end JavaOne until they figure out how it works...and run it for awhile...Gosling: "So you are talking to the wrong guy here... "
[JUG Leader comment] "....I don't know much about Oracle database...or doesn't seem to me like they are a very innovative company anymore...they seem to buy other companies and they take their innovation but I might be wrong. But Sun looked more like an innovative company not convinced that Oracle is really good at innovation What is going to happen with Java? We're seeing all these new languages...If Java 7 doesn't come to 2011 or beyond there are other guys in town now....."
Gosling: "... So yeah you know...There's kind nothing useful I can say here...other than the guys at Oracle are not idiots, right. They are actually more innovative than you might think they just don't parade it around... their core business has been around a database and the kind of innovations that they care about like weird clustering stuff and performance tuning that they do... most of that is not something that matters to the larger [Java] community... I think it is a completely open question what is going to happen....When I joined Sun, I really wanted to go work for a research lab...and Sun was more like a research lab than any of the real research labs... being at Sun for 25 some odd years is kinda like being a grad student... there is definitely gonna be a culture collision...and who knows..."

11min 49 sec - 18min 25 sec [JUG Leader question] "....So James do you think that Java is becoming the new COBOL?...that's the first question...and the second one: there was a very nice presentation from Oracle yesterday with a lot of statistics about the JBDC driver from Oracle contain 1048 findbugs warnings...what's your comment?...."
Gosling: "...Ahhhh what was the first question?....[crowd laughter]....Is Java becoming the new COBOL?... Um...Well in some sense it has...if only because like some really scary fraction of global commerce happens in Java apps...that's kinda frightening....Umm by no means is Java anywhere near stagnant as COBOL has become....There are some things [in Java] that has become hard to move forward -- the language... One of the problems of being a community is that there are a lot of voices... and we took a previous run at Closures...and that got... spectacularly weird...with luck the sort of simpler one that Mark [Reinhold] is trying to get through...will work out better... When you got as many developers as Java has.. it's phenomenal how hard it is to get anything through...and it's because there are so many people who actually care... You can take an absolutely obscure corner of the Java universe...and there are thousands of people who care... "
[JUG Leader] "Corba?"....
Gosling: " know Corba is surprising...because I keep finding people who are actually using Corba...They, on average, never want to admit it...because it is the most un-trendy thing around...but I keep finding people who are using Corba for large scale data marshaling because it is better than xml for moving stuff around... so like the the large Hadron Collider... big bags of corba...because it's way faster than any xml encoder...and there are similar things [in Java] like the calendar class who uses all of the calendar class... Well? most of asia... it is unbelievable hard to find something that nobody cares about...

18min 25 sec - 22min 50 sec
[JUG Leader] " James... one of the things Aaron is doing at the [DEVOXX] conference is he is polling people with this question: [to James] What is your greatest concern for Java right now? ......"
[JUG Ldr again] "....and it got me thinking... I am a big web services guy [at etrade] and I went to JavaOne (2) years ago when they talked about servlets3...this year they had the same servlets3 presentation...and here at DEVOXX they had they same presentation... and we have the same information from 2004.... so I am concern that we're not able to move forward...."
Gosling: "....ok...and then they had a least most of the servlet update stuff...."
[JUG Leader interupts James] "...and I was so excited for that...BUT...that was 3 years ago..."
Gosling: "...Yeah...but you know, but EE6 actually got that....but look at WHO you got to agree [to these changes]...right? And that's kinda the quandary right... "
James goes on talk about the JCP, Expert Groups and the Executive Committee...
Gosling: "...So were just kinda barreling ahead with again there are all these people that care.. .and some of these people are like IBM and Oracle... and at some level they cooperate and at some level they do not... and you get these communities that are a mixture of all these is a discussion that is hard to get to closure is not like arguing with your friends about lunch..."
[JUG leader] "...yeah and then you get the non-technical guy that comes in and says: 'here's what we're gonna do'...."
Gosling: "...Yeah...and that's how technical discussion often are... because if the answer is clear the engineers, they are logical folks they would just go and do....but when you got two things that are sorta the same... engineers kinda get locked up...and then literally the right thing to do is flip a coin....having the boss come in and flip a coin is ok by me..."

22min 50 sec - 25min 00 sec James Gosling talks about the JCP....and the concept of Open JCP...and lot of "undecided things"....

25min 00 sec - 32min 00 sec
Gosling: " What is my biggest concern for Java?" -- Actually, I think...the previous question about Java turning into COBOL...and then there are these comments about these other languages coming of the issues I have is that they are very domain specific... they do one thing really well... which is like never the kind of stuff that I work on...I think there are a pile of things we can do the JVM without breaking the backwards compatibility...that would make life a lot easier for people...but could you get the crowd to go 'Yeah, that's a good idea'?.... I would really be depress if that Java was the last language ever invented that would take over the general purpose space... [Gosling on] Scala... I think Stephan [Janssen] captured the problem in his keynote [Stephan Janssen -- DEVOXX Organizer mentioned that the Bill Venners SCALA DEVOXX08 talk on is the most viewed video - perhaps because people have to watch it several times to actually understand it]
Gosling: "...that's my number one concern with Scala...
[James comments on Bill Venners Scala talk]... gotta watch the talk 5 that language direction there is a big ease of use problem and I don't know how actually to capture it..."
James talks next about backwards compatibility...
Gosling: " It is unbelievably tempting to do that [break backward compatibility]... like Python did that recently... be honest....what it really did was fork Python... there's this non-backward compatible version of python...and then there are people who have a million lines of python code say... I'm not going there anytime that literally forked python right?... there's the old python train, people are still bug fixing that... some people will be going over... but there are something we can do that for Java...but we'd have to build an absolutely bullet proof transition tool....for some things that's doable for some things it is not... like there is a whole category of things that one can do like around typing for of the ones that's always been out there on my favorite list for a long time is replace like a:=5 is the same thing as int its a declare and assign...I wrote a blog entry about that several years ago...and for things like that you can write a NetBeans refactoring module that will find all of them and just do it.....and clean up a lot of code... you add things like operator overloading so I once implemented operator overloading in javac and its actually kind of depressing how few things where you find that operator overloading would make a difference except if you do operator overloading on subscripting and make them map to like get and put on hash tables and I actually did write a little NetBeans refactering that would go through all our code and find all the uses of hash tables and collections that could be refacturing into using operator overloading and was huge... and actually made the code a whole lot cleaner.... everytime I brought up operator overloading the ex-C++ programmers started throwing knives at me [audience laughter]..... "

32min 30 sec - 42min 30 sec (MORE breakdown of topics and updates later. or listen to the MP3 -- HOUSTON)

Received an email from my good friend Daniel deOliveira who runs the DFJUG-Brasilia Java User Group (the largest JUG in the world w/ 30,000+ members)

Aaron, bom dia !

Do you remember when Matt signed the JEDI partnership document, during last year JavaOne ? You took some photos of he, I, you and Nichole. I'm trying to find them but I believe they are in an old backup and couldn't find. Do you still have them ? Can you share ?


Daniel deOliveira 
JUG Leader / Founding Java Champion
Brasilia Java Users Group

I responded to Daniel that most of my photos are here:

As of this blog entry there are 26 albums from photos taken 2007-2009 while I was a member of Sun's Technology Outreach Group.

Java Evangelist Carol McDonald sent me a snippet from this blogger:

" User Groups: If you live near a major metropolitan area, it's easy to get involved in the local user groups that are there. Most user groups meet once a month, so they don't consume too many evenings when your family expects you to be home. Don't be a passive participant; get involved. Talk about what you've been learning in your spare time. Help organize the group. Get to know the other people in the group...."

On the JUG leader's mailing list we've had many discussion(s) about the networking power of a Java User Group. Perhaps one of my favorite posts was by Java Champion Yakov Fain of Java Developer Journal. In his JDJ article: "Our JUGs need a Push-Up", Yakov makes some excellent points--quoted below...and things I've seen at a JUG meeting.

Benefits of a Java User Group:

" For Java programmers: A great way to keep up with new Java technologies. It also gives you a chance to network with your peers, which always helps in getting a job."

" For business: Instead of paying head-hunters hefty finder fees every time you need to hire a Java developer, create a home for your local JUG by letting them use one of your conference rooms one evening a month."

" For students: JUGs give you a chance to learn what's happening in the real business world and maybe find an internship or summer job."

" For headhunters: Your local JUG may give you an access to a pool of Java developers."

" For authors: It's a good way to promote your books. Don't be shy though; always give away a free copy of your book."

Yakov also goes on in this article to describe"How to set up a Java User Group". Yakov Fain spoke at the very first Java Champions BOF at JavaOne in 2006. He also wrote about his experience joining the Java Champions project in another JDJ Article which I still have on my desk at work. Yakov has a new podcast project called No BS IT -- expect a "non-politically correct" approach to this podcast.


Lastly, slightly off topic, but there's going to be (I think) a really good JUG meeting when the Silicon Valley JavaFX User Group holds its very first meeting at the GooglePlex on Dec 9th. The speaker will be Richard Bair from Sun's JavaFX team... very technical + he's also from the SWING team. more info here. I plan on being there to check it out.

Awhile ago, the Program Manager approached me about blogging about some of the day-to-day interactions I've had with the Java community over the years, primarily the Java User Groups(JUGs) and Java Champions program. I get a ton of email from folks who are interested in starting a Java User Group and want to know how to get started. Honestly, I tell them, the best place to learn about Java User Groups and "community" is from an acting JUG leader. And there are plenty of them right here on -- JOIN their mailing list. Over 150 JUG leaders participate in the JUG Leader's mailing list on It is a vibrant and passionate community; It has always been a rewarding experience (for me) to talk to these folks about tips on how to grow their local groups and learn about more about Java.

So, to get this blog started, I thought I would share a typical email from a prospective JUG leader and my reply.

SUBJ: JUG Program for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada -- Nov 6th, 2009
From: Casey
To: sunjugprograms

Good morning,

I, along with the backing of my company, am interested in starting a JUG group for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and was wondering what advice and or support you could provide as we move forward with a new Java User Group.

Winnipeg used to have a Java User Group, but it became defunct years ago. There are a number or java based organizations within the city and would like to see them get together to further our use and understanding of Java.

Again, any advice, documents, or suggestions that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. -- Casey from Winnipeg

****************************** REPLY ******************************
Hi Casey,

Hey, you've come to the right place. My name is Aaron, I work for Sun as their program coordinator for Java Users Groups. At Sun, we've known that the Java User Groups (JUGs) is a huge community and an important "grass-roots" part of the Java Eco-System + technology adoption. JUGs have always beenindependent of Sun, they have had to be because there is no way for us here at Sun to be the "end-all and everything" for the JUG community. However, we do have a corporate-centered program to help facilitate the discussion that Sun's Java Leadership would like to have with the Java Developer Community....and the JUGs are a great place to start for our developer outreach initiatives.

What does Sun do for Java User Groups?

So what does Sun do for JUGs? Well, at this moment, not as much as we would like... However, in the past, we have done lots of events, community sessions, and activities at JavaOne, Sun Tech Days, and elsewhere. We have a corporate level program and dedicated resources (Nichole Scott and I are listed here). We get "the voice" of Community Leaders heard within the leadership at Sun + Java Platform engineering team. And, we do sometimes conduct mailings of care-packages of Java books, T-shirts, OpenSource software...and I coordinate speakers when they're available. Perhaps, the best thing we are doing for JUGs is sponsoring the cost of hosting and supplying resource(s) to the JUGs and other communities on We do hold/or facilitate Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions at JavaOne and community-led conferences like DEVOXX. Very important to us (Sun) to be supporting a developer event coordinated by a non-profit or a Java User Group. (i.e.'sJ-Fall, javaBin's JavaZone, Belgian JUG's DEVOXX, and a couple more). We sometimes sponsor these conferences. The JUG Leaders will be meeting next week at DEVOXX -- JUG BOF event.

Tech Days Resources and Join the JUG Leader's mailing list:
I routinely send information about which of our evangelist speakers(s) or sun development engineers are speaking and links to their presentations via the JUG leader's mailing list. Also, Sun has a program called Sun Tech Days whereby most of the presentations (see list below) are made available for public re-use, since our folks can't be everywhere .....

Couple of resources:

Lots of stuff... I could talk about Java User Groups for Days... Hope this helps... -- Aaron


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