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CodeCamp at FootHill College. Click Here for Details and RegistrationPlease join me at the 4th annual Silicon Valley Code Camp at Foothill College in Los Altos on October 3-4, 2009. It is shaping up to be even bigger and better than last year's event. Attendance is FREE, but space is limited. So, you do need to register in advance. Sessions will range from informal

National JUG-USA Summit

This is the first JavaOne for JUG-USA and we are holding our first ever national JUG-USA Summit on Tuesday night in conjunction with the Java Community Process (JCP) Party. JUG Leaders and/or JUG Liaisons are invited to gather at the Community Corner at 6:45pm on Tuesday evening. We will make our way as a group to theJCP party from there. Earlier this year, JUG-USA became a member of the JCP. This means that members of any JUG-USA affiliated JUG can participate in the JCP process through this affiliation. During this Summit, we will be discussing how best to move forward with election of national and regional JUG-USA officers this fall. If you are planning to join us, please take just a few minutes to RSVP on the JUG-USA site in advance. Thanks!

JUG-USA Meetup with James Gosling

As the JUG with the most JavaOne registrations this year, JUG-USA was awarded the opportunity to meet with James Gosling on Wednesday morning. Just for the record, JUG-USA won't be competing in this competition going forward. Obviously, we do have an unfair advantage over JUGs in other countries. Still, this is quite an accomplishment for an organization that was only a twinkle in my eye a few months ago. We already have 24 of the 55 identified JUGs on this JUG-USA Map on board as JUG-USA affiliates. If you belong to an affiliated JUG located in the United States, please RSVP for the James Gosling Meetup in order to find out the exact time and location of this special meeting. That's All Folks! CommunityOne West, Kevin Nilson and I are leading a session onTips and Tricks for Starting and Maintaining a Successful User Group. Of particular interest to the JUG Leadership Community, we will be discussing the synergy we are seeing between our Silicon Valley Web JUGand our much younger Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group. You will also learn about JUG-USA and in this session.
Our CommunityOne session is scheduled at 4:00pm on Monday, June 1st, in North Hall Room 124. If you are thinking about starting your own user group, we promise to inspire you to go out and make it happen. If you already run a user group, your participation would also be welcome. Please join us on June 1st!
For those of you not attending CommunityOne on June 1st, you can still virtually attend our session by viewing the live webcast here. Our session will be playing on channel 2 at 4:00pm PST.  
For Silicon Valley Java Developers, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for missing JavaOne this year. Even if you can't swing the registration fee for JavaOne, a FREE CommunityOne West registration will still give you access to the JavaOne General Sessions and the JavaOne Pavilion during the main conference. On top of that, you also get full access to CommunityOne West Sessions on the day before JavaOne gets started. Your cost: ZERO. The networking opportunities and access to latest news about all things Java: PRICELESS! Inportant: I have a small favor to ask of anyone that registers for CommunityOne after reading this post. Please use my registration ID, W1285453, as your referral code when you register. For each person that does this, a contribution of $10 will be made to through the Refer a Friend Program. Join me for the third annual CommunityOne conference in San Francisco. Experience four jam-packed days of education, innovation, and exchange. Whether you're focused on creating robust Web apps, building a scalable infrastructure, or thinking about cloud computing, you'll find sessions on proven free and open-source software (FOSS) technologies and tools. This is stuff you can really get excited about. 

CommunityOne West: Free Pass Benefits

You get complimentary access (pre-registration and onsite registration) to the one-day conference program, including technical sessions on June 1st, and the Pavilion (June 1-4), plus access to JavaOne General Sessions (June 2-4). The Pavilion and General Sessions access during the main JavaOne conference areNEW CommunityOne West benefits in 2009. So, what are you waiting for? Register Now for CommunityOne West. With all the access that the free CommunityOne West registration gives you, why should anyone pay the hefty JavaOne conference registration fee? Well, you will only get access to the technical sessions and BOFs as a JavaOne attendee. It is not just the technical content of these sessions that is important. Possibly even more important is the access you will have to the presenters at the various technical sessions and BOFs. 

JUG-USA Affiliate Members: Save $100

The economy is tough, and learning dollars are tight. If you have only one event you can attend this year, you definitely should make it JavaOne. To soften the financial blow, members of JUG-USA Affiliated JUGs can register using discount code JUGJ50 to save $100 off the normal registration price. Returning JavaOne alumni can choose between the $100 discount or the black JavaOne conference soft-shell jacket. If enough people register with the JUGJ50 discount code, we may even get an exclusive meeting with James Gosling during JavaOne. Register Now for JavaOne 2009. Community Corner

JavaOne can be a mixed bag. Like most things in life, the more you put into it results in the more you get out of it. If you do attend, please check out the community corner. There areJUG Leaders and Java Champions from all over the world hanging out in that area throughout the conference. There are also many short technical talks given in the community corner that you might find interesting. Personally, it is my favorite place to hang out between sessions. Check it out! The opportunities afforded by affiliating together all the JUGs residing in the United States as part of an umbrella JUG-USA organization seem self-evident to me. In my efforts to bring JUGs around the country on board, I am learning that this is simply not the case. So, here are my thoughts on this matter.

What JUG-USA Affiliation IS!

There are three simple requirements a Java User Group (JUG) must fulfill in order to be a JUG-USA Affiliate. First, the JUG must be geographically located within the borders of the United States. Second, the JUG must have a JUG-USA Liaison subscribed to the Usersmailing list of the JUG-USA project on This Liaison can either be a member of the JUG Leadership or this role can be delegated to someone else within their JUG membership. Third, we ask each Affiliate to provide a link to the JUG-USA Map on their own site. Beyond the basic requirements, JUG-USA Affiliation is intended to promote communication and cooperation between JUGs throughout the United States. I organized the JUG Leaders panel at CommunityOne 2008 around the topic, Thinking Globally, Acting Locally. My vision for JUG-USA is to allow JUGs in the United States to collaborate globally in ways that will ultimately benefit Java developer communitieslocally

What JUG-USA Affiliation Is NOT!

Most importantly, local JUGs will continue to run with complete autonomy. JUG-USA is not about imposing any outside control from above onto them. Affiliation does not in any way involve subordination of local JUGs under JUG-USA. JUG-USA exists solely to serve and support the Affiliated JUGs. JUG-USA is not going to weaken the participation of JUG Leaders from the United States on the International JUG Leaders list. The fact is that I am finding many JUG Leaders in my own efforts to more fully populate the JUG-USA map that are not members of the global JUG Leaders list. Since we will be cross-posting many of our JUG-USA discussions to both our own users and the globaljug-leaders lists, we will be introducing more JUG Leaders from the United States to the global community over time. 

What's In It For Affiliates?

Since the birth of JUG-USA on 1/12/2009, two tangible benefits have already emerged. First, JUG-USA is now a member organization in theJava Community Process (JCP). Members of Affiliated JUGs can participate in the JCP through their association with JUG-USA. Second, JUG-USA has a special discount code (JUGJ50) for the upcoming JavaOne 2009 conference. Members of Affiliated JUGs can use this special discount code when registering for JavaOne. If we have enough Affiliates promoting this with their membership, we have a good chance of winning the special meeting with James Gosling for the JUG with the most participants at JavaOne this year. Before someone calls foul, I want to point out that the winner for the past couple of years has been the national JUG of the Netherlands. Personally, I think more emphasis should be given to year over year improvement in participation rather than sheer numbers. That is a topic for a whole other discussion that I don't want to get into here. In my mind, the possibilities with JUG-USA are endless. Here are just a few areas to explore: 
  • Organizing annual regional events in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West regions.
  • JUG-USA Newsletter and/or News Feed to highlight interesting JUG events around the country on a regular basis.
  • JUG Mentor program to pair successful JUGs with new JUGs.
  • Matching up potential speakers with interested JUGs around the country.
  • Negotiating bulk discounts for JUG-USA which can be made available to all Affiliates.
  • Obtain Federal Non-Profit status for JUG-USA and then create holding accounts to accept tax deductible donations for particular JUG-USA events such as regional gatherings.
Some of these ideas, like non-profit status for JUG-USA, are longer term goals. However, I am already making plans for a West Region gathering of JUG-USA Liaisons later this year. We will organize it in conjunction with our annual Silicon Valley Code Camp this fall. Aaron Houston doesn't know it yet, but, he will be hosting us on the Friday before the weekend camp at the local Sun offices. :-) My goal is to get Leaders and Liaisons from as many Affiliates as possible to not only attend the regional gathering, but, to stay and participate in our code camp that weekend. I am confident that I can arrange overnight accommodations for Friday and Saturday night with members of the local Java developer community in Silicon Valley. These are just my personal dreams for JUG-USA. We plan to hold elections for a JUG-USA President and Vice President in May. Once we have elected officers and a critical mass of JUG-USA Liaisons participating on our Usersmailing list, who knows what the collective wisdom of that group will come up with. I am certain this initiative has plenty of upside for Affiliates. I only hope I have succeeded in articulating this for those that do not share my vision ... yet! are officially launching JUG-USA today. It is an umbrella Java User Group (JUG) which local JUGs from all over the United States can affiliate with. It is my hope that a true synergy will emerge from this undertaking.
The original impetus for the formation of JUG-USA was to work towards establishing a single Federal non-profit that any affiliated JUG could take advantage of in order to take in tax deductible donations to pay for various JUG activities. This was also going to be a way to provide synergy for JCP participation. The plan was to raise the $2000 non-profit annual membership fee once for JUG-USA and let members of all the affiliated JUGs join the JCP via their JUG-USA affiliation. However, that has become less important now that the JCP is allowing any JUG to join the JCP for free until February 28th, 2009. In case you didn't know, I created an International JUGs Mapsome time ago. This map is now maintained by a small team of JUG Leaders including myself from around the world. So naturally, I had to create a new and improved JUG-USA Map for my current project.

As a committer for both maps, I will make certain that there is no data loss between the two maps. There are design advantages afforded by creating a separate map focused on just the United States. It can be organized better with further custom navigation when we are dealing with a smaller data set of JUGs to place on the map. Plus, the data on the map for each JUG can be richer when dealing with less data points. I could not afford the performance hit to load site thumbnail images on the much larger International JUGs Map. Although the JUG-USA project is officially launching today, there is still much work to be done. As a pilot program, we invited one JUG from each of the major regions of the United States to become founding affiliates. We have the Connecticut JUG representing the Northeast, the Capital JUGrepresenting the Midwest, the Houston JUG representing the South, and the Silicon Valley Web JUG representing the West. Initially, our goal is to simply getALL the JUGs in the United States to become JUG-USA Affiliates. Once we have done that, we can start to synergistically leverage these affiliations. We are already planning a face-to-face meeting with the leaders from as many JUG-USA affiliates as possible during the upcoming JavaOne conference in June of 2009. If you would like to get involved, the best way to get started is to join the dev mailing list of the JUG-USA project. That is where our early stage JUG-USA formation discussions will occur moving forward. That's All Folks! 2008 marks the 10th Birthday of the Java Community Process (JCP) Program. Java developers in Silicon Valley are invited to join the JCP Executive Committees and the Program Office in celebrating ten years of collaborative work from companies, academics, individual developers and not-for-profits from all over the world. The party will be at the Computer History Museum on January 13th in Mountain View, California. Local Java User Group members can attend for free when they register in advance. Please tell them the Silicon Valley Web JUG sent you.
To be perfectly honest, I was like many Java developers that take advantage of the output of the JCP in terms of the various Java standards while not contributing anything back into the process. I recently participated in a QCon Panel Discussion where the JCP and how it is currently run was the primary topic. I was inspired by what I heard from the active members of the JCP in that session to take a more active role. I have since become an individual member of the JCP. I would like to contribute to the completion of JSR-310, the new Date and Time API. If you had not heard, JSR-310 needs help now or it is quite likely that it will not make it into Java 7. I don't want to paint too rosy of a picture. The current setup of the JCP is such that there is very little in the way of community involvement opportunities short of direct participation on a particular JSR committee. However, there are indications that this may be changing soon. For starters, I personally would like to see them only require the 10+ page legal document to become a JSR committer. Basic JCP membership should only require a simple one page web form registration process. Plus, there needs to be some tangible community benefits attached to becoming a basic JCP member. For the time being, JCP really stands for theJSR Committee Process and not the JavaCommunity Process. exciting recent development is the offer to allow Java User Groups to register with the JCP for free through the end of February of 2009. I'll be taking advantage of that for the registration of the new umbrella JUG I am creating for the entire United States called JUG-USA. That will be the topic of a whole other post in the near future. In the mean time, any JUG can become a JCP member organization for free. So, check it out!  
QCon San Francisco has invited bay area Java Developers to a Java Community Event on Thursday November 20th, 2008. This free event will be a one-hour long panel on the State of Java with well known Java luminaries and QCon SF speakers. Although free, an advance RSVP is required and space is limited. The registration page also lists who has already signed up to attend this event at the bottom of the page. From 6:15pm to 6:45pm at the Westin hotel, there will be a chance to mingle with QCon Speakers and Attendees. After that, there will be a State of Java Panel hosted by Kresten Krab Thorup. Rod Johnson, Brian Goetz, Emmanuel Bernard, Max Ross, Bill Venners and possibly even more to be announced later will all be panel participants. 

QCon Registration Discounts

If you are interested in attending QCon SF 2008, you can save $100 off registration price by using the following promotion code:javagroup_100off. I look forward to seeing other local Java developers at QCon's inaugural Java Community Event in San Francisco. There is more information about the speakers and QCon here:'s All Folks!  
CodeCamp at FootHill College. Click Here for Details For the third year running, the Silicon Valley Code Camp will be held at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. This is my second year organizing the Java Speaker Track at Code Camp with the help of Kevin Nilson. You can see the full session schedule for the weekend here. You will notice in the session topic tag cloud that Java is the number one session topic at camp this year with 36 out of 115 sessions related to Java. This year, I am organizing a Lightning Talksession right after lunch on both days of camp. Although we had to close session submission in the middle of October, there are still plenty of opportunities to give a lightning talk and/or demo at one of my sessions.
You can follow the official updates about camp via this RSS News Feedor by following sv_code_camp on twitter. Those of you that have twitter accounts are encouraged to tag your own tweets about camp with the #svcc hashtag. All tweets with this hashtag or tweets directed @sv_code_camp or tweets that contain the phrase "Silicon Valley Code Camp" can be viewed in this special twitter search result for camp. The Hackathon4Kids is a new thing we are trying this year on Sunday afternoon. Bess Ho from Silicon Valley Web Builderorganized this with the help of several Google employees. It is important that any kids and their parents that would like to participate fill out this separate Eventbrite registration form. For any adults planning to attend camp, please complete the free camp registration ASAP to help us with our food planning efforts for the weekend. It is not too late for companies to become a camp sponsor or a raffle prize provider. Finally, be sure to stick around for the BBQ on Saturday evening. That should be the largest gathering during the weekend and it is also when we will be giving away the raffle prizes. That's All Folks!  
Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource, gave a free talk to the Silicon Valley Web Developer JUG at the Googleplex in Mountain View on August 18, 2008. It was a standing room only event with more than 200 local Java developers in attendance. If you missed it, the entire talk was recorded by Google and the video is now available on YouTube. The slides are a bit blurry on the video, but, Rod was kind enough to give us a copy of his slides too. In September, Mark Hansen is visiting the SV-WEB-JUG to give a talk on RESTful Web Services. If you would like to attend Mark's talk, please register in advance for this free event. This could be another standing room only event and this time Google has asked us to cut off registration at a maximum of 200 people. By the way, the SV-WEB-JUG has a calendar of upcoming events, an RSS Feed of meeting announcements, and a low volume announcement-only mailing list (also with an RSS Feed). These are all hosted on the project for the JUG. Unless you need or want separate web hosting for your JUG site, I highly recommend the JUG project support on the site. Check it out!  
Sentilla Labs, a recently launched community website, offers developers a step-by-step guided tour through the project development process, allowing visitors to download code and illustrations and rapidly bring projects to life. Some projects at Sentilla Labs can be created with fewer than 100 lines of code. In addition, developers can upload and display their own projects with confidence because they retain all rights to their code. I had hoped to include a review of my own experience programming with a Sentilla Perkkit, but, my kit has yet to arrive. Sentilla won a Duke award at this year's JavaOne. For folks who haven't seen these little devices that run on Java Technology, check out this video of several industry luminaries talking about the concept of pervasive computing and how Sentilla is innovating in this field. There is also a nice technical article from JavaOne 2008 about the architecture of the Sentilla motes. Those familiar with Sun Labs' Sun SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) technology may be curious about comparisons with Sentilla's products. One big difference is that, relative to Sun SPOTs, Sentilla's technology runs on extremely resource-constrained computers that use very little power. Also, there is a significant price difference between the two with Perk kits going for $199 and the list price for Sun SPOT kits at $750. At present, there are only a small number of projects on this new community resource site. However, I anticipate this situation will change quickly now that the site is open to the public. Check it out!  
In addition to the JUG that we run, Kevin Nilson and I also run the Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group (SV-GTUG). Sometimes, we have joint meetings like this one where the topic intersects Java Development and Google Technology. Kevin Bourrillion gave this talk at a recent SV-GTUG meeting. The talk is available for viewing on YouTube in two parts: Part 1: 2: note: The slides within the video are easier to read when you choose the high resolution video option. However, you can also download a crystal clear version of the slides in PDF format from the Google Collections Library project's downloads section. After a nice introduction by Josh Bloch, Kevin Bourrillion dived into his talk. I won't rehash it blow by blow here, but, Kevin made two important points at the beginning that I will reiterate. First, Jared Levy and Kevin are the two primary authors of this library at Google. However, many Googlers have made contributions to the library and Josh Bloch in particular has provided them with a lot of guidance in their efforts. Second, this library is not intended as a replacement for the JDK collection classes. Rather, they complement and extend the core JDK collection classes. Kevin strongly urged anyone that was not already intimately familiar with the JDK collection classes to spend some time with them before attempting to take advantage of the additional functionality in the Google Collections Library. Thanks to Paul Masquelier, we also have this public Picasa web album to share with pictures from the meeting.  That's All Folks!  
CodeCamp at FootHill College. Click Here for Details and Registration For the third year running, the Silicon Valley Code Camp will be held at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. This will be my second year organizing the Java Speaker Track at Code Camp with the help of Kevin Nilson. This year, I am also organizing a Lightning Talksession for each day of the conference. If you plan on attending, please registerearly so that we can get a good indication of the interest in code camp for this year. Registration is free and anyone that is registered can submit a technical session. We encourage people that have never presented before to give it a try. There are plans to have a speaker training prior to Code Camp this year for new presenters. Stay tuned for more news on that front.  

Community Wonderland Blog

Posted by van_riper Jun 11, 2008
After seeing the latest updates on Project Wonderland during JavaOne combined with the great memories of hanging out recently at the Community Corner in the Pavilion, I keep thinking about a year round virtual Community Corner implemented using Project Wonderland software on Sun hardware. A place where Java User Group (JUG) Leaders, Sun Java Champions and others from the Java developer community can gather virtually anytime. The funny thing is that the Sun JUGs Program has hardware available that we could use just for this purpose. Kevin Nilson, my Silicon Valley Web JUG Co-Leader, and I have even offered to take the initiative on setting up the Project Wonderland software on this machine. However, the issue at this point is paying for the hosting and making sure that the machine is accessible to those of us that want to help that are not Sun employees. It would cost $$$ to host this on the site and budgets at Sun are tight right now. Even if hosting it on an internal Sun network could be done in such a way that we could still have access, it would require $$$ from somewhere for the IT support costs to install and maintain that system on Sun's internal networks. =( Rather than waiting for a better time in the fiscal year for Sun, there must be some company out there that would like to provide the rack space and IT support for this initiative*now*. If so, please contact me to get the ball rolling. My contact information is on the home page for the Silicon Valley Web JUG.  
Helping a high school student get a Sun SPOT from Sun for his school computer club has to be number one. The Java Champions BOF was pretty interesting. I wonder how many people know you don't have to be a Java Champion to attend this BOF. Bob Brewin, the Sun CTO, was taking questions from the Java Champions for the first half of this session. I was also fortunate to receive an invite to attend the NLJUG meeting with James Gosling at noon. On the party front, The Eclipse party at the Thirsty Bear was my favorite. However, I only attended 3 of the many parties going on that night. =) If you are a developer working on the part of the system that end users interact with, I highly recommend the talk by Ben Galbraith on creating a compelling user experience (TS-6929). I did a fair amount of interaction design work earlier in my career. I found his content spot on with respect to educating user interface developers on what they should learn themselves and what aspects really benefit from the input of a user experience specialist. I stumbled onto an interesting company, Pervasive Software, simply because they had a novel pen that clips easily to your badge holder and I had lost my pen. In return for the pen, I spent some time at their small booth and was impressed with what I saw. Without writing any special code, they have a solution (Pervasive DataRush) that will transparently take full advantage of multi-core processors for computation intensive tasks. It was pretty cool. There is much more to write about, but, I will have to update this entry later. It is time to start drinking from the JavaOne fire hose for yet another day.