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If you ever questioned the usefulness or power of blogs, let me remove any remaining doubt you may have with this story. I have my own blog, http://alan.blog-city.com, and I use it primarily as a public scratchboard, noting thoughts and various observations regarding our industry through the eyes of a Java developer. What I find great about the blog is that it enables others to chip in with their thoughts and ideas. You'll discover that all of us at JDJ have blogs you can follow.

Now, I thought we had long passed the stage of always defending Java from the old legacy arguments we were throwing around some five years ago. I was under the impression we had moved on from there and were engaged in more meaningful debates. I was proved wrong this month. The first item that came up on my radar was a press release from a company announcing their joy that they had removed Java from their B2B Web site and how the efficiency and speed of their site was suddenly catapulted forward. This demanded closer inspection. Thank goodness I did; they were talking about JavaScript, not Java!!! Letting out a yelp, I quickly blogged my comments, e-mailed the originator of the press release, and within 30 minutes we had a retraction and an apology for the confusion. My fear was the countless "drones" who would have picked up on this, not read it properly, and used it as fodder for assuming that Java was down and out.

Okay..."calm down, Alan"...I thought to myself, innocent enough mistake, easily made in the excitement of constructing a press release! Rational and technical people wouldn't make this mistake, would they? Well, I was about to be proved wrong again, but this time from a source I didn't expect. While at my sister's I was browsing through the well-known title Computer Shopper, (UK edition). This title is seen everywhere, and manages to creep onto the majority of IT managers' desks due to its large supplier advertising. The editorial in this title has gotten meatier over the years, but you wouldn't particularly buy the magazine because of it.

There was a piece written by Mike James (a well-established Computer Shopper writer) regarding Java development. Sadly, the information he was basing all his facts on was at least five years out of date. Such classic hollers as "because it's interpreted it has a tendency to be slow"! Excuse me? It didn't get any better, with major errors regarding the pricing of Java, performance, and his general feel for the language. Remember the piece was not written as an editorial; it was meant to be an informative piece, full of startling facts, not personal opinions. The problem isn't so much that Mike James hasn't a clue what he is talking about when it comes to Java, but the fact that many people in middle management will read this and believe it - thus continues the cycle of stuff and legend.

The question is: What can we do? Many leading Java dignitaries have suggested that we need to form a marketing coalition that will present a clear and united front. I didn't think much of it, believing the language to be strong enough to stand on its merit, but maybe we need to address this. Here at JDJ we'll be doing our bit. We're establishing a working group of Java movers and shakers, under the guidance of our newly appointed chairman Joseph Ottinger. Their task: to tackle head-on the issues facing Java in the forthcoming year.

Joseph is a strong personality and should keep things in order; I'm looking forward to working with him on this. We'll report how things are going next month.

Until then, enjoy our Linux focus issue and please check our Calvin's really enlightening article on Linux/Java threads.

Author Bio
When not answering your e-mails and working on the next issue of JDJ, Alan heads up a small team dubbed the "Thunderbirds of the Java industry," providing on- and offsite rescue for Java projects in trouble. For more information visit www.javaSOS.com. You can also read his blog: http://alan.blog-city.com. [email protected]

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