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Many readers ask how we do it and what it takes to bring each issue of JDJ together every month.

I am fortunate to be part of a great team at JDJ. We hang out regularly in an IRC chat room, exchanging ideas and thoughts, and helping each other. Most of the magazine is constructed and planned from this "infamous" chat room; while we are strewn all over the globe, each of us in separate time zones, in our heads we're all sitting around the same "virtual" table. When a story breaks, we're available to react immediately. It's a different sense of community than you get from e-mail - a lot more personal and not as cold.

Our respective employers are getting the benefit of a global support team should any of us get stuck with a problem. It's a beautiful thing and if you're part of a small engineering team, you should get into a chat room and open up your horizons and exchange ideas.

We all follow different areas of the Java spectrum and if there's something that has caught our attention, we share it and dissect it. We read and comment on many blogs and forums, and it's a great honor for us that one of the more famed bloggers, Hani Suleiman, has written this month's Viewpoint. I urge you to read Hani's editorial and then check out his blog site, which is a little more animated. He treads where others dare not.

While I'm on the subject of must-reads in this issue, check out Jason Bell's editorial, "A Modern-Day Cinderella," where he shines the spotlight on the core Java edition: J2SE. I couldn't agree more with Jason, and at this year's JavaOne, Sun hinted at a better branding of the editions.

The Java landscape is changing and we're preparing JDJ to change with it. We're in the process of breathing life into a couple of new sections and are branding another. We're looking to broaden the readership and not exclude those who are new to Java from learning something different each month, irrespective of their Java expertise. We have found a great addition to the editorial team who is no stranger to these pages - Joe Winchester, from IBM, will be our desktop editor and together we're feverishly carving out this new section.

The JDJ Advisory Board is very active and to reflect these changes we are proud to announce an addition to the family: Thorsten Laux, desktop strategist from Sun. He'll be making sure we're heading in the right direction.

JDJ has gone through many changes and people in its time, a reflection of the evolution of the Java language. If you ever wonder how far we've come, dig out your old JDJs and read some of the articles from six years ago. It's amusing to read some of the dreams and aspirations we, as a community, had. For example, notice the discussions around applets and all the things we could do with them. But did we? No. We let Macromedia slip in and grab the limelight from right under us with Flash.

Naturally you wonder what we'll be kicking ourselves for in six years. Will we have let Microsoft creep in and steal our thunder with C#? Will Java have fragmented in much the same way C did, with different versions?

I think we've learned our lesson with the whole applet-Flash incident. We've done a sterling job of dominating the enterprise space and continue to thwart the attempts of Microsoft to gain a foothold.

But we can't be complacent as the fight is never over. Competing technologies just make us strive harder as we aim to provide the best possible solutions to existing and emerging problems.

About The Author
Alan Williamson, when not answering your e-mails and working on the next issue of JDJ, 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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