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Last week, one of the many vendors I routinely speak to informed me that their firm had identified me, as Managing Editor of Java Developer's Journal, as a major influence in the Java field today. Suffice it to say, I was surprised. Although JDJ is the premiere technical journal in the field, identifying one of its editors as a major influence in the marketplace might be going a little too far. In fact, I felt they were overstating my sphere of influence by just a bit. However, that doesn't mean that my position has no say in how the Java world is viewed.

Yes, I decide what articles go in each month. And yes, I get major players from Java-related companies to write editorials or offer new views on what is going on in the Java world, but I don't tell them what to write - unless their proposed topic has been covered extensively already or makes no sense. So far, that's never happened.

However, I do think that there are companies in the Java arena who are a major influence on what is happening but may not be active enough in supporting other ideas which may enhance their own simply because they come from different firms. Or, how about paying a little more attention to the third-party publications - of which I freely admit JDJ is one - who are working to keep the discussion going about all aspects of Java and not just those supported by the very large corporations.

Exposing the marketplace to a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints cannot do it any harm. Limiting the marketplace to only a few players, however, can only hurt everyone. Java is so new and has grown so fast that no one company can determine what will happen to it. Its very newness mandates that all original ideas for how to support it be examined. And some of these ideas, as well as tools, are so new and coming so fast that even the decision about Java being an open standard has to be considered within that quickly-changing environment.

Now, am I a major influence in the Java community? Only to the extent that my decisions on what articles will run in the Journal reflect the interests of the developers who want to get their ideas, their research and their solutions to problems with such a new language out to our readers. Is JDJ an influence in the Java community because of what we choose to print? Probably - and we should be.

I was recently approached with an article proposal from a writer who I would normally consider as being from the "competition." I asked him why he was submitting what looked like excellent and well-written material to JDJ and was very interested in his answer. His article came from a very technical viewpoint. His own publication - which also covers Java - doesn't do material like that and had no objection to him offering the article to us. Therefore, he can look at Java from two very different points of view: the fun side, which he sees all the time at work; and the technical side, the part which he looks forward to reading in Java Developer's Journal.

Here at JDJ we are dedicated to bringing our readers the latest information on the cutting edge of Java programming and technology. Because Java has mushroomed since its inception, new ideas and new solutions arrive daily from all of the developers in the marketplace. If you have an idea for an article on any Java-related topic that you find interesting and know others will too, please don't hesitate to contact us.

About The Author
Gail S. Schultz is Managing Editor of Java Developer's Journal. She can be reached at 70400,[email protected] or on the Internet at [email protected].


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