Tag Archives: JUG

Rod Johnson/Spring at the Central Ohio Java User Group on January 24

Our friends in Columbus, OH will host Rod Johnson on Thursday, January 24, from 6-8 pm. Rod is the creator of Spring and a hero to many in the J2EE community for giving them an alternative to EJBs.  Rod will discuss new features in Spring 2.5.  If you're ANYWHERE near Columbus, I think it's worth stopping by.  I'm disappointed that I won't be able to make it!  I would definitely venture deep into Buckeye territory for that talk.

Ann Arbor Java User Group meeting tonight: format change

Time, Location, and FOOD has changed (and added to program)

The original plan was to start the meeting around 7:00 and have pizza and then Rags Srinivas (Java evangelist from Sun) would start talking about JavaFX Script and plans for the new consumer friendly JRE.   Both topics are of great interest to me, so I have been looking forward to this JUG meeting.

Ah, but then some MORE changes were made. 

  • Instead of PIZZA, there will be a PASTA BAR.  So come earlier, around 6:30 instead of 7 (presentation will start around 7:15).
  • The location changed to ML101, and the room will be open by around 6:15.
  • AFTER the presentation, Rags will hang around for Q&A "Ask the Java Evangelist" session.

Please spread the word.  I hope that this is a great meeting and well attended in spite of the late notice.  I'm looking forward to it. 

See you there!

Eclipse for SWT Development

Review/notes from May 1 meeting

On Tuesday, May 1, Carlus Henry from the Grand Rapids Java User Group, presented "Eclipse for SWT Development" at the Ann Arbor Java User Group.  He declared himself an Eclipse Enthusiast.  He drew a distinction between an evangelist and an enthusiast and declared that evangelists get paid for their admiration and enthusiasm!

In any case, he was definitely enthusiastic about both SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) and Eclipse.  Since I use Eclipse, but all of my GUI building has been in Swing, so I was really interested to hear more about SWT.

SWT is pretty famous for its ability to maintain the native look and feel, and performance, by harnessing the JNI (Java Native Interface).  I recently met Josh Marinacci, of the Swing team, and I've seen what really cool things can be developed with Swing, so I definitely think that Sun is not sitting on their hands in this regard.  Over at SwingLabs, there's some very cool stuff to look at, including the Nimbus Look and Feel. 

SWT is used for Eclipse plugins and RCP (Rich Client Platform, for which SWT is the widget toolkit).  Eclipse itself is written using RCP.  One disadvantage of SWT over Eclipse is in terms of Resource Management.  Native calls mean that managing resources become the programmer's responsibility, specifically.  The parent-child relationship (tree structure of widgets) does make this easy, but you have to know to manage it.

From Carlus' demo, I didn't feel that the layout was any less cumbersome in SWT than in Swing, just different, and so an additional learning curve is required on top of Swing layout management, if you already understand that.

I didn't leave the meeting hot to try SWT any time soon.  Honestly, with what I've seen Josh and SwingLabs doing, I'm really pleased with the new things that you can accomplish in Swing, and I'm looking forward to seeing the screencast from his "just 1 line of new code" at JavaOne this week.

It took me a while to get this review out, and in the meantime, IBM pulled its support for the Visual Editor in Eclipse (GUI builder for SWT applications).  I'm left wondering what that means, especially considering Matisse is such a full featured editor for Swing development (see *** Wall (of the Java Posse)'s article on using Matisse)

I really enjoy meeting Carlus.  He's an excellent speaker and I look forward to hearing him speak again sometime soon.  He's also heavily involved in the software community in Grand Rapids and he and I have promised to share resources to do what we can to promote software development, share JUG speakers, etc. in Michigan.  And I sure hope that Carlus sends an abstract for CodeMash 2008!



SWT Visual Editor: Dead?

Swing Labs

NetBeans 5.5

NetBeans Milestones downloads

Will it be SWT or Google Analytics on Tuesday? Or Both?

Tuesday, May 1 Ann Arbor Technical Meetings

It's the first week of the month, and so the Ann Arbor area is hopping with user group meetings.   I already mentioned the AACS meeting (Ruby on Rails), but there are also meetings on Eclipse for SWT Development and Google Analytics at the ITZone.  The Python User Group meeting, which would typically take place on Thursday May 3, is postponed until May 16, for a special event with Stephan Diehl (who will talk about stackless python and pypy).

So here are the meeting announcements for each of the Tuesday night talks.  I guess if you're resourceful, you could attend both, since the Google analytics talk goes until 7 and the Eclipse talk doesn't start until after the open networking at 7 (so probably 7:30)!


At the AAJUG meeting, Carlus Henry speaks on:

Eclipse for SWT Development

Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM EDT

Open Networking starts at 7 PM.

Meeting Location:
Washtenaw Community College, WCC BE158



I. Introductions
    A. Who am I?
    B. Who are you?
II. Presentation Goals
III. What is SWT
    A. Setting up Eclipse for SWT Development
    B. SWT Demo
VI. What is JFace
    A. JFace Demo
VIII. Eclipse RCP
    A. Case Studies
    B. Demo


At the ITZone, Jeff Gillis introduces and demos Google Analytics, a free web site analytics solution from Google used by web site owners and marketers to better understand their users' experiences, optimize content and track marketing performance. Google Analytics also shows advertisers' data about their AdWords ROI so that they can purchase more appropriate keywords and track Ad Group performance.
Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2007.
Networking starts at 5.
Program 5:30-7.
Costs: Members are free, Nonmembers are $25, and students are $5.
Jeff Gillis – Associate Manager, Google Analytics
Jeff has been with Google for more than three years, working on AdWords operations, and since Google acquired and renamed Urchin, with the Google Analytics team. He focuses on marketing and operations for the service, and is a regular contributor to the official Google Analytics blog (http:// analytics.blogspot.com ). Before joining Google, Jeff was a technical solutions specialist for ParentWatch.com in New York City. He graduated with a BA in Literature from Stanford University.

It’s a busy week in Ann Arbor!

I’m still trying to finish up my blog from my visit to Microsoft last week (and from the Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing over the weekend), but I wanted to make sure that I mentioned the busy week that we’re having in Ann Arbor this week.

James Ward, Flex evangelist from Adobe, is coming in from Oklahoma City to present Flex both Tuesday night at the Ann Arbor Java User Group (www.aajug.org), at 7:00 (note the earlier time!), and on Wednesday night at the Ann Arbor Computer Society (www.computersociety.org) at 6:00 pm. While James has sent me the same abstract for both nights, he’s said that the Tuesday night event will be more Java-focused and the Wednesday night event will be more about the technology. There’s not much overlap in attendance at the groups but since I’m planning to attend both nights, it will be great to hear something different the second night.

Here’s the abstract:

Sexy Web Apps with Java, Mozilla Tamarin, and Flex

In this session James Ward will do live demonstrations and write code to show how easy it is to build sexy web apps with Java, Mozilla Tamarin, and Flex. The session will cover the programming model, Java Remoting, Pub/Sub messaging & JMS integration, Data Synchronization, Hibernate integration, charting, cinematic experiences, and media integration.

I’ve seen James demo some incredible stuff with Flex. He built a TurboGears widget with Flex at CodeMash. He demo’ed a nice bookshelf photo application there as well (using photos from CodeMash!). And, he showed a demo at the Java Posse Roundup that used transparent pages from an old medical textbook … wow! To be able see the transparent pages turn, and to be able to see through them to the previous page is REALLY cool, and really does give you a flavor for the compelling interfaces that can be built with modern technologies.

We’re really making the best of James’ time while he’s here. In addition to the evening events, Adobe, Microsoft, and SRT Solutions are presenting, “UI Smackdown 2007: Using GWT, Flex, and WPF”. This is a one-day workshop to learn more about all of these toolkits in an open spaces type of environment. We’re going to start off by presenting a quick overview of each, and then the participants will be breaking out into groups of their choosing to work with the various toolkits. The $90 registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch. There are still a few slots available, so if you still want to sign up, do so right away so that we can make sure that we order enough food!

Practice of Java in Atlanta: An Open Spaces Event

My friend and fellow Open Spaces advocate, Barry Hawkins, is helping to organize an Open Spaces event for Java in Atlanta. Barry has been at several of the Open Spaces events that I’ve attended, including the most recent Java Posse Roundup. Barry and I met at an Open Spaces event facilitated and hosted by Bruce Eckel, and have been repeat offenders ever since. Bruce has set the bar really high, providing amazing learning and community building opportunities. I know that Barry will do an extraordinary job with this event as well. If you’re in the area (or feel like going there), definitely check it out. It’s your event to make what you want it to be.

In April, the Atlanta Java User Group will hold "The Practice of Java in Atlanta", the first Open Space meeting for the Java programming language in the Atlanta area. This is a meeting for passionate Java practitioners to discuss the state and direction of Java development in the Atlanta area.

What: The Practice of Java in Atlanta

When: Thursday, April 19, 2007 – Friday, April 20, 2007

Where: Holiday Inn Select (where AJUG regularly meets)

Who: The first 200 registrants

Why: See below

What is Open Space Technology?

Open Space meetings allow a group of persons passionate about a topic or issue to organize their own agenda in a way that is efficient and effective, yielding exceptional results. The following excerpt from the Open Space World wiki briefly describes Open Space Technology:

"Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. Over the last 20+ years, it has also become clear that opening space, as an intentional leadership practice, can create inspired organizations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results with regularity.

In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create?

With groups of 5 to 2000+ people — working in one-day workshops, three-day conferences, or the regular weekly staff meeting – the common result is a powerful, effective connecting and strengthening of what's already happening in the organization: planning and action, learning and doing, passion and responsibility, participation and performance." [0]

Why Open Space?

Open Space meetings have been around for 20+ years, and have begun to make their way into technology circles. In the past year, Bruce Eckel's Programming the New Web [1], Dynamic Web Frameworks Jam, and the Java Posse Roundup 2007 [2] have been a few of the Open Space meetings that have people talking. Members of our AJUG community have attended these meetings, and the consensus has been that these are among the most engaging, beneficial gatherings in which they have taken part.

Our Theme – The Practice of Java in Atlanta

The Java presence in Atlanta is a significant one, and AJUG makes that evident. Our monthly meetings and mailing list include Java champions, authors, committers on key Java projects, and seasoned Java veterans with deep experience and insight. Our desire is to hold a meeting about what we are doing and should be doing with Java. What's working? What is not working? These are the conversations we wish to have, passionate discussions about where things are going. We hope you'll join us.

[0] – http://www.openspaceworld.org/cgi/wiki.cgi?AboutOpenSpace

[1] – http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=153596

[2] – http://mindview.net/Conferences/JavaPosseRoundup

Please direct questions to Barry Hawkins at barry@alltc.com