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Thread: DevX does seem one sideded

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  1. #1
    Rob Abbe Guest

    DevX does seem one sideded


    It may be no fault of their own though since they clearly have a vast number
    of Microsoft people on hand and dare I say it 0 Java people?

    Where are the Java section leaders now? There was a guy by the name of Brad,
    but he dropped of the planet. Phil makes his presence known here as a section
    leader he seems to love and favor .Net. Where is the Java representation?

    To their credit, the Devx people do provide some nice Java articles but they
    have a long way to go. Maybe DevX should consider becoming Microsoft exclusive,
    since this is what they know best?

    Some of what I feel is missing, is that Java is much broader than just Sun
    and the JDK. There are many companies out there that provide Java and J2EE
    offerings. I would like to see features on some of these tools as well.
    Dealing with Web Logic issues, using non Sun JVMs, Great Java IDEs and so
    forth.

    The surface Java world has not really even been scratched by DevX. Java
    coverage has been too vanilla in terms of the JDK and basic J2EE specs.

    Like it or not, some people out there that opted not to continue on the Microsoft
    road after .Net came about. If DevX would like to retain these people as
    readers and attract more advertiser revenue, they should provide "deeper"
    java content.

    Rob Abbe

    "mxc" <mxc@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I agree. My perception is that DevX is not so hot on technologies other

    than
    >MS's. This is a perception of mine which is created by experience of using
    >the site. For example it used to take ages for there to be updates to the
    >java section but there was always new stuff on the MS side of things.
    >
    >Of course you can produce statistics to prove me wrong but all I am saying
    >that this is a perception I have and I think it is shared by many others.
    >
    >
    >"Randy" <blah@blah.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>Does anyone else think that DevX and Fawcette clearly favor Microsoft technologies
    >>in favor of alternatives?
    >>
    >>The latest poll asked "As a Java developer, which feature of the .NET IDE
    >>do you most covet?" DevX should really look at some of the MANY IDEs available
    >>to Java developers and see that most of the features of VS.Net are already
    >>available.
    >>
    >>I also remember getting some VS.Net beta disks with my Java Pro subscription.
    >>Back then I think DevX was still a part of Fawcette were. No more Java

    Pro
    >>for me!
    >>
    >>DevX should just change it's tune and become a site for M$ only technology
    >>since that is what pays their bills.
    >>

    >



  2. #2
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    > Phil makes his presence known here as a section
    > leader; he seems to love and favor .NET.


    Rob: Just to clarify: I do favor .NET, because it's what I know. I've been a
    BASIC programmer since the late 1970s; MS has enhanced BASIC over the years,
    allowing me to do my job without having to abandon my favorite language
    (I've also used C, assembler and JavaScript, when necessary, but deep down
    I'll always be a VB guy).

    I have nothing against Java (now that I've learned .NET, I expect I'll find
    it much easier to learn Java, when I finally get around to it), I've just
    not had occasion to use it yet.

    That said, I am neither a Section Leader nor an employee of DevX (I have
    been both, but not for a couple of years now), so you should not hold my
    personal preferences against DevX.
    --
    Phil Weber



  3. #3
    Lori Piquet Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    Rob,

    I appreciate this feedback. Here's my thoughts:

    Acquiring an audience is a long-term endeavor, and we've made headway. A
    couple of years ago DevX wasn't on even on the map as a Java developer site
    and though we still have a long way to go we're gratified to find our Java
    audience grow, even if it's not as quickly as we'd like. The key here, as I
    see it, is perseverance. To throw in the towel simply because we haven't
    reached the level of acceptance in the Java community that other sites enjoy
    would be defeatist.

    Not to quibble but I think I'm obliged to say here that it's not quite
    correct that we have 0 Java people. Brad, unfortunately, had to give up his
    post (after only a month <sigh>) owing to the fact that he found himself
    overcommitted. (I should point out here that at the time that he resigned he
    actually suggested that I should contact you personally to see if you would
    be interested in taking over. A task which I've neglected so this is
    actually a serendipitous exchange.) We have many experienced authors who
    contribute their expertise to editorial planning, though admittedly, few of
    them participate in the groups. Maybe that's something I can work on. But
    the idea here is that I don't think it's quite right to judge our commitment
    to Java based solely on the number of posts in the Java groups. I will agree
    that it's an indicator of an imbalance in the popularity of the groups
    themselves, but that doesn't mean that our Java content is not read or that
    we don't give the Java platform care and attention or that we don't care
    about acquiring a larger Java audience.

    IMO, part of the problem for us in reaching more Java developers is that
    some Java developers prefer a site that is homogeneous in approach. They
    like the idea of going to a site where everything and everybody is working
    in Java. Now that is admittedly a gross generalization, but if it's even a
    little bit true, we just have to try that much harder to produce content
    that Java developers want and need.

    And that, really, is where people like you come in. You've given me some
    things to think about in your note below. If you'd be interested in a
    private dialog with me, maybe we can work up some story ideas that we (DevX)
    can execute on over time. If you're interested in participating in the
    solution (by contributing content), even better. Probably the one thing we
    really need, as it regards Java, are readers who'll tell us when we're
    hitting the mark and when we aren't.

    Lori Piquet
    Editor-in-chief
    DevX


    "Rob Abbe" <rabbe@mn.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:3e1c9f79$1@tnews.web.devx.com...
    >
    > It may be no fault of their own though since they clearly have a vast

    number
    > of Microsoft people on hand and dare I say it 0 Java people?
    >
    > Where are the Java section leaders now? There was a guy by the name of

    Brad,
    > but he dropped of the planet. Phil makes his presence known here as a

    section
    > leader he seems to love and favor .Net. Where is the Java representation?
    >
    > To their credit, the Devx people do provide some nice Java articles but

    they
    > have a long way to go. Maybe DevX should consider becoming Microsoft

    exclusive,
    > since this is what they know best?
    >
    > Some of what I feel is missing, is that Java is much broader than just Sun
    > and the JDK. There are many companies out there that provide Java and

    J2EE
    > offerings. I would like to see features on some of these tools as well.
    > Dealing with Web Logic issues, using non Sun JVMs, Great Java IDEs and so
    > forth.
    >
    > The surface Java world has not really even been scratched by DevX. Java
    > coverage has been too vanilla in terms of the JDK and basic J2EE specs.
    >
    > Like it or not, some people out there that opted not to continue on the

    Microsoft
    > road after .Net came about. If DevX would like to retain these people as
    > readers and attract more advertiser revenue, they should provide "deeper"
    > java content.
    >
    > Rob Abbe
    >
    > "mxc" <mxc@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > >
    > >I agree. My perception is that DevX is not so hot on technologies other

    > than
    > >MS's. This is a perception of mine which is created by experience of

    using
    > >the site. For example it used to take ages for there to be updates to the
    > >java section but there was always new stuff on the MS side of things.
    > >
    > >Of course you can produce statistics to prove me wrong but all I am

    saying
    > >that this is a perception I have and I think it is shared by many others.
    > >
    > >
    > >"Randy" <blah@blah.com> wrote:
    > >>
    > >>Does anyone else think that DevX and Fawcette clearly favor Microsoft

    technologies
    > >>in favor of alternatives?
    > >>
    > >>The latest poll asked "As a Java developer, which feature of the .NET

    IDE
    > >>do you most covet?" DevX should really look at some of the MANY IDEs

    available
    > >>to Java developers and see that most of the features of VS.Net are

    already
    > >>available.
    > >>
    > >>I also remember getting some VS.Net beta disks with my Java Pro

    subscription.
    > >>Back then I think DevX was still a part of Fawcette were. No more Java

    > Pro
    > >>for me!
    > >>
    > >>DevX should just change it's tune and become a site for M$ only

    technology
    > >>since that is what pays their bills.
    > >>

    > >

    >




  4. #4
    Rob Abbe Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded


    Phil,

    I wasn't trying to single you out.

    Rob

    "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:
    >Rob: Just to clarify: I do favor .NET, because it's what I know. I've been

    a
    >BASIC programmer since the late 1970s; MS has enhanced BASIC over the years,
    >allowing me to do my job without having to abandon my favorite language
    >(I've also used C, assembler and JavaScript, when necessary, but deep down
    >I'll always be a VB guy).
    >
    >I have nothing against Java (now that I've learned .NET, I expect I'll find
    >it much easier to learn Java, when I finally get around to it), I've just
    >not had occasion to use it yet.
    >
    >That said, I am neither a Section Leader nor an employee of DevX (I have
    >been both, but not for a couple of years now), so you should not hold my
    >personal preferences against DevX.
    >--
    >Phil Weber
    >
    >



  5. #5
    Rob Abbe Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded


    Lori,

    I think part of what made DevX so popular with the Microsoft crowd was the
    runaway success of VBPJ. I still see a lot of the same old names in the
    VB news groups. It is clear that VBPJ helped nurture a sense of community
    that is noticeably absent on the DevX news groups for the Java people. It
    will no doubt take much longer to acquire the same base that you enjoy with
    your Microsoft following.

    For the VB people that need to learn or transition to Java for any reason,
    DevX is probably (and should be) one of the first places they will turn to
    for information and assistance. There is some good content available, but
    the newsgroup assistance is not there at all.

    Even though Brad was only on for a short time, he made a noticeable difference
    and is missed. I understand where he is coming from since I'm stretched
    pretty thin these days myself and therefore would probably be a poor choice
    to replace him. I thank him for his praise though. I will however be more
    than willing to make any practical contribution that I can to further the
    Java cause.

    I didn't mean to say that the lack of activity on the news groups was an
    indicator of readership of your articles. I don't think that can be determined
    from newsgroup activity alone.

    I'm more than willing to help and provide feedback. Feel free to contact
    me via email.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply,

    Rob Abbe



  6. #6
    Karl E. Peterson Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    Hi Rob --

    > I think part of what made DevX so popular with the Microsoft crowd
    > was the runaway success of VBPJ.


    Without question, VBPJ was _the_ reason DevX became popular. In fact, it was _the_
    reason DevX came into being. Of course, that's history, as both the journal and the
    language it covered are now dead.

    DevX probably has no hope other than to diversify, as Microsoft saw to it that the
    old VB community was shattered beyond all repair. I think they understand that, but
    it is hard escaping one's roots.

    Later... Karl
    --
    [Microsoft Basic: 1976-2001, RIP]



  7. #7
    Rob Abbe Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded


    Karl,

    Yeah, the whole .Net fiasco has been very damaging to the VB community.
    It could have been handled much better. I personally had been a critic of
    Java and the entire JIT and bytecode way of life until I got my first look
    at the CLR, C#, VB.Net and discovered I had no choice but to accept JIT compiled
    languages as the future of software development... at least for now.

    I'm not sure if you'll appreciate this or not, but I used the information
    on your site to motivate change within our organization. I gave your list
    of differences between VB and VB.Net to my boss on flight from San Francisco
    to Minneapolis. We discussed it for several hours and determined .Net was
    not the direction we were headed in the future.

    Rob

    "Karl E. Peterson" <karl@mvps.org> wrote:
    >
    >Without question, VBPJ was _the_ reason DevX became popular. In fact, it

    was _the_
    >reason DevX came into being. Of course, that's history, as both the journal

    and the
    >language it covered are now dead.
    >
    >DevX probably has no hope other than to diversify, as Microsoft saw to it

    that the
    >old VB community was shattered beyond all repair. I think they understand

    that, but
    >it is hard escaping one's roots.
    >
    >Later... Karl
    >--
    >[Microsoft Basic: 1976-2001, RIP]
    >
    >


  8. #8
    Karl E. Peterson Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    Hi Rob --

    > Yeah, the whole .Net fiasco has been very damaging to the VB
    > community. It could have been handled much better.


    Boy, ain't that the truth? :-(

    As a community, it was really something. Not as fuzzy as the Foxers or as freaky as
    the Delphites, but somehow just about right for (apparently) millions more. All that
    was just torn apart, almost overnight. It's now fragmented into so many little
    divisions, that I feel like there simply is no community anymore. I doubt there ever
    can be, either, not like it was. Not based on what Microsoft is offering.

    I was talking with another (former) section leader from the old VB groups just the
    other day, and our joint conclusion was: The fun is gone. VBPJ/BasicPro used to
    target *enthusiasts* -- folks who coded for fun, whether they were paid or not. Now,
    they target folks who *have* to code. Same deal with Microsoft. The fun is gone.

    > I personally had
    > been a critic of Java and the entire JIT and bytecode way of life
    > until I got my first look at the CLR, C#, VB.Net and discovered I had
    > no choice but to accept JIT compiled languages as the future of
    > software development... at least for now.


    Think there's a chance you didn't consider another viable option? Namely, using what
    works now? I think Microsoft achieved a state of "good enough" a few years ago.

    > I'm not sure if you'll appreciate this or not, but I used the
    > information on your site to motivate change within our organization.
    > I gave your list of differences between VB and VB.Net to my boss on
    > flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis. We discussed it for
    > several hours and determined .Net was not the direction we were
    > headed in the future.


    I actually appreciate that quite a bit, thanks! That page bought me no end of grief
    from you-know-who. But I always thought it highlighted just how far the Trust had
    been broken. They would *never* consider shipping a version of Word or Excel that
    couldn't read the last version's data. What they did to VB folks was simply
    appalling. It's one thing to treat your competitors like that, but to turn that sort
    of violence on your own customers is beyond words.

    Jeez, sorry 'bout all that. Guess you hit an old sore spot. <g>

    Thanks... Karl
    --
    [Microsoft Basic: 1976-2001, RIP]



  9. #9
    Rob Abbe Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded


    Karl,

    >Think there's a chance you didn't consider another viable option? >Namely,

    using what
    >works now? I think Microsoft achieved a state of "good enough" a few >years

    ago.

    VB6 is still used here and will be for some time, just not for new projects.
    There were many factors that played into the use of Java. Moving forward,
    we thought it would be difficult to attract and retain programming talent
    if we didn't make some sort of move. Plus the VB6 UI is really starting
    to show it's age, it's also becoming difficult to find new ActiveX controls
    and we expect support to drop off for what we do use now. Like I said many
    reasons, it was not a knee jerk reaction out of bitterness even though it
    may sound that way.

    Rob

  10. #10
    Eddie Burdak Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    Karl,

    Karl E. Peterson wrote:
    <snip>

    : They would
    :: *never* consider shipping a version of Word or Excel that couldn't
    :: read the last version's data.

    But isn't that precisely what happened with the first release of Word
    97 (pre Sp1). Didn't MS come out with a bunch of nonsese to justify it
    then speedily backtracked and issued SP1 to correct that deliberate
    oversight. I like to think they learn't there lessons on that one. I'm
    gobsmacked my Excel 4 macros are still running happily in Excel 2000!

    Now if only the VB team learnt from the office team.

    Ho hum....

    Eddie


  11. #11
    Larry Serflaten Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    "Karl E. Peterson" <karl@mvps.org> wrote
    >
    > I was talking with another (former) section leader from the old VB groups just the
    > other day, and our joint conclusion was: The fun is gone. VBPJ/BasicPro used to
    > target *enthusiasts* -- folks who coded for fun, whether they were paid or not. Now,
    > they target folks who *have* to code. Same deal with Microsoft. The fun is gone.


    Your quite right, and I don't get it either. The API used to animate that player and
    draw its map are the same API's used to animate or draw a usercontrol. Or, the
    mechanism for using RS232 to talk to one's own ham radio, or wireless robot, is
    the same mechanism in the methods that use RS232 to interface with production
    machines. But, in one instance, ideas abound, yet in the other, its the old mundane
    tedium.

    If mom wants her kids to eat spinach, should she plop a serving on their dinner
    plate and demand they eat it, or should she make a great tasting spinach dip and
    throw a hamburger party with plenty of chips?

    The community is still out there, they're just not as enthused as they once were.
    I can only wonder what part of that can be contributed to VBPJ folding, and
    the change you indicate (aside from MS's part)....

    LFS




  12. #12
    Robert Scoble Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    > The community is still out there, they're just not as enthused as they
    once were.
    > I can only wonder what part of that can be contributed to VBPJ folding,

    and
    > the change you indicate (aside from MS's part)....


    I think there are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of enthusiasm.

    1) IT isn't as hot as it used to be. Being part of an industry on its way up
    is a lot more fun than one on its way down. For the past two years there has
    been very little good news for the IT industry.

    2) .NET. Microsoft was late to the party (.NET was a reaction to Java) and
    Microsoft didn't have something really innovative. Visual Basic was a
    revolution. The first time we all saw it we said "wow, this is wild." How
    many people said "wow, this is wild" when they saw .NET for the first time?
    In fact, many people, like Karl, said "***?" instead.

    3) Fawcette's economic troubles (and business choices, ala splitting off
    DevX). It was easy to be an excited, motivated employee at FTP when things
    were going up, up, up. That translated into an engaged conversation with the
    industry. Right now...

    4) Microsoft's stature in the industry. I don't know a single person who
    loves Microsoft (well, I do know a few, but they all work at Microsoft, so
    they are a little biased). Not a single one. Not even people who've been
    long-term "friends" of Microsoft. I know a lot of people who pretend that
    they love Microsoft but are running Linux machines at home "just to help
    beat the evil empire." Of course, I live in Silicon Valley, so that affects
    some of my perception, but Microsoft clearly has the worst PR of any
    industry in the US today.

    5) The death of the farm system. During the 1990s, there was a good "farm
    system" of small companies. Today that system is totally dead due to the
    excesses of the VCs (and because Microsoft hasn't been looking outside
    itself to grow and has been investing internally for growth). Remember where
    Hotmail, PowerPoint, FrontPage, WebTV, etc, came from? That's right, small
    companies). Right now VCs are clueless as to what to invest in and Microsoft
    isn't taking up the slack. What's the most innovative thing that Microsoft
    announced at CES? Come on, a watch? <sigh>

    6) The growth of open source. Come on, if you're a geek, which do you
    prefer? A black box you can't see inside? Or a system where you can look at
    all the code and how it works? Oh, and you get it for free? Tinkerers don't
    have a lot of money. They prefer things that they can get for very little
    money. I grew up in Silicon Valley. I watched as kids literally built kit
    computers with components that big companies threw away. (And, of course, we
    stole all of our software -- two of the kids in my high-school computer club
    went onto work at Microsoft, funny enough). It's the kids who invent the
    future. Not the old folks (I'm already an old folk, by the way).

    7) The price of Microsoft stuff. Yeah, it's remained fairly constant, but as
    a percentage of a PC purchase, their prices are out of control. Where 10
    years ago VB probably cost 5% of a decent system, today it's closer to 30%.

    8) Alternatives. Hey, 10 years ago we didn't have PocketPCs. We didn't have
    wireless. We didn't have Tivo. We didn't have PS/2. We didn't have DVDs with
    NetFlix. We didn't have cell phones. We didn't have Web sites. We didn't
    have digital cameras and camcorders. There's a lot more that's interesting
    to a geek today than there was back then.

    9) Community feeding. Microsoft, three years ago, nearly killed its MVP
    program. That's turned around, but the group still hasn't gotten back to its
    evangelistic feel that it used to have in the mid 90s.

    10) The death of Microsoft's competitors. It was more fun when we wondered
    what Borland would do or what Novell wold do. Some of that fun is coming
    back now that we're watching Apple do some interesting things, but it really
    isn't enough. It's not a fair fight anymore and people have picked up on
    that. Some have even left the industry.

    I'm sure that there are other factors as well.

    I think the main thing is that Visual Studio just doesn't have the lead on
    the rest of the market that it once did. When VB 3.0 came out, there just
    wasn't anything like it. Now, there are a lot of alternatives, many of which
    are cheaper and more transparent and offer the opportunity for more future
    growth. Tell me, if you were a hot developer straight out of college and you
    had an idea for something that'd change the world (say, Napster or ICQ)
    would you use Visual Studio? I don't think so.

    Not to mention: The Visual Studio group started treating us like IBM used to
    treat Microsoft. And they are amazed that people still don't understand what
    ..NET is? Well, duh. If you want people to understand something they don't
    understand, you invite them over for a conversation. So far I'm still
    waiting for the conversation to start.

    Robert Scoble

    ###



  13. #13
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    > I don't know a single person who loves Microsoft...
    > Not a single one.


    Robert: Well, I can't say that I "love" any corporation, but I like
    Microsoft as much as I ever have. I think they make the best development
    tools. I own MSFT stock. I'd work for them, if they'd let me do it without
    relocating.

    So now you know at least one. ;-)
    --
    Phil Weber



  14. #14
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    > Not to mention: The Visual Studio group started treating us
    > like IBM used to treat Microsoft...If you want people to under-
    > stand something they don't understand, you invite them over
    > for a conversation. So far I'm still waiting for the conversation
    > to start.


    Robert: Who's "us?" MS has invited influential developers to Redmond, on
    multiple occasions, to have such a "conversation."
    --
    Phil Weber



  15. #15
    Robert Scoble Guest

    Re: DevX does seem one sideded

    > Robert: Who's "us?" MS has invited influential developers to Redmond, on
    > multiple occasions, to have such a "conversation."


    Exactly.

    But, .NET is a lot more than technologies for developers, no?

    Ahh, the confusion reigns: http://www.atnewyork.com/news/article.php/1568041

    So, is .NET just a runtime? Heh.

    Why not have an open discussion in public with all developers, not just your
    friends and the "A" team?

    Or, did you forget that I used to plan the world's largest Visual Studio
    conference and Microsoft wouldn't even tell me what was going on in .NET and
    I needed to plan a conference about it? (That doesn't excuse the sleazy way
    I responded, but the truth of the matter is that they weren't sharing info
    at all back in early 2000).

    Oh, and it seems to me that you guys only got invited up there after a bunch
    of bad press hit PCWeek and someone's *** got chewed out by Steve Ballmer.
    Why weren't you involved all along?

    Anyway,



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