2008 was a pretty eventful year for the Java community. A huge focus on JavaFX, the release of Java 6 Update 10 and the rise of OSGi are just some of the things that have happened over the last 12 months.
As a way of looking back at how the year has been on JavaLobby, we've collected the top 10 most read articles. It paints a clear picture about what is important to you, and gives us some hints as to what we should be covering in 2009. I've also added some honourable mentions at the end of the article.
Our most popular article of the year centered around an announcement made by John De Goes, president of N-BRAIN, who decided that they would make their UNA source code editor free. The opening quote of the article says it all:
The tools market is dead. Open source killed it. The only commercial tools that can survive today are the ones that leapfrog open source tools.
Open source and freely available software is dominating the software development marketplace. It's difficult to compete with a commercial IDE when "some developers would rather quit their job than be forced to use a new editor or IDE".
It's a sign of the times, and a pattern we saw repeated more than once. Just the month before Mark Dixon of Enerjy announced that the tools provided by Enerjy would also be made free. You can read our most read article of 2008 here.
At JavaLobby, we work hard to provide the best quality articles and tutorials into both popular and emerging frameworks. Max Katz, Senior Software Engineer at Exadel, gave this introduction to JBoss RichFaces, a rich component library for JSF. The tutorial includes detailed examples of how to get a RichFaces project setup in Eclipse and goes beyond the typical hello world.
After attending a presentation on this topic at JavaONE, Jakub Korab gave us a fantastic list of some of the Java tools that you might not have come across. There are some interesting tools in there, two in particular seem to have begun a steady rise to fame over the past few months: JodaTime, which should become part of the Java7 (JSR310) date and time API, and Jetty, the embedded, lightweight servlet container which I'm starting to find everywhere. It's an extensive tool list that's worth bookmarking - you never know when you might need one of these libraries.
Perhaps there are some of these tools that you would like to find out more about on JavaLobby next year. If so, please let us know.
Max Katz's second entry on the JL Top 10, this time covering how to use Exadel's Fiji product to allow the use of Flex components within your JSF page. Once again, Max provides a very detailed tutorial from start to finish to provide you with a solid approach to merging the two technologies together.
With innovative approaches like this being taken to provide us with even richer web UIs, JavaFX has a challenge to prove itself.
Lists always prove to be popular on JavaLobby. Ryan de LaPlante provided one of my favourite lists of the year. It shows that Java is far from dead and can do some pretty amazing things. People often forget things like Project Looking Glass and Sun Spot, which really showcase the Java language. And then there will be applications that you may not have heard of - such as JPC, as Java emulation of an x86 PC, ThinkFree, an alternative to Microsoft Office and UltraMixer, a nice DJ mixing tool. Again, this is an article to bookmark!
These articles are in the top 10 based on the number of reads. Perhaps you'd like to suggest an article that belongs in the top 10 for you - if so, leave a comment and let us know why.
I was delighted when Mike Keith and Doug Clarke at Oracle said they'd write up an article about JPA 2.0. It turned out that there was so much to write about that we got a Part 1 and Part 2! There's not many people as qualified as Mike to write this article, and he certainly gives us a great insight into JPA 2.0. Of course, EclipseLink will be providing the referfence implementation for this. You can find out more about EclipseLink over at EclipseZone.
Being a desktop developer, I don't get enough exposure to web technologies. So when I think servlet container I will instinctively go to Tomcat. This article highlights what's different between Tomcat and GlassFish. I feel more articles like this, that take the "accepted standard" and compares it with up and coming competitors, would be very welcome in the Java community. A lot of companies need to make decisions on whether it's worth moving to a new technology. Only feature comparisons can help make this an informed decision.
A great title for an article is on that makes you question your own assumptions. Rick's article does just that. I'm not sure if it is the best choice - I would tend to lean towards EclipseLink personally. There's a wealth of opinion in the comment section of this post, so if you have been asking yourself the same question, why not take a look.
Android probably deserved more coverage than it has got this year. It's a nice platform, and it has great potential for the future. Geetha Ganesan contributed this tutorial full of code examples and demos to get going with Android. With JavaFX mobile due out in Spring 2009, I'm looking forward to seeing what technology will be leading the way in the mobile market this time next year.
The Spring portfolio provides some of the most interesting projects in the Java environment at the moment. This article gives a good migration guide from ACEGI to Spring Security. Rod Johnson has been using the following line in his presentations regarding Spring Security - "Everytime you use ACEGI a fairy dies". In this article you'll get a good overview of Spring Security 2.0 and why it is superior to ACEGI.
Because of the nature of these statistics, there are some articles that we had towards the end of the year that could have made it onto the most read list, had they been published earlier. One such article is Rick Hightower's Dependency Injection - An Introductory Tutorial. It's a term that we throw around a lot, but this really gives a good understanding of the topic. Also, I think I'll throw in my article on Do You Really Need Java 7?, which started off quite a good comment thread on Java 7 and closures in particular.
That completes the top 10 most read articles of 2008. I'm interested to hear the articles that you would rate highly from the last year and why. That way we can continue to improve the quality of our articles on JavaLobby for 2009.