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JavaOne 2001 Wrap-up

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JUGs are Standing Up and Being Counted

What a difference a year makes. At the last JavaOne conference, the JCP Program Management Office (PMO) had waived the membership fee to more easily recruit Java User Groups (JUGs) into the JCP community. However, at that time, many JUGs weren?t sure why they should that step, even if it was free.

In the past year, a vision of the possibilities has begun to sharpen. The JUGs are starting to see how they can benefit and contribute in meaningful ways, and they are also learning how to help their own members participate and gain the career benefits of getting involved. By now, dozens of JUGs have joined the community and are beginning to make significant contributions to the work.

This change has not gone unnoticed by the JCP commuinity. Three JUGs -- SouJava, London Java Community (LJC), and Ohio JUG -- ran in the special EC election held May 2011, and all three have been involved in the JCP events at JavaOne. Moreover, they are figuring out how to support the JCP community in unique ways.

SouJava of Brazil has long been a vocal fan of and contributor to the JCP effort. However, with Oracle?s decision to offer the ratified seat on the SE/EE EC to SouJava, the JUG has been more visibly active than ever. They were highly involved in the Java SE 7 (JSR 336) launch event [[[]]], nominated for the JCP Member of the Year program award ?for tirelessly promoting the JCP, JSRs, openness, transparency and our community at large,? and Bruno Souza represented the group by serving in numerous JCP sessions at JavaOne 2011.

The LJC JUG is newer to the JCP community, but has jumped in with both feet since the special election. LJC was also nominated for the JCP Member of the Year program award ?for their efforts to involve the developer community in the activities of the JCP.? Alternate representative Martijn Verburg also helped with various JCP sessions at JavaOne 2011. Wherever he went, he suggested ways JUG members could support the JCP program by adopting, promoting, blogging about, explaining, testing, and working on Reference Implementations (Ris) and Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs) for specific JSRs and Spec Leads.

It?s still early days for JUG involvement, and the fruit of the recruiting effort may be even more evident as time passes. It?s likely that next year we?ll say again, ?What a difference a year makes.?