Geertjan's Blog

  • July 5, 2015

News from NetBeans Zone

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

I have been involved with DZone for many many many years. I, quite seriously,
go back a lot of many years with DZone. At the time, Rick Ross and Matt Schmidt were the driving force behind something called Javalobby. Later, Nitin Bharti was involved too, after which I interacted mostly with James Sugrue (who I still need to have a drink with in Ireland), and later still with Mitch Pronschinske. At the time, I was one of the editors on Javalobby.

Near the start of all that, I wrote general pieces of interest in the Java software world. For example, in November 2007, I wrote a pretty
influential article on Javalobby
entitled "What's So Groovy About Groovy?"
It helped developers understand Groovy, in contrast to
things-not-Groovy. I really enjoyed the interview format, especially
interviewing multiple people, about a very clear and simple topic, e.g.,
"What is the Google Collections Library?" and Interview: Porting Open Source Java to Leopard.
I liked the approach of getting to the core players in an issue and
asking the core questions of them. The articles I wrote and discussions I started are relevant to this day, such as How do you parse HTML in Java?  That's it, that's all, that's what I
wanted to do, write articles that focused on new and interesting things, right from the source, as well as gather information around an interesting theme.

Then at some point Javalobby became DZone. Fine. Instead of an editor, my role was that of moderator. There was a
dedicated subsite for NetBeans, i.e., NetBeans Zone. We, i.e., the
NetBeans community, posted about 3 or 4 brand new articles on NetBeans
Zone every week. We piped NetBeans Zone through the Welcome Screen of NetBeans and also through planetnetbeans.org. At some point, a lot of NetBeans articles were in the "Five Favorite NetBeans
Features" series, which were really helpful in getting people to understand the unique aspects of NetBeans. Quite a few of them were announcements about new
NetBeans Platform applications. Or there were announcements about
agendas for upcoming NetBeans Days. In short, there was a diverse range
of articles that all related to NetBeans, of course, always on NetBeans
Zone. Whenever there was a NetBeans Day somewhere in the world, we
talked about and promoted NetBeans Zone, etc. We, i.e., the NetBeans community, have been promoting DZone for several years now, including it in our slide decks at conferences, talking about how this is a key place where the NetBeans community shares its insights and tips and tricks and news with the world, etc.

Together with NetBeans Zone, there was also a dedicated
site for Eclipse and for JetBrains, i.e., for IntelliJ IDEA and related
JetBrains products. However, there's no point in providing links to them...
because none of these zones exist anymore. I discovered this by going tohttp://netbeans.dzone.com yesterday and finding that... it simply is no longer there.

Herewith is the correspondence with DZone that followed. It is so absurd that I shouldn't be alone in being aware of it. Also, I'm already getting e-mails from people who have articles published on NetBeans Zone, which no longer exist, and clearly whatever redirects have been set up are not working yet. Suffice to
say, I am going to do everything I can to move over to jaxenter.com. Coman
Hamilton, who runs jaxenter.com, indicated recently to me that if there were
to be enough new content on a regular basis about NetBeans on
jaxenter.com, that he'd set up a subsite dedicated to NetBeans. Since, over the years, we've been contributing 3 or 4 articles a week to DZone via NetBeans Zone, that's certainly enough content to make me think that this is the avenue we should take. Anyone that disagrees with me after
reading the correspondence below is more than welcome to say so! I
remain open to correction and admonishment. If there is anything in the
below where I have overstepped the mark or where I have said something
inappropriate, I am longing to hear about it.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 11 )
  • mark stephens Sunday, July 5, 2015

    The IDE zones was one of the things which made dzone a unique and interesting place to visit compared to all the other media sites out there. Now it just looks like a copy clone of https://www.voxxed.com/

  • guest Sunday, July 5, 2015

    Other than the separate domain name, what is the difference between what you had earlier, and the "topic specific portal pages" which they will shortly be replaced with ? Presumably not much. To me it looks like you're over reacting.

  • guest Sunday, July 5, 2015

    I thing the point GJ is making is perfectly valid. As a community site, where content is contributed by members, any change should be discussed with community, otherwise its not a community at all. DZone might have good intentions but they could have done that much better by communicating with key members, users and community rather than as a plain surprise.

  • MindStorm Sunday, July 5, 2015

    I didn't even realize the different IDE zones were still a thing on DZone--you haven't been able to get to them via site navigation for at least a year. Assuming they fix the URL redirect (which they definitely should), is it really that different? They seem pretty willing to find a compromise.

  • guest Monday, July 6, 2015

    Dear Geertjan,

    There are times when you look back at how events have transpired and you realize, “OMG, I could and should have made sure that was handled better!” This is clearly one of those times.

    I’m really sorry that DZone didn’t do a better job of communicating well in advance of the changes we’ve recently deployed. In my organization the buck stops with me, so it’s my fault. You and the NetBeans community have my personal apology.

    I appreciate your long term commitment to DZone as the right home for NetBeans content, and I recognize and respect the importance of never letting a valued community feel like it has had the rug pulled out from under it. We will make real effort to guard against such inconsiderate actions in the future.

    Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. It’s a true friend who has the courage to call someone out when they haven’t done right, and I’m glad for it.




    Rick Ross

    CEO, DZone Inc.



  • Kirk Monday, July 6, 2015

    Wow, nice email exchange. Kellet needs to learn from Rick. You see, Rick offered the very polite fu where as Kellet just sent a fu. Nice! They are right in that they don’t have to offer this service forever but a heads up with some time to let the community adjust would have been the least they could do… especially if they want to have some credibility when they say they support community.

  • guest Monday, July 6, 2015

    Planet Netbeans has been the center of my JAVA universe for a long time. (as is http://fxexperience.com/) for my JAVAFX.

  • Alied Perez Martinez Monday, July 6, 2015

    Geertjan, I believe you can be starting a Hamelin effect; starting by myself. I haven't posted a thing for a time, but I'm a daily reader and usually comment on the posts and share many of them in LinkedIn. Now I'm deleting my account and will stop sharing and commenting.

  • Peter Dijkland Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    thought about this a bit.

    Personally i never heard about Dzone before. the reason i went to their sites is pretty easy to explain.

    I start up my IDE , in my case Netbeans.

    I see an interesting article headline on the start up page of Netbeans.

    I click the headline and read it.

    My attention is drawn to another article.

    I read next article.

    Question is now how wil Dzone attract people like me from here on out ?

    The cooperation between Dzone and Netbeans plus other IDE's was fruitfull i think, Dzone gets free of charge pointers to their site, The IDE got free of charge space to inform their community.

    Well aparently not enough people go to Dzone from within their IDE's anymore. But a more gentle way to communicate things would have been the least they could do. After all, if you work in the ict sector you better be good at communicating ( amongst other things of course ).

    Whatever site the IDE wil point me too now, i wil follow. plain simple as that, i stil trust you GJ.

  • guest Monday, July 20, 2015


    I'm also a very long time member of javalobby (2006) and i visited the Netbeans zone regularly.

    I was surprised by the disparition of differents zones.

    I understand that you are disappointed.


    Vincent D.

  • guest Thursday, July 23, 2015

    This seems to be happening more frequently :-( , or maybe it's just that the sites/people are more visible. My main source for netbeans info is netbeans.org and your blog :-)... Others, JavaWorld, java.net (Cay Horstmann), and IBM developerWorks... And I guess jaxenter.com now :-)

Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.