3-Aug-06 (Created: 3-Aug-06) | More in 'CS-Java'

Writing for ONJava/java.net - Topics of Interest

Originally posted by Chris Adamson

Copied here for quick reference by Satya Komatineni

Article ideas come both from the editors of the O'Reilly Network, and from authors pitching new ideas. This list is meant to be an occasionally-updated collection of the former, the things we'd like to have articles on.

We are currently re-focusing ONJava and java.net and developing a more distinct editorial identity for each. Because of this, we may steer you to one site or the other. In general, the focuses of the sites are:


java.net features the whole world of Java development - the core language, all three of the major Java platforms (ME, SE, and EE), and especially projects hosted on java.net.

  • Introductory articles to java.net projects - A natural for that site. A few we'd like to see:
    • New API's in Java SE 6 (Mustang) - weekly builds of Mustang are being posted in java.net's Mustang project.
    • OpenSymphony and its sub-projects
    • Open For Business (ofbiz)
    • GlassFish
    • JDIC, JDNC, SwingLabs projects
    • Java Gaming API's: JOGL, LWJGL, JOAL, JInput
    • Project Looking Glass (esp. developing apps for it - see the LG3D demo apps and incubator)
    • xlSQL
  • Under-covered basics - There are a few topics where we've said "we should have an article on that" and never get a proposal. These include:
    • Internationalization
    • Accessibility and input methods
    • JavaSound (beyond the simple "load and play a Clip")
  • Java on the device - We're interested in J2ME content, particularly based on real-world development (the "how to draw on a Canvas" kind of tutorials have been pretty well covered by now).


OnJava's focus is Enterprise development - core language, popular and emerging frameworks and libraries, software engineering strategies (agile development, AOP), working with industry standard products whether open-source (JBoss) or commercial (Oracle).

  • "What Is" articles - The most straightforward type of article is one that defines and explores some key piece of technology, usually something new and growing. This is probably the single type of article we are most interested in for ONJava right now, as these articles continue to attract attention long after they've been published. Some things we'd like to see "What Is" articles on:
    • POJO
    • Swing
    • REST
    • SOA
    • EJB 3.0
    • SWT
    • Java Web Start
    These articles have a slightly different format, which we'll discuss with you once your article is approved.
  • Support articles for the O'Reilly CodeZoo - CodeZoo is a round-up of reusable open-source Java components. The component pages link to O'Reilly Network content, such as articles, Safari online books, and blogs. Popular pages like JUnit have several of these "Learn More" links, but there are many important packages that haven't been the focus of an ONJava article, and could use coverage.
  • Business Process Modelling - We think there's going to be a pull between two different camps of business-integration thinking: BPEL / W3C-Choreography type standards versus JSR 208 (Sun's "Java Business Integration" JSR).
  • AJAX
  • Eclipse - the "how to use the IDE" has been covered, but we're interested in articles about new and novel plug-ins, building apps with RCP, etc.

Articles that could work on either site

Many article concepts are acceptable for either site. Some of our ideas here include:

  • "Foundation" articles - We are always interested in articles on core pieces of J2SE and J2EE that have not previously been covered. In J2SE 5.0, there were major changes to the language (generics, auto-boxing, varargs, etc.) that affect every Java programmer and were naturals for feature articles. Also consider the "de facto" standards that dominate the Java landscape. For example, the article Deploying Web Applications to Tomcat, published in 2001, is still one of ONJava's most popular.
  • New stuff in old API's and Frameworks - We first covered Tomcat years ago, but that doesn't mean that the introductory article from 2001 is the final word on the topic. Has stuff changed, have things gotten better? Updates on well-trod technologies can be very valuable. Specific interests in this area:
    • JERI, the new RMI replacement for Jini
    • The OpenGL-based graphics pipeline for Java2D
    • Ant
    • Maven
    • Tomcat
  • Topics specifically requested by readers - According to an ONJava reader survey, the topics readers wanted more coverage on are:
    • Spring
    • JSF
    • Hibernate
    • EJB
    • Swing
    • J2ME
    • Best practices
    • Design patterns
    • Performance
  • Topics readers are searching for - Here are a few terms that people have used to find the site recently. It means that we've already covered these in some way, but also that they're drawing readers and might merit more coverage:
    • java api
    • hibernate
    • jmeter
    • j2ee design patterns
    • tomcat cluster
    • jms example
    • eclipse junit
    • aspect oriented programming
    • tomcat server.xml
    • java enum
    • content disposition
    • struts framework
    • junit eclipse
    • ejb ql
    • jstl
    • message driven beans
    • server.xml
    • jsf
    • load balancing
    • eclipse ide
    • tomcat clustering
    • message driven bean
    • struts tiles
    • castor
    • apache axis
    • java annotation
    • jboss
    • pojo
    • tomcat server
    Also note that tutorial, example, source, and code are among the most popular terms in searches that lead to our site. These are reader desires that you should try to satisfy.

Articles we're not particularly interested in

There are, frankly, a few topics that have probably run their course, or have a series underway that fits our needs. In other cases, there are a few types of articles that just don't usually work out. Combined, these create a list that we're not really interested in submissions on right now:

  • "My last work project as a case study of Design Pattern X" - The point of the design patterns are that they're abstract, that once you understand some of the patterns, you don't need to concretize them. Frankly, most development is specific enough to its problem domain that it takes longer to explain the problem and the need for a pattern than to just explain the pattern itself.
  • Material specific to one field - The problem with "Java in finance", "Java in transportation", "Java in government", etc., is that they tend to exclude readers not working in those fields.
  • Series - Our experience is that people do not stick with series, nor do they go back read earlier prerequisite articles if they come across later installments. As a result, we want all articles to stand alone and be independent.