[jdom-interest] JavaOne presentations (flame)

Paul Silvey psilvey at mitre.org
Mon Feb 11 07:23:12 PST 2002


No matter what you end up having to do, please post a copy of the 
slides you would have liked to use somewhere that others can access 
freely.  I've always enjoyed your presentation material because it is 
useful without the voice-track.  If you want to start an e-mail 
petition, let me know, and I'll support your view to whomever it may 
concern at Sun.

-Paul Silvey
  The MITRE Corporation

>I just have to vent, and this crowd seems like a fine place to vent
>about this particular thing.
>I'm presenting a talk on JDOM at JavaOne this year, and Oh My God, the
>slide submittal process is horrid.  Absolutely draconian.  Unlike *every
>other conference* I've spoken at (dozens), at JavaOne there are people
>who critique your slides on various Rules.  These Rules are definitely
>smart guidelines but at JavaOne they are literally *Rules*.  If you
>don't pass each and every rule down the line, they don't let you give
>you talk.
>One sample rule:  You need a graphic on at least one out of every 6
>pages.  Need it or not, appropriate or not, you need a graphic.  It's
>supposed to keep your audience awake.  Well, I guess I have to come up
>with a graphic for the section where I compare JDOM with DOM.  Any
>ideas?  I wonder if a picture from Anna Kournikova's new calendar would
>Another rule:  You should have no more than six words per bullet point.
>Wait, did I say "should"?  I mean MUST as in the W3C spec meaning of the
>word.  Nothing longer than six words is <oops, cut, can't say anymore>.
>That last one really bugs me.  I personally find JavaOne slides 100%
>useless after the talk because of this rule.  I've downloaded slides in
>years past from talks I couldn't attend.  Here's what you get:
>* JVM Performance In Process
>* Garbage Collection In Real Time
>Oh yeah, I'm really learning now.  They say this rule is to keep the
>point size up so you can read the slides during the show, but seems to
>* If you're in the show you're listening, not reading
>* If you're not in the show, you can only read
>(Notice the effective use of 9 word bullets there.)
>So with big point sizes you can read my outline during the show, but
>after I'm done talking, all the points are lost.
>I was proud and I stood my moral ground and flaunted the rules -- I used
>graphics only when I needed graphics and I tried to actually *say
>something* with each bullet point.  But no.  The people reviewing the
>talks actually counted my words and my graphic densities.  I failed.
>I'm told I need to revise now.
>What's really ironic is last year the same basic slide outline was
>accepted.  I was just unlucky enough this year to get the Presentation
>Nazi.  I can almost hear him yell:  "No presentation for you, one year!"
>Maybe you're thinking I should obligingly bow to the "Rules" and be
>tricky and bring my own slides in on a laptop on the presentation day.
>No can do; they're on to that!  You can't bring your own laptop to
>present.  Every other conference I've spoken at lets you.  Why not at
>JavaOne?  They say it's to keep things simpler to setup, but really how
>simple is it for me to load JDOM examples on their machine versus my
>own??  Here's my theory: if anyone ever tries to make The Training
>Alliance Nazis (tm) look bad (you know, someone in a bad mood -- try to
>picture it), they'll know beforehand and have some leverage to encourage
>you to change your slides.
>I agree these guidelines make sense in general, but can we give the
>speakers no credit?  The best talks I've ever attended have slides that
>don't in any way follow the JavaOne Rules.  And some of the worst talks
>I've ever attended have been at JavaOne.  Maybe they're trying to raise
>up the quality of these poor talks by rigidly enforcing these rules.  I
>think it's more likely they're creating poor talks by enforcing these
>Ah well.  At least I can still say what I want on stage.  Um, probably.
>I'll let you know if they actually let me speak live on stage or if it's
>a tape recording.
>P.S.  Sun speakers suffer from this just as much as outside people.
>This is another reason why no one at Sun looks very happy the month
>before JavaOne.
>P.P.S.  The slides haven't even gone to legal review yet.  Last year in
>legal review they changed "JDOM" to "The Document Object Model for Java"
>on me and for a long time refused to change it back.  You'd think they
>would believe I knew the name of my project.
>To control your jdom-interest membership:

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