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I've asked a couple of Java questions on Stack Overflow, and I have rarely gotten an answer.

Is it just me or is there not very many Java developers on the site? Whenever I ask C# questions, I'm usually inundated with answers.

As an example, Struts is probably the most common Java web framework. Yet, on Stack Overflow the most recent questions tagged are from several weeks ago, compared to several hours ago for C#.

If they're not on Stack Overflow, where are they?

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Where are all these unanswered Java questions of yours? Your profile shows that the only question that you have unanswered is your Struts2 question you asked a mere 20 minutes ago. Barring that, 19 of your 20 other questions not only have answers, but have answers you have accepted. –  ベレアー アダム Nov 23 '09 at 22:32
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I was the #2-ranked person in the java tag for quite a while, and I've never touched Struts (or, really, any other web framework). –  mmyers Nov 24 '09 at 14:09

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I suspect the problem is your assumption that struts is probably the most common Java web framework.

JSP has had four questions in the last day, for example, and has a total of 1131 questions compared with 308 for struts. Heck, spring-mvc has 245 questions (and spring itself has 1212).

I would also question your comparison of the C# tag with the struts tag in the first place - compare ASP.NET with struts, perhaps, or Java with C# - but comparing a language and a specific framework doesn't seem like a useful thing to do.

There are plenty of Java questions, and plenty of them get good answers. If your questions were about a relatively niche topic, that could be one explanation. The other could be that they weren't terribly clearly asked.

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Well, i'm trying to learn java at the moment, and i simply jumped on the struts bandwagon because it looked to be the most common web app framework (from my limited research). Would i be better off learning another, more common, framework? And yes, C# vs struts is embarrasing! I meant asp.net. –  Chris Nov 23 '09 at 22:46
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struts was big in about 2001. –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Nov 24 '09 at 4:49
    
Spring MVC is a much more popular framework that Struts these days. Other popular choices include Tapestry, Wicket, and Stripes. –  Dónal Aug 27 '10 at 11:37

Java is the third most popular tag on SO. So no, there are plenty of Java developers on SO. Heck, the guy with the most reputation out of all SO users is a Java developer. That C# is even more popular than Java is hardly worth noting; they're both extremely popular.

Struts, on the other hand, is considerably more niche. If you have a problem, then it's struts...

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Is struts really niche? Oh dear i feel like i've wasted my time now. I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that struts is the most common java web framework. Did i get it wrong? –  Chris Nov 23 '09 at 22:30
    
Beats me - I use ASP.NET (and C# - HA!). I'm basing my reply on the tag count on SO: [struts] sits at just over 300 questions, making it about half as popular (on SO) as... Crystal Reports. –  Shog9 Nov 23 '09 at 22:34
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Half as popular as crystal: ouch that hurts! hahaha... –  Chris Nov 23 '09 at 23:13

The answer that jumps out to me is that Java has been around since 1996, and C# is relatively new, and so is SO, so you can imagine most Java developers have been getting their answers from somewhere else, and they are sticking with those sites. These sites, unlike SO, are (or at least originally), have been specifically devoted to Java, and have long preceded SO so are very established and have their core set of users:

Here are a few to check out (I'm a newbie on SO so you'll have to craft your own links. This is getting ridiculous, these restrictions are bordering on annoying, I'm starting to like SO less and less. We'll see.):

First, it seems you are interested in Struts. It is always best to find a list that the actual developers follow regularly. Want an answer by Craig McClanahan himself (maybe) or Ted Husted? Try the site below: struts.apache.org/mail.html

Java Ranch must be one of the grandaddies: www.javaranch.com/

Java Lobby is a great site, very interesting discussions, and you get some of the top names in the biz posting questions and answers. java.dzone.com/

The comp lang * have been around forever, since the beginnings of the modern internet. Seem to be having some spam issues. I know, like Java Lobby though, that some of the top minds follow these, or use to, especially in the C, C++ and CORBA world for example (those are the ones I am familiar with) groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.java.programmer/topics?lnk=srg

Sun Java Forums (now Oracle of course). This is a good one, you'll find yourself here (well, somewhere on Oracle) especially if your question is related to a bug because these guys will be the ones working on it. forums.sun.com/index.jspa

IBM DeveloperWorks has some good content, excellent articles by some of the IBM experts, but probably less traffic than some of the above. www.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/dw_jforums.jspa

JavaWorld is an excellent source, not really a forum, but has a tremendous set of articles. At one point they were going to shut it down, but thankfully they somehow got funding so it is still out there cranking away. www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-09-2004/jw-0913-struts.html

That said, from the posts here, it seems there are a fair number of Java questions and answers here, so the other possibility is the standard answer at any site - you need to work on your questions. Either they are too general, so that people can't even be bothered to say "google it", or they really are tough ones that nobody has an idea on, or they just plain aren't interesting, or no one has really run into your issue. Start with reviewing the link below for proper etiquette (or even read the Stackoverflow version, any any other): struts.apache.org/mail.html

And that answer is regardless of whether we are talking about SO, or Java Ranch, or Javalobby, or the Sun (Oracle) forum, the comp.lang.java, or the myriad of other excellent resources.

I'd suggest trying your questions on the sites above, see what kind of response you get. Give as much detail as possible, and show you've tried to solve the issue. What version of Java are you using? What OS? What other libraries? IDE? Did you give the stack trace? Give a decent idea of what you are trying to do, but not overwhelm the reader with a huge file, i.e here's my jar file, it doesn't compile, why doesn't it work?

You'll gradually follow one more than the other, but note that if you go through Google, in theory google is unbiased and will pull up answers across all these sites. Which gives me an idea of some sort of smart aggregator - maybe Google is working on this. The ultimate answer site.

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Certainly there are more .Net/C# questions on SO than anything else, but Java doesn't seem to be particularly absent. At last check there were 49K C# questions and 26K Java questions. Compared with php at 20K and C++ at 17K, Java seems to be hanging in quite well.

I'm not sure where you are looking but there seem to be several questions with the struts tag within the past few days.

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There are 3 or 4 questions in the last couple days, but after those it drops off into weeks-old questions. Its certainly not as frequent as the asp.net questions lets say. Would it simply be that nobody uses struts out there? Or is it that they're on another Q&A site? –  Chris Nov 23 '09 at 22:43

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