Geertjan's Blog

  • February 25, 2014

Big Day for the NetBeans Platform

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

Obviously today is a very big day for the NetBeans Platform and all its users around the world. Two new books have been published on Leanpub especially for users of the NetBeans APIs. (To understand what Leanpub is all about, watch this YouTube introduction.)

In the first book, which is a completed book on Leanpub, entitled "NetBeans Platform for Beginners" (361 pages!), the authors take you on a walk through all the key NetBeans APIs, together with many example exercises and a free set of samples available on GitHub, with an open discussion forum included. You'll be creating well architected and pluggable Java desktop applications before you're even fully aware of what you're doing.

What strikes me about this book is that it gives a very good weighting of the value of particular features of the NetBeans Platform. I.e., instead of spending pages and pages explaining things you don't actually need to know, it splits topics into sections entitled "Basic" and "Advanced". In that way you know the importance or the priority of the topics you're learning about. That's something I've missed in other books on the NetBeans Platform. For example, only very rarely do you need to use the CallbackSystemAction, hence that topic is stuck away in an advanced section, instead of confronting you with it right at the start of the Actions chapter.

By the end of the book, you'll have a really thorough understanding of what the NetBeans Platform wants to do for you and how your application maps to its idioms. 

The second book is, if anything, even more interesting. Its value proposition lies in your involvement with its writing. It is not a complete book. It is called "Exercises in Porting to the NetBeans Platform" and is far more in line with the intentions of Leanpub than the book above. The idea of Leanpub is that you should be publishing a book early and often, (and not only after page 361 like the book above). Like continuously. As soon as something is ready, it should be published, where "ready" means the first or second chapter is enough info for the reader to want to get started with it, like a serial novel.

In this particular case, it is the hope of the authors that readers get involved. Contribute small example applications that encompass a problem you're facing in porting to the NetBeans Platform. Then the authors will dedicate the next chapter of their book to your problem scenario.

The first chapter is also available for free to give you an idea of the aims of the book. It shows a small JSplitPane application, together with an outline of how to move it to NetBeans Platform idioms, together with free source code available on GitHub. The value of this book is that it shows you how to think in terms of NetBeans Platform idioms, i.e., it applies all the principles of the first book to porting scenarios that can easily be followed and learned from. On the feedback page of the second book, tell the authors what scenario the next chapter of the book should focus on.

All in all great news for the NetBeans Platform. Really comprehensive texts for getting started, also available bundled together at a reduced price as a "NetBeans Platform Starter Kit". 

Anyone out there read it and have opinions to share? Some pretty positive reviews are already available on the page, by Benno Markiewicz, Donald A. Evett, Michael W. Bishop, and Sean Phillips.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 3 )
  • Pranab Das Saturday, March 1, 2014

    I have been writing about impossibility of downloading new versions of Netbeans for quite some time.

    No improvement of the situation thus far.

    I strongly suspect that there is a time-bound cutoff of download to a particular IP address that is wrong since it discriminates people having lower bandwidth.

    Who is the person at helm, since I am frustrated raising the issue so many times to you and Jan without and responsible action thus far. Even I supplied my IP address, screenshots and all without any resolution. If Oracle cannot provide bandwidth, let these be placed with bit torrents.

  • Geertjan Saturday, March 1, 2014

    OK, you refuse to respond to the e-mails that I've sent you and would prefer to have this discussion in my blog instead. That's fine, whatever makes you happy. Can you answer the question I've asked you several times now: Are you in Nepal? Like I told you in the e-mails that you're not replying to, it would be helpful to know where you are, since the only other people who have had the issue you report on, for NetBeans 8, have been developers in Nepal. And have a nice weekend, hope the download I sent you via Dropbox works for you!

  • Rahul Rajbhar Monday, March 3, 2014

    I extremely thanks to Netbeans IDE

    to give us this type of platform

    and Also thanks to ORACLE

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