One of the highlights for me was meeting Zbyszko Palka, one of the students on the course, who works in a commercial company (LGBS Polska) creating a hospital application on top of the NetBeans Platform. They're working on a prototype and I'm hoping to find out more about it. He said he didn't think the end users would like working in a web page and that a desktop application is a more logical place for hospital staff to work in. He is also interested in the Spring integration in the NetBeans Platform, as well as a centralized way of configuring the enablement/disablement of UI components in complex forms. I reckon the layer file would be perfect for that and will experiment with this soon.
Here's a detail perspective that kind of sums up the general view that Karol, Marek, Piotr, and I had from the front of the class:
Seems to me there were around 40 people interested in spending their Saturday and Sunday learning about the NetBeans Platform. (Dismissive comments I've heard about "students are willing to learn anything you put in front of them"—and that therefore the oddly high level of interest in the NetBeans Platform Training, despite the absolutely minimal level of effort going into advertizing it, is meaningless—seems to me to be shortsighted, given that those same students were willing to voluntarily give up their entire weekend. They didn't stand to gain anything from the course, i.e., no points for their degree or whatever [plus several were from companies using the NetBeans Platform to make money], they were simply interested in learning about how large distributed Swing applications can be constructed, for which the NetBeans Platform is still the only answer. How cool that Sun has a unique platform, unlike those others that are simply alternatives for already existing tools & technologies.)
Thanks all in Silesia for the enthusiasm and the cool ideas for student projects (e.g., Groovy integration for generating the HTML side of Wicket pages/components on the fly). Looking forward to seeing them pop up in the NetBeans Plugin Portal. You have a lot of work ahead of you to compete with the Warsaw group!