Geertjan's Blog

  • October 20, 2015

Community-Driven NetBeans T-Shirt

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

With JavaOne coming up, including yet another awesome NetBeans Day and an equally awesome line up of NetBeans-related sessions throughout the conference, it was time for a new NetBeans t-shirt.

Only problem was that it was slightly over a week before JavaOne that we really started making it happen. On the NetBeans Dream Team mailing list, a lot of discussion took place. What should be on the t-shirt, etc, and what should the key message be, etc. We didn't want to have a t-shirt that would quickly become dated, i.e., didn't want to connect it to a particular NetBeans release or even the 20 year birthday of Java. Instead, somehow, we thought, it would be great to show how NetBeans has a great and enthusiastic community all over the world, working together with and on NetBeans IDE and the NetBeans Platform. In the end Mark Stephens from IDR Solutions came up with the idea of jigsaw pieces (which also connects with modularity, microservices, and the JDK Project Jigsaw, etc etc etc) and we approached several organizations to ask them if they'd like their logos to be on jigsaw pieces in the central design of the new NetBeans t-shirt. We also took the opportunity of asking several of the organizations to help in sponsoring the cost of producing the t-shirt. 

Once we had a bunch of logos and enthusiastic organizations, several paying into the production of the t-shirt, Toni Epple from DukeScript suggested Uwe Neitzel could be a great designer for the t-shirt since he had worked with him before. And that resulted in this cool design, with thanks to Uwe for all the work and urgent e-mails he had to deal with over the last few days: 

If you're wondering who the organizations above are, I will very soon write a blog entry describing each and every logo that you see above, i.e., where it comes from and how the related organization supports NetBeans, in some cases for many years already. 

The text "NetBeans Connects" was thought up by Toni Epple. We thought it would be good to have some kind of text beneath the jigsaw pieces and it was Toni's idea to keep that text short. And "NetBeans Connects" really sums up what the t-shirt, and NetBeans itself, is all about.

Then we started thinking about the front of the t-shirt. Somehow the message on the back should be reflected on the front and from jigsaw pieces we quickly got to the idea of "putting pieces together" or "fitting pieces together". Gail Anderson from ASGTeach was the key person who moved us from the clunkier "putting" to "fitting". And there were also suggestions about having more than just text on the front of the t-shirt, but a logo too. And it was Uwe's idea to keep the puzzle pieces on the front of the t-shirt, and not simply have the NetBeans logo there, since that would underline the "fitting together" aspect. 

And so we ended up with this design for the front of the t-shirt:

Note: In the final version, both images above are transparent, for purposes of printing them onto the t-shirts.

What is especially cool about these two designs is that they underline two different but related messages: (1) NetBeans is the hub of a community of organizations around the world and (2) NetBeans is a hub of tools and technologies that fit together smoothly. These are two of the key advantages of using NetBeans—the vibrant community and the good integration of tools and technologies into a coherent and user friendly whole. The other underlying message is that it simply does not make sense to want to work with technologies such as Maven and Java EE and AngularJS and application servers, and the Cloud, and Git, and languages, and debuggers, and profilers, and so on and so on, without a tool that integrates all of these tools and technologies into a coherent system that is usable and encourages good coding techniques. Moreover, programming itself is a puzzle and a tool like NetBeans is needed to fit the pieces of that puzzle together.

And then... the t-shirt needed to be printed! Here in Amsterdam, Sander van Engelen from Eclectix was tracked down. Uwe sent the designs to Sander and here you see them on his computer, this morning:

A bit of tweaking was done by Sander to make the outlines clearer and to change the colors slightly. Given the number of different logos with the variety of colors, it was decided that a light grey t-shirt will be used.

And given the budget (and not to forget, the lack of time!), initially 100 t-shirts will be printed and made available for free to NetBeans speakers during the exclusive NetBeans party that will be held on Saturday evening in San Francisco. Some of the t-shirts will be reserved for specific people, though the majority will be handed out at that party to those people who will be speaking during NetBeans Day and about NetBeans during JavaOne. Two sizes will be available; 60 will be large and 40 will be extra large. 

For test purposes, Sander printed a t-shirt, to see how everything will end up looking. The test t-shirt is white, though note again that the final t-shirt will be light grey.

Here's some photos of the printing and drying of the two sides of the test t-shirt: 

More color will be added to the texts and the puzzle pieces will get darker lining around them to make them pop better out of the design. 

Assuming all things will go according to plan (and why wouldn't they!), the t-shirts will be ready by the end of tomorrow, which will mean a lot of work for Sander and t-shirts arriving on time etc, in time for them to be taken to San Francisco in time for JavaOne!

Many thanks to the many NetBeans Dream Team members involved in the above project, by giving feedback or by simply giving a thumbs up, including David Heffelfinger, Josh Juneau, Sven Reimers, Gail Anderson, Emilian Bold, Tim Boudreau, Arun Gupta, Toni Epple, John Kostaras, Mark Stephens, Jörg Plewe, Liang Ding, Zoran Sevarac, Alojoscha Rittner, Kirk Pepperdine, Rajmahendra Hegde, Benno Markiewicz, Martin Klähn, Aatul Palandurkar, Jens Deters, Tushar Joshi, and Javier Ortiz. 

And a special thanks to the organizations that have contributed to the production of the t-shirt—Everlaw, IDR SolutionsPinkmatter Solutions, PrimeFaces, and TestFairy

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Comments ( 3 )
  • guest Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "Coding in NetBeans"...

  • guest Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "Coding in NetBeans"...

  • Ana at Everlaw Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Looks great!

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