Saturday Oct 18, 2008

"But... Don't All NetBeans Platform Applications End Up Looking Like NetBeans IDE?"

I had an interesting discussion recently which started when someone's central reservation to using the NetBeans Platform turned on their assumption that the end product would "look a lot like NetBeans IDE".

That is not a very surprising assumption. It is logical to assume that you should consider building your Swing application on the NetBeans Platform if you're thinking about creating "some kind of editor". But it shows a misunderstanding of what the NetBeans Platform is. The NetBeans Platform is not bits and pieces removed from NetBeans IDE. Quite the opposite, in fact: NetBeans IDE is bits and pieces placed on top of the NetBeans Platform! I.e., the relationship is the other way round: the NetBeans Platform is the dominant partner, while the NetBeans IDE is just one way (of many) in which the NetBeans Platform can be used.

However, of course, when it comes to talking about how something "looks", one shouldn't be using words. One should be using pictures. So here are three applications on top of the NetBeans Platform:

None of them look like any kind of IDE. Say about them whatever you like, but you can't say: "Wow, those look a lot like NetBeans IDE". The only thing the above have in common with NetBeans IDE is their infrastructure, not "the way they look". Many more screenshots (and more are being added all the time) can be found here.


Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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