Sunday Oct 26, 2008

Poznan & Gdansk: NetBeans Day, Poland

I've spent the weekend with Karol Harezlak, Toni Epple, and Adam Bien in Poland—specifically in Poznan and Gdansk, because these two cities constituted the locations of NetBeans Day, Poland. It was a pretty excellent time. Both days had a very strong focus on the NetBeans Platform, which was pretty cool. The trip to these places was pretty long (Karol drove the whole way), with me being the GPS, together with Karol's iPhone. Parts of the time the whole map disappeared (thanks Steve Jobs) and I had to try and keep a green dot on a purple line without knowing anything about where we were (the green dot was the car and the purple line was the route from the office in Prague to the hotel in Poznan and then a day later from Poznan to a hotel in Gdansk). The drive from Poznan to Gdansk with Adam and Toni in the back seat was especially memorable.

The time spent at the two events was really good. Toni's presentation on 'Porting a Swing Application to the NetBeans Platform' was excellent—a good follow up to my 'Creating an Application on the NetBeans Platform'. Toni's real life experiences in this context are great—much better if someone 'out there' (i.e., unaffiliated to Sun) says nice things about the NetBeans Platform than when I do so. Then there was Adam KÄ™dziora in Poznan who talked about the NetBeans Platform too, in the context of his Innovator Grant project. He even discussed the Lookup API in some detail, which was pretty cool. Adam Bien was excellent with all his EJB-oriented demos and his very interactive presentation style. Jacek Laskowski from the NetBeans Dream Team did a presentation on a more advanced level to Adam's (they'd decided that beforehand and, on some points, during Adam's presentation). It was the 1st time for me to meet Jacek, who was great. (Hope to meet again soon, maybe in Warszawa?) Also, Adam Dudczak did a great presentation on VisualVM, including—an introduction to its APIs, as well as a demo of a plugin he made for VisualVM using those APIs. In addition, there were several other presentations too, all in Polish (apart from Toni, Adam, and me), such as the ones by Karol on Java ME development. As a sidenote, I started remembering more and more of my Polish (from several years ago when I studied it for no reason).

Ubuntu completely failed me both days and fortunately I had my presentation on a USB stick, so was able to deliver it on Karol's Mac. Unfortunately I couldn't do some of my demos though and I wasn't overly familiar with the Mac, which didn't make everything as smooth as it should have been. Honestly, despite everything else, I'm very close to giving up on Ubuntu completely. Aside from the continuing projector cable problems, it also refused to start up at some point, with very odd and scary messages. Then it suddenly started working again. Very erratic behavior. I suspect that there's a script that detects whether a projector cable is plugged in and, if "yes", a massive internal error is intentionally thrown just to give you stress for no reason. That's the only logical explanation I can think of.

There's one very interesting thing (even, dare I say it, revolutionary) I worked on in the breaks in between the sessions, something that I'll be creating a screencast about as soon as we find our way back to Prague (long way from Gdansk to Prague and the road will be purple and the dot will be green). Clue about that screencast—it's about Groovy and it's also about the NetBeans Platform. Watch this space for the details.

Finally, thanks to everyone who we met along the way, especially Adam and Kasia (what a great way to start our time in Poland that was) in Poznan and Kuba in Gdansk, as well as, of course, all the speakers, and Toni and Adam for flying to join us from Munich. I'm looking forward to the many photos and movies that were made and taken the last few days! Watch this space for those too.


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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