Bye NetBeans IDE (Part 2)

Instead of manually downloading the 'harness' and 'platform' clusters (as described in part 1), when setting up a NetBeans Platform, you can also simply use an Ant target:
<property name="netbeans" 
<property name="bootstrap.url" 
<property name="netbeans.updatecenter.url" 

<target name="download-netbeans-rcp">
    <mkdir dir="${netbeans}/harness"/>
    <get src="${bootstrap.url}" dest="${netbeans}/harness/tasks.jar" usetimestamp="true" verbose="true"/>
    <taskdef name="autoupdate" classname="org.netbeans.nbbuild.AutoUpdate" classpath="${netbeans}/harness/tasks.jar"/>
    <autoupdate installdir="${netbeans}" updatecenter="${netbeans.updatecenter.url}">
       <modules includes=".\*" clusters="harness[0-9]\*"/>
       <modules includes=".\*" clusters="platform[0-9]\*"/>

The above Maven-like solution for Ant-based projects is possible via the new 6.9 AutoUpdateTask (


There are no numbers in the cluster names as of 6.9 so the script can be simplified a bit.

Posted by Jesse Glick on June 21, 2010 at 09:32 AM PDT #

Hi Geertjan, I notice you are an expert in the Java / NetBeans world. I'm a novice; our company moved to Java only a year ago. We use Java Web Start and I'm looking for a good recent publication about this technology. All stuff I can find is many years old. I also saw that your books are not covering this, just Web 2.0, which is not good enough for us. Are you aware of authors covering JWS?

Kind regards,

Posted by René van Oevelen on June 21, 2010 at 05:50 PM PDT #

I've never written any books about Web 2.0. Here's where you can find info about Java Web Start:

Posted by Geertjan on June 21, 2010 at 05:52 PM PDT #

Hi Geertjan,

I am not quite sure I understand the implications of this blog entry - would this mean we could build a Netbeans RCP app without using Netbeans or where are you aiming?

Many regards,

Posted by Aloys Oberthuer on June 22, 2010 at 06:40 PM PDT #

Right. Just use Ant scripts. Which you can do from any IDE.

Posted by Geertjan on June 22, 2010 at 06:42 PM PDT #

Maybe I am asking very much, but would you want to elaborate on that - maybe a very short tutorial on how to run a small Netbeans RCP app from Eclipse?

This is as we (as probably many others) are using Eclipse mainly for our Swing development and have common projects with Eclipse RCP apps. For a long time I am considering porting the Swing based apps to the Netbeans platform.

For us the key questions is hereby not how to port but how to double develop with Eclipse and Netbeans. Btw. I share your opinion that some tooling support from the Eclipse side of things might be a fine thing.

Posted by Aloys Oberthuer on June 22, 2010 at 08:12 PM PDT #

Is there any way to include this ant target in the project build.xml. I managed to run it from its own ant build file.

But the regular build.xml imports nbproject/build-impl.xml and that will fail immediately if the netbeans harness it's not there so the download-netbeans-rcp target doesn't get a change to execute.

Any workaround to be able to run this target from the regular build.xml

Posted by Ruben Laguna on December 16, 2010 at 05:20 PM PST #

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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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