Guide for Porting Swing Applications to the NetBeans Platform

Observe the zebra, in a place where it never thought it would be. Imagine all the advantages. Now that it knows how to get there, to the top of the giraffe, with an amazing view right over the savannah, it can pass on this ability to its offspring. Its offspring, in turn, will then have the same ability and the zebra will evolve from a weak and helpless victim to a versatile, interesting, and awe inspiring member of the animal kingdom.

Now, look at your humble Swing application. Imagine where it could be... on the NetBeans Platform, of course. There, your helpless little application would gain a robustness it had never dreamt of attaining. When predators come prowling through the wilderness, when competition comes lurking round the corner, your application will be ready. The giraffe can see much further than any other animal, which is why when a giraffe starts running, all the other animals start running too, because they know danger is approaching. Similarly, the NetBeans Platform has a set of features that a typical Swing application simply does not have, such as an out-of-the-box state-of-the-art docking system and a pluggable modular architecture, to name just two. But... how to make the journey? How to evolve as quickly and smoothly as possible? How to get to the top of the giraffe? Here, for the first time, we present:

NetBeans Platform Porting Tutorial

Try it. It works. Look at that zebra. Then look at your app. Imagine that zebra had had a ladder. Lucky you, you do. You don't need to get to the highest point right from the start. You can take small steps. Over a long period of time. Gradually, as you become more and more familiar with the terrain, as you discover all the benefits you are accruing on your journey, your desire to get further will increase. And once you are up there, why would you ever want to get down again? The giraffe will do all your walking for you. You will acquire new habits, sure, it will take some time to adapt, especially because the giraffe is a bit awkward in places. Initially it'll be tough to get used to that long neck. In the final analysis, though, you'll be far better off than you were at the start. You'll find that it is exactly that tricky long neck that's made the journey worth the while and, as you breathe deeply and survey the horizon, you'll be thankful for all that it's giving you.

So, read the above document, feedback welcome. Let's get your zebra up that giraffe.


Not very inspiring as a metaphor... Zebra? Giraffe? A ladder (for an animal)? Does that zebra look comfortable to you? To me it looks very awkward.

Posted by Kirill Grouchnikov on November 30, 2007 at 08:52 AM PST #

Comfort is in the behind of the sitter, Kirill. That zebra looks very comfortable to me and, not only that, it is on a much sounder basis that before. A zebra is the typical animal eaten by lions. However, have you ever heard of a zebra that got eaten by a lion while sitting on top of a giraffe? Me neither.

Posted by Geertjan on November 30, 2007 at 08:57 AM PST #

Sorry for my no perfect English,but my opinion is that the things would be more simple if the Zebra and the the Giraff could speech each other
with a cellular, ex.: Hey giraff wath's going on up there ? Lions, tiger, Elephants?

ciao nino

Posted by Antonino Maragliano on December 01, 2007 at 01:24 AM 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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