Interview with Authors of "NetBeans Platform for Beginners" (Part 2)

In part 1, Jason Wexbridge and Walter Nyland were interviewed about the book they're working on about the NetBeans Platform.

I caught up with them again, in the final stages of working on their book, to ask them some questions.

Hi Jason and Walter, how are things going with the book?

Jason: Great. Really finishing touches time, at this point.

Walter: It's been an intense time, but we're coming to the end of it now.

It's not a pamphlet, then?

Walter: Indeed not. We're currently at page 350 and it looks like we'll end up with around 370 pages or so. It's a lot of code, a lot of samples, a lot of detailed instructions for making the most of the many solutions and components that the NetBeans Platform provides.

Jason: We've had a lot of help from several people in the NetBeans community, in terms of review comments and insights, such as from Benno Markiewicz and Michael Bishop, while Sean Phillips is also involved now. In addition, some newbies just starting out with the NetBeans Platform are also reviewing early versions of the book. In total, we have about 5 reviewers at this point, which has been immensely beneficial in helping us position the content of the book correctly.

What do you consider to be the highlights of the book?

Walter: Well, to me, the highlight is that it is exactly the book I would have wanted to have when I started working with the NetBeans Platform.

Jason: Right, that's the book we wanted to write. It genuinely aims to provide complete solutions and understandings of all the core topics, that is, module system, file system, window system, action system, nodes, explorer views, visual library, palette, project system, and a long list of miscellaneous topics, such as dialogs and wizards.

What about JavaFX? Source editor? Maven?

Jason: Out of scope for the current book, though definitely the focus of the books we'll be working on next.

Wow, awesome news. Great work. Any final thoughts?

Walter: Please simply click this link and sign up to the book, just tell us how much you think would make sense for us to charge for it, based on the two interviews we've now given, and the sample that can be downloaded there. And when you leave your e-mail address, you'll be informed as soon as we publish the book!

Many thanks, Jason and Walter! And, NetBeans Platform developers out there, please support this great effort by going to the site above and reading the PDF, leaving comments for Jason and Walter, and by telling them how much you'd pay for the completed book.


I have started reviewing a preview of their work and I have to say the book is looking really good. They have done a fantastic job in covering the breadth of the Platform and its capabilities. Having this text would have greatly accelerated my progression on the learning curve so many years ago. This book will be a good buy even for a Platform developer with experience. The book does a nice job of explaining the why behind the what as I learned in some situations the reasons behind certain Platform development patterns I had taken for granted.
In my opinion some highlights are the Nodes and Lookup sections, spending quite a bit of time explaining the different concepts and use cases. Also some nice juicy tidbits on automation using Tasks and External Execution support which I have found very important lately in my operation deployments.

Posted by Sean Phillips on February 18, 2014 at 01:17 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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