Lifting the Veil: How the NetBeans Platform Book is Being Written

The upcoming NetBeans Platform book, entitled "Rich Client Programming" (subtitled "Plugging into the NetBeans Platform") is being written in...

...NetBeans itself. We're using a DocBook module (made by Jesse and Tim, as far as I'm aware) that recognizes a DocBook folder structure as a project, so that a folder of DocBook files can be treated like files in any other project. So, this is what the book looks like, and this is the view I have on it while writing:

And, each individual chapter (or the book as a whole) can be turned into an HTML file via a menu item, as shown above. And then you're one click away from a PDF document:

So, we're writing the book in the same way as NetBeans encourages people to program... in a modular way. Various individual people are responsible for individual chapters, they write them, commit them to CVS, and eventually the whole book will be assembled from these separate pieces.

We're by no means at the end yet, but our deadline is coming up very soon, (and then the proof reading cycle begins) so we're definitely very far along already. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in print!


I use DocBook and I really want this plugin! Where do I get it!?

Posted by Peter Thomas on December 14, 2006 at 01:22 AM PST #

Peter, Probably this is the 'docbook' module in the contrib source tree of NetBeans' CVS server.

Posted by Tom Wheeler on December 14, 2006 at 01:54 AM PST #

It's on the dev update center. You can see the source code in contrib/docbook. It has some idiosyncrasies, though. Code completion only works when there's a valid DOCTYPE header, but compilation to html only works when the DOCTYPE header is removed. Very annoying.

It's got one really cool feature written by Tim Boudreau. If you've got an image in your OS's clipboard (put there by, say, taking a screenshot with Alt-PrintScreen), and you paste it in your docbook text editor, it will generate the appropriate image tag, and give you a window for cropping the image before saving it to disk as a PNG. Very convenient.

Posted by Rich Unger on December 14, 2006 at 01:57 AM PST #

Thanks for the pointers, I'll give it a try. And I meant "module" not plugin. Apologies :)

Posted by Peter Thomas on December 14, 2006 at 02:23 PM PST #

Hi I have some troubles importing check-outed project to NB (to get binary form, that I can use and test in NetBeans.) thanx for answer and help Greetings Marek

Posted by Marek Dudra on January 15, 2007 at 03:14 AM PST #

Hallo, I have problem to open check-outed project to NB 5.5 too. The bug: module not in a complete source root: NbModuleProject[MasterFileObject@1a620d8[home/paul/Documents/JProjs/contrib/docbook]]

Posted by Paul on January 20, 2007 at 10:45 PM PST #

It needs to beb within the NetBeans sources, so you need to check out all the NetBeans sources, then check out the module to the 'contrib' folder within the NetBeans sources. Sorry...

Posted by Geertjan on January 20, 2007 at 11:20 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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