Masters Thesis on the NetBeans Platform
By Geertjan on Nov 24, 2007
Below follows a brief interview with Thomas, about his thesis (which is well worth browsing through, in fact, I highly recommend it):
What was your thesis about?
My thesis was about the visualization of the internal graph data structure of the server compiler of the Java HotSpot virtual machine. I developed an application for displaying, filtering, and analyzing the program dependence graph of the compiler. The tool helps to debug the server compiler and understand its optimizations.
Why did you decide to use the NetBeans Platform for your thesis?
Because it fitted best for the purpose of creating a modular GUI application without having to think about the window system or module management. Additionally, the NetBeans Visual Library provides an easy-to-use API for displaying graphs, which is perfectly suitable for my application.
How did you first hear about the NetBeans Platform?
First time I stumbled over NetBeans was when I was porting a C++ application to Java and I was looking for a Java GUI framework. I found the NetBeans Platform homepage and created a prototype application.
How was it to use the NetBeans Platform? Advantages/disadvantages?
The disadvantage of using the NetBeans Platform was the time needed at the beginning of the project to get familiar with the platform. As the application got more and more complex, the advantages of using modularization and the frameworks became clear.
Did it help you in some way in relation to your thesis?
Building my application on top of the NetBeans Platform meant that during development I could focus on the application logic. Plus, the modularization concepts of the NetBeans Platform forced me to give the application a clean modular structure.
How has your thesis been received? What kind of results did you get?
The tool developed as part of the thesis is currently tested by the HotSpot compiler team at Sun Microsystems. Based on the results, I will further improve the application and then publish it as an open source project. The hierarchical layout algorithm implemented for the tool will be integrated into the NetBeans Visual Library.
What are you going to do now that you have graduated?
Currently, I'm doing my civil service. Afterwards, I would like to continue working as a researcher and maybe do a PhD thesis in the area of compiler construction.
And will you continue to use the NetBeans Platform in some way?
Of course I will continue using the NetBeans Platform for developing GUI Java applications. Now that I'm familiar with the concepts of the platform, there's an even greater advantage to using it.