Planning the NetBeans Platform Refcard

Overview of items/lists/tables for upcoming NetBeans Platform Refcard on DZone (in random/brainstorm order):
  • General Topics
    • What the base NetBeans Platform consists of
    • What each module is used for
    • What's new in the current release of NetBeans Platform
    • Getting Started in 5 Steps
    • Recently deprecated classes and idioms (here)
    • Old vs. new ways of doing things
    • Top 10 questions asked on the mailing list
    • "Gotchas", e.g., palette only shows for TopComponent in 'editor' mode, need to associate ExplorerUtils.Lookup with TopComponent to get the actions to work
    • E-mail addresses and URLs that everyone should know
    • Go through books and find lists
  • API-Related Topics
    • General API Topics
      • Main APIs
      • Top 10 lesser known but very useful APIs
      • List of minimum set of APIs that everyone should be familiar with
      • All annotations and their attributes
      • What API wizards are available and what they do
      • Utility classes and methods, such as ImageUtilities, NbDocument.findLineNumber, WeakListener, HtmlBrowser.URLDisplayer
    • Lookup API Topics
      • List the three kinds of Lookup
      • List the methods on Lookup
      • List what is in the lookup, by default, of NetBeans components (WindowManager, TopComponent, ExplorerManager, ExplorerView, Node, DataObject, FileObject)
    • FileSystem API Topics
      • Layer attributes of actions
      • Layer attributes of TopComponents
      • Tips for using layer.xml
      • File-level MIME type XML file
      • FreeMarker templating
      • Conversion table for File, FileObject, DataObject, Node
      • List of NetBeans Platform extension points
      • List of all DTDs and Schemas (e.g., for TopComponentGroup)
    • Explorer View API & Nodes API Topics
      • Properties of property sheets (here)
      • Properties for explorer views
      • List of explorer views
      • List of active/non-active explorer views
      • Children classes (ChildFactory, Children.Keys, Children.Array, Children.Index)
      • Node classes (Node, AbstractNode, DataNode)
      • Node-level default actions
    • Actions API Topics
      • List of actions (CallBackSystemAction, etc)
    • Window System API Topics
      • Window system client properties
      • List of default modes
      • Describe consequences of mode definitions, e.g., 'editor' vs. 'view' and 'joined' vs 'separated'
      • Property change events on the registry of the WindowManager
    • Dialogs API
      • List of Dialogs API dialogs & messages
      • List of Wizard API classes
      • List of notification-related APIs
    • Visual Library API
      • List of widgets in Visual Library
    • Project API
      • Project-level default actions
  • Using Main Features of the NetBeans Platform
    • List of reusable Swing components: Output window, Favorites window, Plugins manager, exporer views, Palette, Options window, and how to include them in your application.
    • Window system: Check the related checkbox in Project Properties
    • Modularity
    • Persistence: what can be persisted (TopComponent, Node, Document, Visual Library Scene) and how
    • Lifecycle management: from main method, to ModuleInstall, to LifecycleManager, to restarting
    • Long running tasks: RequestProcessor, asynchronous actions, and Progress API
    • Branding: icons, locales, labels, "branding" folder

Basically, the refcard should provide a centralized and, importantly, DEFINITIVE place where settings such as 'suppressCustomEditor' (for removing the "..." button on property sheets) can be located.

More? Leave a comment.


It will be useful to get information about:
1) Common server API
2) Progress API
3) Execution API
4) MultiView Windows

Maybe, some of these API's rarely used, but I think this information will be helpfully to developers, if they will work with this API. (For example, I couldn't find more information about API from items 1 and 3 in my list)

Posted by Alexander on September 06, 2009 at 06:21 PM PDT #

Are you sure that the link is correct? It points to MarkMail...

Posted by jmborer on September 06, 2009 at 06:45 PM PDT #

How about RTC vs. RPC?
UpdateCenter / Kits ?

Posted by Sven Reimers on September 07, 2009 at 08:26 AM PDT #

The warmup vs. ModuleInstall issue is worth mentioning (or, exclusively pointing to the former, perhaps).

Posted by Chas Emerick on September 08, 2009 at 02:05 AM PDT #


I would add a "Further info" section that links to useful places. I'd include there to the NB Community Documentation, to the Platform homepage & tutorials, to the mailing lists, to the API index, to the downloads (including sources) sections, to the books available...

When I started learning it took me a long time to find out where the info was. I think that having it all grouped in a refcard is handy and saves time.

It's a great idea to create a refcard for the Platform.


Posted by Antonio on September 08, 2009 at 05:46 AM PDT #

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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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