Sun Tech Days, Day 2, Manila, 2008

I spent the day at the NetBeans booth and learned the following things:

  1. MySQL VP Kaj Arnö likes NetBeans. A lot. I met Leonid, who is Vladimir Voskresensky's manager at Sun in St. Peterburg. Vladimir is known in the NetBeans community as the main engineer behind the C/C++ support for NetBeans IDE. He learned Java from scratch while writing the plugin for C/C++ in NetBeans and he was interviewed some years ago here. Anyway, Leonid told me that yesterday Vladimir demoed how MySQL can be developed within NetBeans to Kaj Arnö. As a result, Kaj Arnö has a new favourite answer to the request "so tell me an example of technical advantages resulting from Sun’s acquisition of MySQL". Read all about his rave review of Vladimir's demo yesterday here in his blog. By the way, Vladimir's also in the final stages of having a completed Russian translation of "Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform". Is he a rock star or what.

  2. Today I saw more teachers in one room than I've seen since leaving high school. Seriously, every other person I spoke to handed me a business card from a university. Several of them were introduced to and will start participating in it soon—contributing Java lesson plans and downloading those provided by others. That's great news and completely unexpected. Several of them will be in the NetBeans Platform Certified Engineering course tomorrow and seemed to be really looking forward to it. Plus, a few random people who Tim and I met will also be joining the course, so it sounds like there should be around 25 people there in total, tomorrow and Saturday from 9.00 to 14.00.

  3. Ruth's Tips & Tricks book is the hottest thing in town. I feel sorry for Ruth—I must have sent her something like 15 different e-mails today with the names of people who want to beg, borrow, or steal the 100 NetBeans Tips & Tricks book. And that was only those who asked about it after I decided to write to her every time someone came to ask the question, rather than write it down in my notebook and postpone forever the actual sending of the emails in question. I hope the book will be publicly available soon, with its own site and so on, but I believe that that hasn't quite happened yet.

  4. JFugue and FreeTTS are great for demos. I did a fun demo (described elsewhere in this blog some years ago), consisting of a web service client that integrates with a Shakespeare text retrieval web service, with the results recited by "kevin16", once of the voices provided by FreeTTS, who then recites the returned Shakespeare text. Similarly, I did a demo where the user types some letters into a text field (from A to G) which is then played back as notes by means of the JFugue JAR. These are fun demos to do, highlighting the fun aspect of Java programming while enabling you to promote open source and showing how a variety of different technologies and tools can be mashed up together to create relatively useful results.

  5. Groovy is hot in the Philippines, Wicket is hot in Singapore. At some point I thought I should count the number of people who asked me about Groovy and NetBeans. Apart from the questions "can I have a NetBeans t-shirt" and "can I have a tips and tricks book", one of the next most common questions must have been about Groovy. And get this—I met two Wicket enthusiasts from Singapore who work there for Sun. So I demoed the Wicket plugin to them. They said that they can see a clear increase in interest in Wicket, not just in Singapore but more generally too. It's lightweight and clean and you avoid the intricacies of JavaScript when doing Ajax. So, they were very favorably impressed about it and have been discussing it with their customers.

I'm hoping to be able to publish several photos taken at the booth, during the coming days. Inevitably, my camera's battery died at the moment I tried to take my first pic of the day, but several of the booth's visitors took pictures and should be sending them to me soon. It was really cool to meet them all.

Finally, I demoed two hidden NetBeans features, both of which are very impressive. I learned about both of them in the last two days and, no, neither of them are keyboard shortcuts. They're extremely substantial features that have been part of NetBeans for a while... and I'll discuss them here (or on NetBeans Zone) soon.


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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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