Geertjan's Blog

  • February 5, 2007

Many Recent Developments in NetBeans Plugin Land

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
Lots of recent developments, over the past 2 or 3 weeks, in the NetBeans module (i.e., "plugin") area. Here's a few items that have crossed my path recently that I thought were interesting:

  • Wade Chandler committed two new modules to the NetBeans sources, in contrib. Especially the second one sounds interesting: "It allows you to launch files in the default OS application. You can choose to open or edit the file in the default application.
    I wrote this module because I was having to switch over to another application and choose open or use my OS file explorer to browse to documentation files to be able to work with them in word processors and the like."

  • Sandip Chitale has a great new learning tool, described in his blog. It is a System Filesystem browser with a twist—you can access documentation from the nodes, so that you can find out details about the layer folder under the cursor.

  • Michal Mocnak created a tutorial in NetBeans Wiki describing how to create a Java EE application client on the NetBeans Platform. At the end of the very interesting looking story, with many colorful screenshots, you have your own standalone rich-client database explorer.

  • Antonio's kitchen continues to cook up some cool stuff. The latest instalment in his Cooking with the NetBeans Platform describes how to create a standalone editor, so that you have a separate Java application that makes use of the IDE's editor modules. There's also a chapter, very well explained, about the new Lexer API, here used for syntax highlighting.

  • Edgar Silva has a couple of recent interesting blog entries on the NetBeans APIs. In this one, he talks about using the NetBeans syntax highlighting in a JEditorPane. And he also has a few recent entries on the Palette API, such as this one, with some handy tips and tricks.

  • Toni Epple continues to work on Jarvis, the JasperReports Visual Designer. In fact, he wrote to me today that already "you can import and export datasets, and you can register datasources and connections. All of them are shown in the runtime tab where they can be configured, and they show up in the combobox in the designers toolbar, where you can select them to generate the Report." (By the way, watch this space for an interview with him soon.)

  • Stan Aubrecht is working on issue 90212, which means that the Palette Item DTD will be improved. As a result, there will be better support for letting users add palette items to an editor at runtime.

  • Milos Kleint wrote here about the possibility in 6.0 for extending the Project Properties dialog box. For that purpose, there's a new Interface ProjectCustomizer.CompositeCategoryProvider. This is possible to use from 6.0 M5 onwards.

  • ...and if you're thinking about porting your Swing application to the NetBeans Platform, I've recently written a few blog entries about that, such as a series on porting a JMF-based Movie Player and another about porting a JavaMail Client.

Of course, at the same time, lets remember that the book "Rich Client Programming - Plugging into the NetBeans Platform" is also around the corner. There's a site that has been set up especially for this book (http://www.netbeans.org/books/rcp.html) although, right now, you'll notice it is still under construction. So watch that space!

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