Geertjan's Blog

Ouagadougou on the NetBeans Platform

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I'm spending today and tomorrow in Ouagadougou (pop. 1 475 223), capital of Burkina Faso, in west Africa, thanks to Constantin Drabo, who organized the NetBeans Platform Certified Training here:

Here are some more pics of students on the course:

Above: Emmanuel, Ouoba, and Patrick.

Above: Emmanuel, Hyacinthe, Ouoba.

Above: Konombo

Unfortunately, I wasn't at the University of Ouagadougou in person. Instead, I was in Prague, Czech Republic, communicating with my class via Skype and WebEx. Here's their view of a slide on my desktop, during the 1st presentation, which introduces the NetBeans Platform from absolute scratch, making no assumptions whatsoever about prior knowledge of the students (other than comfort with Java and Swing):

Skype + WebEx is not a bad combination, though the quality of the sound was problematic, especially at the beginning, until we figured out a relatively stable way of communicating with each other. Still, a lot cheaper (i.e., zero dollars, as well as zero euros) than flying all the way to Ouagadougou.

The first day of this two day training is now over. The students first learnt about the Module System and the Window System, and then ported the Anagram Game to the NetBeans Platform. Then they were introduced to Nodes and explorer views,
after which they created a Patient Administration system. In one module, they have a Patient object (i.e., that's an API module). In another module, they have a viewer for displaying Patients in an explorer view in a TopComponent, synchronized with the Properties window. For homework, they need to use the NetBeans Platform CRUD Tutorial to create a third module, which will contain an editor TopComponent, which will display the currently selected object in the viewer TopComponent, for editing purposes in the editor TopComponent.

Skype, combined with WebEx, isn't so bad. Never as good as an on-site training, of course, where you can walk around and help students with problems they encounter and explain things on a 1-1 basis. However, in circumstances where you'd never end up traveling all the way to the students (e.g., Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), it's a perfect solution.

And, Constantin told me that he wants to work on a clinical management system on the NetBeans Platform (hence the 'Patient' object in the sample I worked on with them!), which would be a nice addition to the very long list of NetBeans Platform screenshots!

Looking forward to the second day of training, tomorrow. By the way, why are we doing the training during the weekend? Because bandwidth in Burkina Faso is better during the weekend than during the week. Take note of that, lovers of web solutions out there, the web is really not the answer to all the world's IT problems!

In other news. Many thanks to Constantin for organizing this unique training. Maybe the first of many done in this way? (Well, not the first, at least I did a similar training for various engineers in France, a few months ago.) If you also want to get up and running on the NetBeans Platform in 2 or 3 or 5 days, drop me a line, leave a comment, or write to users at edu dot netbeans dot org. Free for educational institutions!

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Kevin Farnham Sunday, June 20, 2010

    This is great! Are you in contact with java.net blogger Jean-Francois Bonbhel, of JUG-AFRICA (https://jug-africa.dev.java.net/)? I think he and many of his associate JUG leaders in central Africa might well be interested in participating in this training as well.

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