Another example. Yesterday I had a discussion with a guy working the Compuware booth at JavaOne. He seemed reasonably astute, technologically speaking, (to the extent to which I can be the judge of that). When I talked about NetBeans IDE (after connecting with him based on the fact that I used to work for Compuware myself), he was immediately turned off. When I demonstrated the Music NotePad that I've been working on (see multiple previous blog entries for details), he was very interested and involved in our discussion. At some point, I showed him the "Midi File window", which will let you (once the JFugue API allows it), open Midi files in the Music NotePad. That Midi File window, as I demonstrated several blog entries ago, is NOTHING more than a rebranded Favorites window provided by the IDE. (My only addition to the "Midi Files window" was a properties file with strings that brand titlebars, menu items, and so on.) He said: "So does this mean that I can create desktop applications without reinventing the wheel?" My answer was obvious.
So, tonight, again, at the BOF, I just forgot about the word "NetBeans" as much as possible. Eclipse users have one issue or another with NetBeans (and vice versa). It is a discussion that cannot really be resolved. But what is incredibly useful whether you like NetBeans IDE or not is the fact that you can take whatever IDE module you like and reuse it in your own application. For example, I demonstrated the creation of a new text editor: (1) create a module suite project and deploy it, (2) notice that you get an empty panel for designing your application (with a bunch of useful menu items, toolbar buttons, as well as a windows systems), (3) now add the Favorites module to the suite (using the Libraries panel), redeploy, and then open a file via the Favorites window. You now have a text editor. Use menu items and toolbar buttons (from the NetBeans Platform, which is a factoid that is also irrelevant) to save and open files, and so on. How relevant is it that you developed the application in NetBeans IDE? Not very. The point is that you REUSED a module (or multiple modules) from the NetBeans IDE. Saves time and energy.
So, the point is not how you develop (i.e., what IDE you use), but what (and IF) you reuse.
By the way, in the previous blog entry I mentioned two cool announcements that would be made at the BOF that Petr and I did tonight. Well, the first announcement is that we met with some real, genuine, living Wicket developers this morning. (In their hotel, not far from where Petr and I are staying.) We demoed our Wicket support and they gave us additional requirements to meet. Secondly (i.e., our second big announcement), our project has been open sourced yesterday. Click here for details. We still need to upload our sources, so watch this space for announcements. You'll be able to either install our module in the IDE or... in an application built on the NetBeans Platform.