Here's a pic of me and the group, taken by Toni:
Toni went through the main features and APIs of the NetBeans Platform in some detail and I did a small demo. We started with a small application:
...which I ported to the NetBeans Platform:
I then added one module, which I had simply downloaded off the web here:
And then... without any tweaking or configuration of any kind whatsoever (literally, nothing at all), I was able to run the application again, resulting in a completely new look and feel for the application:
The whole demo probably took 10 minutes. Agile desktop development with the NetBeans Platform?
That's the advantage of programming with Swing, i.e., the look and feel support, as well as the advantage of the modularity offered by the NetBeans Platform, which enables you to bundle your look and feel support into a separate module and make it available as a single unit that can simply be included with the rest of your application.
Some things we forgot to mention during the session, but which we'll remember next time:
It was a great time, thanks to Edwin and everyone else for organizing and attending the evening. Especially great to meet Florian Brunner (who should somehow have at least one new NetBeans Platform screenshot to share!) at last. :-) We already received some very positive feedback: Alex Hanselmann, one of the attendees, wrote to say that he'd successfully completed the NetBeans Platform Paint Tutorial. Another attendee, Steve Winnall, is in the process of converting an application to a Maven-based NetBeans Platform application. This document by Emilian Bold should certainly help him get started!