As a generic application framework for large modular Swing applications, the NetBeans Platform has seen a significant number of developments recently. In order of importance, in my humble opinion:
- Eclipse RCP/NetBeans Platform: The Real Story. Edvin Syse explains the differences as they really are, in an article that continues to stand solidly, despite those that tried to argue against it: Why I Moved from Eclipse RCP to the NetBeans Platform. What I appreciate about the article is that it's written by someone who is thoroughly conversant with both platforms, while not having any personal/business interest in defending one over the other, and hence he goes very far in providing a comprehensive and updated comparison on the pros/cons of using the one over the other. And, let me add, lest there be any confusion on this point, I do highly recommend Eclipse RCP in certain situations, yes I do: I highly recommend it if your chosen UI toolkit is SWT.
- New And Updated NetBeans Platform Book. The book is finally at the printer and will be available later this month. Yes, it was set to be released in July. Completely because of my own personal fault (so stop blaming Packt, OK) the book was delayed, since there were many things to tweak and change right up to the last minute. The translation team, all volunteers, was excellent, as in the case of the previous book translated from German to English by the community. Good things take time to mature, even longer than promised and longer than hoped. The end result is still not where I'd want it to be, but we'll fix the remaining things in the next release of the book. You'll definitely get a thorough picture of everything the NetBeans Platform provides by reading it from cover to cover. Order it here!
- NetBeans Platform 6.10. The NetBeans 6.10 plan is now available. Though it is high-level, you can already see a clear enhancement in the NetBeans Platform area: further enhancements in performance. That's a clear area where work for NetBeans IDE benefits everyone creating applications on the framework (i.e., the NetBeans Platform) on which NetBeans IDE is based. So, the more you support NetBeans IDE, the greater the likelihood that your NetBeans Platform applications will benefit from the efforts invested in that area. In the area of NetBeans Platform annotations, I am looking forward to the new @ActionRegistration annotation to register Actions which will be making it into the 6.10 release.
- OSGi. Long has the NetBeans team been criticized for not supporting OSGi. Now, however, you can create applications purely in OSGi, via the new OSGi support in NetBeans Platform 6.9. Dual usage is also possible, where you continue to use the NetBeans Platform's modules without converting them to OSGi, together with your own OSGi bundles. (EMF/NetBeans integration, explained in a new lengthy tutorial here seems, to me, to be the best use case.) "What about performance?" some have asked. "Now that the NetBeans Platform supports two module systems, won't the speed of my application be impacted if I, for example, use Equinox together with the NetBeans module system?" Well, read Jaroslav Tulach's latest blog, entitled Heavier than Air Can't Fly! There you'll find out that the NetBeans/Equinox container is the fastest OSGi container in the world. Read it and weep!
- Trainings. Aside from the presentation I did recently in London, which will be followed by another presentation & training there soon, presentations and trainings are lining up for Goettingen, Munich, San Francisco, Johannesburg and Cape Town. (There are available seats in all those trainings, click the relevant link in the previous sentence, write me at geertjan dot wielenga at sun dot com, or leave a message here if you're interested.) On top of that, training requests continue coming in, particularly from large enterprises and international treaty organizations. The general mailing list to write to if you're an organization interested in being certified as NetBeans Platform engineers is users at edu dot netbeans dot org.
Oh and there's also a whole bunch of sessions at the upcoming JavaOne dedicated to informing and educating you about how to use the NetBeans Platform for fun and profit. I.e., forget about your homemade application frameworks and, instead, build your applications on the only modular Swing application framework in existence, that is, the NetBeans Platform.