Monday Jul 27, 2009

JavaFX 1.2 now part of the "All" distro of NetBeans (6.7.1)

NetBeans just released a minor version update (6.7.1) which includes support for JavaFX 1.2. Developers will be pleased that the JavaFX plugin is now included in the "All" distro of NetBeans, in addition to having its own distro. This is the most (over 50%) downloaded NetBeans distro and will enable all the Java and web developers to experience JavaFX in the confort of their favorite IDE :-).

Monday Jun 15, 2009

Subversion support in NetBeans

I have not been into the code in the last couple of month, however I recently needed to look at the performance of a JavaFX application written by a 3rd party. I am using a new Windows notebook and I had the JavaFX development environment (NetBeans 6.5.1 + JavaFX SDK) setup, however the project had the sources in an subversion repository and I did not have it installed. Now onto the interesting part. As I used NetBeans in trying to connect to the SVN repository, the IDE prompted me to facilitate the installation of SVN for Windows. Sweet! I was up and running in no time. I guess this is one of the core the value proposition of IDEs - easy of use, and NetBeans delivered. 

On a related note, I am using the VisualVM (look for jvisualvm in your JDK install path) tool that now ships with the JDK, to profile and troubleshoot the 3rd party app. Some of you may know that the VisualVM is based on the NetBeans platform and offers a plugable model for building serviceability tooling for the Java platform. I hope that John's team will shortly port the Thread Scheduling Visualizer as a VisualVM extension.

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

Another scripting language supported by NetBeans

 It has been a couple of years since NetBeans has been focusing on supporting scripting languages. The 6.5 release continues to deliver on this trend. The PHP IDE that was launched earlier this year (at JavaOne) has now been formalized and new support for Python has also been added. Scripting languages are very popular and well suited for web application development. In many cases developers use scripting on the client side and Java on the server side. PHP is practically the lingua franca of the presentation layer for MySQL. There is a lot of content out there that helps developer write database driven web applications using PHP & JavaScript. NetBeans does a superb job of supporting this usecase.

Looking ahead, there will be an additional options for web application developers. A new extension of the Java platform, JavaFX, will be released and huge opportunities will now be available for developers who are lookign to embed media, graphics and animation in web applications. In a couple of weeks, the NetBeans community will also release a distribution that supports the JavaFX scripting language.

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

HelloWorld JavaFX

I tried writing a Hello World applications assisted by the latest night build of NetBeans 6.5 that has the built in support for JavaFX Script. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the IDE generates some sample code by default to help one get started.

import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.text.Text;

    width: 250
    height: 80
    scene: Scene{
        content: Text {
            x: 10, y: 30
            content: "Hello world"
A quick glance at a couple of other features that I was expecting, shown that the debugger works and one could change the deployment options (use the context menu on the project to choose "Set Configurations | Customize" and deploy the application as an applet, desktop application, mobile emulator, etc. When I have more time, I'll try to play with the media support in JavaFX.

Thursday Jul 31, 2008

NetBeans helps you get started with JavaFX

I've been waiting since Java One for the release of the JavaFX SDK. This morning, I was finally able to download the bits and to my pleasant surprise the tooling accompanied the release. I installed a distribution of NetBeans 6.1 that includes support for JavaFX script. ~30MB later and a straight forward install I was ready to go. NetBeans bundles a few samples which are useful when you want to learn by modifying someone else's code.

In a nutshell, for a preview the bits fared well and I was able kick the tires of the new language. Of course the availability of the debugging capabilities that I got with NetBeans made my job easier. Developer docs can be found both on the site as well on I am looking forward to the 1.0 release of the SDK later on this year.

Thursday Jun 26, 2008

Build NetBeans on OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris is on path to become a compelling development environment. Once in a while I use my local installation that runs on my MacBook (under Virtual Box) to experiment with different tasks. Yesterday I tried to build NetBeans on OpenSolaris. With that in mind I knew I'll need the JDK (for the compiler), ant to build the sources, mercurial to pull the sources from the NetBeans open source repositories, etc.

In a terminal I became root and started looking for packages (e.g. pkg install mercurial - but this won't work). I found out that at this point the naming is not yet consistent. You can look for software like netbeans or openoffice by name, however for something like mercurial and ant, one has to use SUNWmercurial and SUNWant respectively.

Pulling from the NetBeans repository is simple:

hg clone

The next step calls for going into the <nbsourcedir>/main/nbbuild/ directory and looking for build targets using ant -projecthelp. "All" seemed an intuitive so I tried it. The bad part is that NetBeans requires ant version 1.7.0 and the version I installed earlier was 1.6.5 :-(. At this point I gave up and I'll ping the NetBeans community for help.

Thursday May 01, 2008

Building on the momentum

NetBeans has momentum. The relentless innovation has been paying off.
While staying true to Java developers, recent innovations in NetBeans IDE broaden its support for dynamic languages including Ruby, JavaScript, and now PHP.
NetBeans is poised to be the IDE of choice for next-generation web developers.

What is on tap in this release? Lot's, here are some of the highlights:

  • JavaScript
    • Support makes NetBeans an even more compelling IDE for web development. Strengths include editor support, refactoring, and quick fixes/semantic checks.
    •  Makes use of the powerful infrastructure implemented for Ruby support that's been so well received by the community.
    • Debugger support will be available on update center as a preview.
  • Web Services
    • NetBeans makes it easily to create mashups and provides drag-and-drop code generation.
    • Supports web APIs such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and YouTube
    • 6.1 includes support for RESTful web services.
    • SOAP UI plug-in available at update center (for testing web services)
  • Databases
    • MySQL Support in Database Explorer makes it easy to create DBs and launch MySQL administrative tools.
    • JSF CRUD Generator lets you generate a CRUD application from a DB schema.
  • Ruby/JRuby
    • Continues to be a priority for NetBeans community.
    • Google “NetBeans Ruby” and take a look at the positive results (you can say that)
    • Enhancements in 6.1 include:
      • Ruby platform manager
      • Support for Rails 2.0
      • New hints and quick fixes in the editor
  • Performance Enhancements (making a fast IDE even faster)
    • Up to 40 percent faster startup
    • Smarter parsing so that code completion is faster.
    • Less memory consumption
  • Other highlights:
    • Sailfin v1 support (SIP application server based on project Glassfish - NetBeans 6.1 now bundles GlassFish v2 ur2)
    • WebSphere 6.0 and 6.1 now supported out of the box
    • Spring framework (version 2.5) now supported out of the box
    • Groovy and Grails plug-ins are now available on the update center
    • Hibernate framework plug-in (this blog has more details) is now available on the update center
    • Axis2 plug-in is now available on the update center
    • Clearcase plug-in now available on the update center

Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Bleeding edge plugins

Early adopters of NetBeans have the option to point to the development update center and get additional plugins which are under development. The overwhelming # of users should \*not\* bother, since some of the modules are under active development and likely unstable. However if one wants to live on the bleeding edge, here is what you can do:

From the NetBeans IDE menu: Tools | Plugins | ... Settings | ... Add |




Monday Apr 21, 2008

Just another way to learn

I remember, while growing up and going through school, having to study for quizzes. Some were scheduled, others impromptu, but no matter what was the circumstance, I recall having a knot in my stomach in anticipation of the results. Most of the quizzes that I take nowadays have to do with testing my knowledge and the stakes don't seem that high. I look at the new quiz sponsored by the NetBeans team as an opportunity to keep in touch with the language that I came to love and challenge my technical skills.

It is worth mentioning that participating in this quiz can be rewarding in more ways than just stimulating your intelligence and helping you learn. Prizes are awarded weekly and you can win more than once. My only problem is that I am not a legal resident of India and hence I am not eligible to win :(

To take the quiz, just download NetBeans, use its update center to download the plugin (Tools | Plugins  from the main menu and then look the "quiz" under Avaliable Plugins) and you are ready to go. To re-launch the quiz, use Help | NetBeans Quiz.

Monday Mar 24, 2008

Share your technology expertise with others

Blogs are all about sharing, opinion and participation in the new social media dynamic, where the news are made by random folks, and not only the journalism graduates.
The NetBeans blogging contest is just that - an attempt to get folks to evaluate the latest support for JavaScript and the Spring framework, that comes in the NetBeans 6.1 beta. If you are adventurous, try the NetBeans 6.1 nightly build, where you can get a preview of the new design for RESTful web services support and PHP. It is still work in progress, but worth while for the folks looking for the bleeding edge.

Wednesday Mar 05, 2008

NetBeans 6 wins the Jolt award - Development Environments

NetBeans 6 just won the Jolt award for the best Development Environment.
This is excellent news for the NetBeans community, partners and engineering team.

Ajax support in NetBeans

If you've read my previous post on charting for web applications using jMaki, here is another installment on the Ajax capabilities of NetBeans. The 6.1 beta release (due to be released tomorrow 3/6/08) improves on the previous feature set and as far as JavaScript support is concerned, it kicks butt!

So what's on tap?


  • JavaScript support in the editor - if you make heavy use of JavaScript in your web apps, NetBeans 6.1 brings the language to life
  • Better support for MySQL - ability to register MySQL servers
  • Performance improvements - especially in startup and project open visual JavaServer Facess application development
  • Support for PHP is still experimental (available on the update center), so I suggest for folks to wait until early April to kick the tires of the PHP support
Check out this wiki page for some more details on the Ajax related functionality as well the new & noteworthy wiki on NetBeans 6.1 beta.


Monday Feb 25, 2008

Embedding charts in web applications using NetBeans

You'll be surprised how easy is to build a web application that charts data using the jMaki framework and NetBeans 6. So let's assume that you want to plot the % of revenue an organization receives every month of an year. A pie chart would likely be your best bet:

So how does one build such a chart? These few steps should get you started:

  • First of all you'll need to get install the jMaki plugin from the NetBeans update center (Tools | Plugins | Available Plugins | jMaki Ajax support)
  • Next get the corresponding charting library - a project and install it in NetBeans (Tools | Palette | Add jMaki Library)
  • Create a new web project and select the jMaki framework in the project wizards dialog
  • Drag and drop the "Google Pie"component from the palette (look for a section called - jmaki-charting-widget ...) after the <body> tag in the index.jsp default page of the project
  • Deploy the application and customize as needed

If you are not a Java guy and want to achieve the same results in a PHP project and application use the following code snippet to build the chart.

  addWidget( array(
                         "name" =>"jmaki.charting.plotkit.pie",
                   xAxis : {
                   title : 'Months',
                   labels : [{ label : 'January'},
                             { label : 'February'},
                             { label : 'March'},
                             { label : 'April'},
                             { label : 'May'},
                             { label : 'June'},
                             { label : 'July'},
                             { label : 'August'},
                             { label : 'September'},
                             { label : 'October'},
                             { label : 'November'},
                             { label : 'December'}
                             data : [
                  {label : 'Set 1', values : [25, 45, 25, 45, 50, 25, 35, 25, 25, 20, 35, 45] },


Saturday Feb 23, 2008

Help NetBeans make a 'clear case' :-)

The NetBeans team just released support for one of the most  popular version control systems (VCS) in the  enterprise - ClearCase. At this point the ClearCase plugin is only available in the current development version of NetBeans: 6.1. Since the support is still experimental, the plugin is available on the update center. In order to try this out, one would have to get a NetBeans dev build.

The details regarding the support for ClearCase can be found here. Rouman blog has even more details.

In my case, I gave NetBeans 6.1 a try for a completely different reason. It is the improved support  for JavaScript. In the previous versions of NetBeans, JavaScript was minimally supported.  Starting last week, I've noticed dramatic improvement. I'll keep a close watch on that and report back.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2008

NetBeans tooling for Eclipse developers?

Who would have thought that NetBeans will be building tooling for the Eclipse developer community? Runtime tooling that is. I'll explain shortly. The two communities have been engaged in a healthy competition for the hearts and minds of developers at large, however the focus has been the "design time". One could consider one of the new NetBeans projects as a play for a much broader audience, including developers that are still using Vi/Emacs for their development and are not currently using an IDE.

[Read More]

Monday Feb 04, 2008

A step in the right direction

In a previous blog I mentioned that I installed VMWare Fusion 1.1 and Linux (Ubuntu 7.10 - Gutsy). Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE) was the next OS that I looking to install (as I was looking to compare the respective SAMP and LAMP stacks). If all this worked out OK, I would get rid of my Parallels installation and stick with VMWare. This is not the first time I've experimented with SXDE, and was curious if the Solaris folks have made more progress.

The answer is yes, however there is more to be done, especially since Ubuntu sets the bar so high. Here are the details

[Read More]

Saturday Feb 02, 2008

Gutsy & NetBeans

I gave VMWare Fusion a try. Smooth install, didn't have to consult the documentation. I also took the opportunity to get Ubuntu Gutsy. As always, the Ubuntu installation is sweet - it just works. I had Vista license, however someone decided to make it theirs :-) and I don't have the media any more.

Once Gutsy was installed, I started looking for development tools and add on packages. apt-get does the trick, but you need to know what's available. The easiest way is to use "Applications | Add/Remove" menu, however many packages are not in Universe and you'll have to look on the website for a list packages.

To my disappointment, NetBeans 6 is still not available for Gutsy and I had to settle for NetBeans 5.5. I'll have to see if this version will be good enough for what I am trying to do - look into database migration issues. I know that the NetBeans folks were shooting for Hardy. I'll have to double check with Honza.

Monday Jan 28, 2008

NetBeans and MySQL

Sun's recent announcement to acquire MySQL, reminded me that I actually have a copy of MySQL installed on my Mac. I've done that a long time ago, when I was experimenting with Wordpress (the blogging software) and to easily deal with the compatibility issues of MySQL & PHP, I installed the MAMP software.

I knew that NetBeans bundles the Connector/J JDBC driver, so I wanted to find out how easy would it be to point NetBeans to the MySQL database used when I originally setup Wordpress.

In a nutshell, it was an easy process. I used the "New Connection" wizard on the "Services" (Database node) tab in the IDE and just used the custom port (8889) used by Wordpress, rather than the default one used by MySQL (3306). As it is always the case, a screen shot tells the story better.

New to Ruby

I recently experimented with Ruby on Rails, using NetBeans 6. My previous attempt with RoR was about 9 month ago and I remember having to do a lot of curls and makes to get everything configured. Getting started with NetBeans has been very easy, since there is a distribution (19 MB download) for Ruby developers and the IDE also included the runtime.

Given that I know Tor, the main architect and implementor of Ruby/JRuby tooling in NetBeans and I recently googled his name and Ruby. I found this excellent video that got me up to speed in no time. It turns out that the video has been extremely successful - as of 1/28/08 it had more that 100K downloads. Very impressive.


Thursday Jan 10, 2008

Community developer support

As a developer using NetBeans you can get a variety of help in using the IDE or learning how to extend and build on the platform. Historically most of the users have been using the mailing list as a resource to get their questions answered. Developers involved in key projects that need enterprise level support and services  should be able to purchase professional support from Sun. Most recently, the support team has been publishing a blog where the NetBeans community members could go for tips on how to effectively use NetBeans and become more productive.

Listening to the customer


The NetBeans team just released another patch for NetBeans 6, to the community. The latest patch includes an update of the JavaServer Faces components library (codenamed - Woodstock). The update improves the runtime performance of the library.

If you want to nominate more bugs to be included in future patches, just take a look at the wiki page.

Thursday Jan 03, 2008

NetBeans moving to Mercurial

NetBeans sources will be moving shortly to a different version control system - Mercurial. The details of the migration are detailed here. Tonda is in charge, so send him feedback. If you are not familiar with distributed version control systems, take a look at this article. Here is how I configured my own instance of NetBeans 6 to use Mercurial and point to the new repository.

Nota bene: I am running on a Mac - Leopard + Java 1.5.0_13.

  • Get Mercurial (it will require Python)
  • Install the Mercurial plugin from the NetBeans update center (Tools | Plugins) and get familiar with the documentation.
  • Point NetBeans (assuming that you are using NetBeans to build and develop) to the repository (Versioning | Mercurial | Clone Other ...):
  • If you are looking for instructions on how to clone a repository from the command line, I found this document to be useful
If you run into trouble, write to the team ( to get support.

Wednesday Jan 02, 2008

Popularity of NetBeans is reflected in the demand for jobs with relevant skills

One way to gage success of product or technology is to look at the job trends that call for relevant skills. Honza recently pointed me to this site, that helps professionals search for jobs. I was pleasantly surprised to see the recent surge of jobs that call for NetBeans. I suspect that the industry has realized by now that NetBeans the best IDE for Ruby, Web Services and Swing application development.


Monday Dec 03, 2007

History & Frankfurt

Frankfurt, the fifth largest German city, started as a Roman settlement, about 2000 years ago. Lots has happened since. Here are some historical (and other :-)) highlights:

  • During the Napoleonic Wars Frankfurt was occupied or cannonaded several times by French troops. It nevertheless still remained a free city until the total collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1805/6

It used to be a Java IDE

NetBeans started as a Java IDE, one of the first open source projects at Sun. It was long time ago ('99). Since then, it has evolved rapidly, especially in the last couple of years and became more than an IDE. It is also a platform. In addition , NetBeans has become a delivery vehicle for cool technologies from Sun and the Open Source (e.g. JRuby, GlassFish, Tomcat). Some people may argue that, lately, NetBeans has become choice IDE for Ruby developers. How about the support for C/C++ and UML? It is all there.


Nota Bene:






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