The current tutorial has a "Getting Started" section for the NetBeans IDE, but the subsequent trails and lessons don't give any examples that are specific to using it. Well, that's about to change. We're currently prototyping the next version of the tutorial, which will fully integrate NetBeans into the discussions and examples. The first section to receive such treatment will be the Getting Started with Swing
lesson. If you haven't used it before, NetBeans has an incredibly useful GUI builder; the various Swing components (JLabel, JTextField, etc.) appear in a pallete, and you literally just drag the components onto the visual form editor to create the layout of your GUI. With this feature the typical GUI creation cycle of code/compile/run/fix/repeat becomes a thing of the past. If you've ever struggled with coding layout managers by hand, you'll appreciate how much easier this is.
Now, we realize that some developers will still want/need to understand the underlying concepts. For that we will provide optional links that lead to deeper conceptual discussions, with examples of how to code by hand as usual. We believe this will reduce the learning curve associated with Swing, yet still provide enough information for those who prefer to build their GUI from the ground up.
-- Scott Hommel