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Moving to NetBeans

Posted by davidvc on December 19, 2006 at 11:50 AM PST

After five years working with the Database Technology team at
Clustra and here at Sun, I'm changing jobs and will now be working
with the NetBeans team, focusing on (you guessed it) database tooling.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing yet, but I know what I'll
be doing first: pulling down the code, getting it to build, reading
architecture and design docs, meeting with lots of people.

I've already checked out the code and got it to build -- pretty darn
easy, Coming from Derby where we use subversion, it was kind of hard
moving back to cvs -- I'm hoping at some point NetBeans will
migrate over.

One thing I like already about the NetBeans code base is it is
very consciously structured into independent modules. This is
an approach I have always liked, it helps keep the coupling
between areas in your system very loose and light. I have
tried to sell this model to other teams I have worked with,
but with limited success -- restructuring an
existing code base into modules is hard.

Another interesting thing is that NetBeans is built with NetBeans.
Each module has its own nbproject directory that contains
the project for that module. I tried pulling the db

project into NetBeans 5.5 but it failed. I was informed that right
now you have to use a NetBeans build from the trunk to build NetBeans from the trunk. Hm... that all feels a little risky and circular to me, but I guess it works... There is always ant if nothing else works.

Anyway, I'm excited to be in this new area, it's actually more in line with my own interests. I also get the opportunity to bring expertise into the team while at the same time having the chance to learn a lot of new technology. I've been a back-end guy most of my career, and all these phrases like "container" and "layout manager" and "panel" are a bit Greek to me. Wish me luck!