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Trip and Tick 1: Checking out a project using Netbeans

Posted by evanx on July 7, 2006 at 8:59 AM PDT

Trip and Tick 1: Checking out a project

I got an email asking for document on how to run a project in Netbeans, so here goes...

I got an email on Friday from a chap in Italy asking where he could
find a document on how to run aptframework
in Netbeans, which is like pressing not one but two or three, of my JButtons simultaneously,
and which has led to me to writing this blog article. I'm sure he'll be watching
Italy in the World Cup Final this weekend, rather than doing anything else,
but anyway here goes.

Let's say you hear about a project that is hosted on, and you go to its home page
You'll see something like the following.

apthome2.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

With any luck there'll be a link to some screenshots, which the project owner
might have uploaded into "Documents & files" under the "Project Tools" tab.
That's very nice, but you'll quickly discover that projects on
are all about the code. Happily, you can browse the source in the CVS
using "Version control - CVS".

Some projects put a Webstart "Launch" button on the home page. Supoib!
(Catch the episode when Bart Simpson works for the mafia,
to see how to pronounce "superb" as "supoib" heh heh.)
I really must read up on JNLP and do the same... see Trip and Tick 2!

If you aren't a member of, well that's very easily rectified. Just click on Register
at the top right of the above page to get the following.

jnregister2.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

Now in Netbeans, you go to the CVS menu, and choose "Checkout..."
and specify the following CVS root, with your own username and password of course.

aptcheckout.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

Then you specify the project name as the module, and the directory where you want
to check out projects to, eg. to your home/projects directory.

aptmodule2.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

The default suggestion is $HOME/nbprojects or something like that. In Windows, that
would be C:\Documents and Settings\USER\nbprojects. Personally i like
to keep my CVS code, and Netbeans project file directory separate. So i use
a projects subdirectory for the code checked out from CVS, using
Netbeans or some other CVS client. And later we can specify a separate nbprojects
subdirectory for the Netbeans project files, when we create the project
after the code has been checked out.

Alternative directory names might be cvsprojects for the code, and netbeans
for the Netbeans project files. In UNIX these would be off your home directory, and
in Windows in your Documents and Settings.

Incidently, if you also use Eclipse, then your code will be in your Eclipse workspace
directory, and your Netbeans project files in nbprojects.
And you can happily switch between Eclipse and Netbeans in this case, eg.
to use Netbeans' Mattise or Profiler.

Back to the game. It might take Netbeans a minute or two to check out all the sources into
the chosen directory. Then Netbeans prompts us to create a project from the checked out sources.
This is just like prompting us to select "New Project..." in the File menu.

newproject-existing-source.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

We give the project name, and our netbeans project folder for this project, eg. off nbprojects.

newproject-name.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

We specify our "existing sources" as the src directory we have just checked out,
as follows. We can ignore any other directories, eg. www is the project home page,
and nbprojects is a Netbeans project directory, maybe checked in by mistake
long ago, in a land far far away...

newproject-addsourcefolder.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

Finally, we select the class to run in the project properties.
We right-click on the project name in the Projects window, and choose Properties,
the last item in the project menu, and the following dialog pops up.

properties-sources.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

Our source folder has already been selected, so nothing to do here.
We click on the Run category, and select the main class to run, as follows.
In the case of the aptframework demo, it's ZViewContext.

properties-run.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

Finally we press F6 to compile and run! Actually this will compile and run the
currently flagged "Main Project" of those projects you have open in the Projects window.
You right-click on the project and select the "Set Main Project" to flag that project as such.
The Main Project name then goes bold. Otherwise you can right-click and select "Run Project"
to run a project which is not flagged as the Main Project.

aptrun2.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

In the case of aptframework, the demo will popup as follows.

aptlogin.png vspace=4 hspace=0 border=0 />

The next article in this series will be "Trip and Tick 2: JooJ up your project page with Netbeans' JNLP tool."

Update: You can check out the demo without checking out the code using the following Web Starter :)



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