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Thanks Netbeans Day 2007

Posted by felipegaucho on May 8, 2007 at 12:44 PM PDT

Gregg Sporar lead a technical session about the new Netbeans 6.0, together with a set of SUN engineers. It was not a flat presentation, in fact it was more deep into little details about how the new Netbeans works, including some live coding presentation - I can't imagine the kind of bargain Gregg used to convince a guy to code live on the stage to hundred of other developers :). The presentation was a complete overview of the new IDE features of the IDE, but the main attraction was the integrated profiler. Scripting and debugging completes the show together with some usability hints and tricks. The full presentation will be available somewhere in the oficial conference page, but mine first impressions are enumerated below:

  • Scripts languages: just 1 regular expression definition file and you have highlight colors and formating stuff ready for using on your IDE. It is about usability, a chance to promote productivity for the more than hundred script languages out there.
  • Debugging : stepping over expressions, little button that allow you to define fragments of commands as step points. During the presentation, the output console showed up that Out of Memory heap problems stack trace. At this point I started to guess the speaker was lost and the presentation will restart in some way - I was wrong. Due to the integrated profiler, the speaker could show us how to inspect and to identify the variables causing the problems and he fixed that on the fly - without that heuristic and boring to stop-evaluate-fix-restart cycle we commonly use to solve such problems. I was quite impressed with such feature and for sure will try that later in the hotel room. Then the speaker started to show other minor enhancements of the NB debugger and passed to the project group presentation.
  • Profiler: built-in with the standard build from Netbeans 6 releases. The profiler section of the presentation gave me a good feeling about the integration of a profiler in te development environment. For years, I've been using Eclipse with a set of plugins to evaluate my runtime problems, and sometimes I need a special external tool to investigate better what is happening in the memory. With this new integrated feature, Netbeans seems to be a first class tools in terms of productivity and also in terms of control about what is really happen - without the ping-pong with external tool, common in my Eclipse experience.

You can check more about the new feature at this link: http://wiki.netbeans.org/wiki/view/NewAndNoteWorthyMilestone5.

The Netbeans day happy hour

After wonderful presentations and a lot of social and professional network, everyone went to the Closing General Session with that mission accomplished feeling to listen James Gosling and the Netbeans crew. Mr. Gosling introduced the final session of the day using the calm words reserved only to the core guys of any technology. To support the creator words, a team of engineers presented a summary of the Netbeans presentations and some novelties and future perspectives about the Netbeans platform.

The presentation started with the Netbeans TV - a captivating video about guys trying to deliver Netbeans CDs and other gifts to Palestinian developers at Middle East. Some interesting reference to all people far away who are still using and loving Netbeans despite any difficulties. The smiles of that guys receiving simple gifts was quite amazing - a real life reference and a happiness sharing moment. The show then continued with Tim Boudreau and Henry Story talking about Web 3.0 and URL oriented databases: the web is the database. They commented the growing feeling that semantic web is becoming reality - including some demonstration of RDF documents being imported into Netbeans through a simple copy/paste operation.

An interesting Netbeans plugin that allows movie player to be embedded into any JSE application was shown running over UBUNTU. The funny part was James Gosling commenting he doesn't has any windows running anywhere - the crowd loved it.

Then we got a presentation of a man trying to train his dog using the SUN Spot device, adapting a DOG transporting box to be a remote controlled device to release dog food from computer commands. The lecturer was quite a character - a special moment to relax and enjoy a very friendly speaking and some nice movies with the dog interacting with the box - a kind of digital Pavlov experience :). One of the slides presented the sentence the geek shall inherit the earth and I guess this is a perfect way to describe the style of that presentation.

Before the end of the day, Bruno de Souza spoke about the Netbeans Dream Team - a group of volunteers that contributes for the enhancements of the Netbeans quality through book publishing, tutorials, demos and a lot of feedback from real world experiences using Netbeans. Some of the dream team was on the stage showing the face of the growing Netbeans community.

Time is up, the day finished with some special gifts distributions and beers. After the conference day, the JUG leaders had a unofficial dinner at a Chinese restaurant, but that is another history.