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NetBeans Day San Francisco

Posted by joconner on May 15, 2006 at 5:40 PM PDT

Fast Facts

  • Approximately 800 people in attendance
  • Over 10 million NetBeans downloads
  • Over 30,000 NetBeans CDs shipped worldwide
  • More than 100 partners support NetBeans with plugins, active
    development, etc.
  • JBoss and AMD are new members
  • Subversion support

Arriving in San Francisco early Sunday morning, I knew it wouldn't be long until I was neck deep in Java technology. I relaxed Sunday, knowing that the next few days would be a marathon of technical sessions, keynote speakers, and product announcements. It was a good day to charge up...and what better way than at a Dodgers vs Giants game! Barry Bonds didn't hit his 714 homer, but it was a great game, especially if you're a Dodgers fan.

OK, so my work week starts today at NetBeans Day. I arrived at the Argent Hotel near noon to find a line extending down an escalator, across the hotel registration area, and nearly out the door. The Argent Hotel must be a great hotel, I thought...but wait, those are NetBeans shirts and JavaOne bags I see. Huh? Oh no, I'll never get in. Luck prevailed, and I squeezed into the main hall for the opening session. (Thanks to Robert Demmer and Gregg Sporar for waving me through without an official registration badge!)

Entering the venue, I caught a rare glimpse of Sun's new CEO Jonathan Schwartz and our new software leader Rich Green. Hey, I'm not a professional photographer, so I feel lucky to get even this. Rich is on the left, Jonathan on the right. Both of these two have a strong affinity for tools. Developers use tools. When tools are good, developers are happy. When developers are happy, they write good apps for your platform. Sun wants happy developers, and these two are committed to the NetBeans community.


The NetBeans 5.5 beta is now available. It brings Subversion plugin support. Refactoring is a big bonus.

Jonathan Schwartz, the new CEO at Sun, reminded the crowd of approximately 800 NetBeans users that "Innovation happens elsewhere" and reiterated Sun's commitment to the NetBeans community. He said that Sun's market opportunities improve as developer tools improve.

Jonathan acted as proxy for the Java community when he asked the software group's new leader Rich Green whether Sun would turn over Java to the open source community. Rich didn't give a clear yes or no answer, but he did say that the brand name and compatibility were important. He seemed to hint that open source was a possibility, however, when he said "Why not?" as long as Sun can maintain both the brand name and compatibility across platforms. I'm not sure that means Sun will pursue an open source route with the Java platform, but he didn't rule it out either. The clear message, however, was this: the community has been asking more and more from Sun, and Sun will increasingly ask for more from the community. The Mustang project is a clear example of this new and welcome involvment of the Java platform community.


Neal Gafter and Josh Bloch tricked the crowd with multiple optical illusions. Good clean entertainment. Of course, the point of these illusions is to point out that we don't see reality sometimes, even if we're staring right at it. The Java language also has a few tricky areas that can confuse programmers and create wrong results. They gave several examples...with unabashed advertising towards their book which contains more. If interested, you can find "Java Puzzlers" at your favorite book seller.

NetBeans is the common platform for many developer tools including these:

  • Java Studio Creator
  • Java Studio Enterprise
  • Java Mobility Pack

Although you have to download these products separately to get the full functionality of each product, the community and Sun clearly plan to change that. Sometime in the future, you should see Sun turning over more developer tools to the open source community. That means that you'll be able to use the best of all these products as plugins to the core NetBeans tool. Want the UML tool from the Enterprise product in your NetBeans IDE? Fine. It'll probably be a plugin soon. Look for more and more new plugins available to NetBeans as Sun releases its own tools to the open source community.

There are more activities (parties?) tonight too...Java Community Process, NetBeans, Alumni...if you're here for JavaOne, you'll fit in somewhere. But don't stay out too late...the JavaOne marathon begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM! See you there!

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