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Plugin Development Workshop at Amity University

Posted by n_varun on September 13, 2008 at 11:01 AM PDT

In the first week of September, I was called up by Angad Singh, CA Tech Lead, and he told me, that I am invited to conduct a workshop at Amity University, during their hosting of Sun CA Induction Program for 40 new CA's from North India.

NetBeans Plugin Development Workshop

Finally, the day arrived for my first ever workshop, and it got started by Angad, who introduced me to the new CA's, as a NetBeans Dream Team Member and ex- JIIT Sun Club Coordinator. There were nearly 20+ CA's in target audience. Then, I took over and asked them 2 questions-

  • Why do we create Netbeans plug-in modules?
  • Why is there Terminology confusion?
    • RCP Book- The Benefits of Modular Programming

Followed by 2 exercises, I had planned to do with them.

  • Lets go inside NetBeans IDE
  • Now, lets go a bit deeper inside NetBeans IDE

Unfortunately, they had not installed NetBeans 6.5 Beta, instead I was told, the CA's would be using NetBeans 6.0 in the labs. Anyways, the plug-in I had chosen for the workshop was flexible enough, that I could have used 5.5 release for delivering the workshop too!

Lets go inside NetBeans IDE

So, we started developing the plug-in, it took good amount of time, as it took a while for them to adapt to the NetBeans Platform, and when they did, it was a smooth sail afterwards.

After the plug-in was developed, and installed in Target Platform, they found it really amazing thing to have. Then, I told them, that whatever steps we took to develop the plug-in were existent in the IDE because of some plug-in modules.

Now, lets go a bit deeper inside NetBeans IDE

Now, to go a bit deeper, I thought of playing with XML layer. It was indeed a great idea, as they were surprised to see the power of this optional configuration file. As Geertjan once said, "Varun introduces you to the layer.xml file in NetBeans modules. He shows you how a few small tweaks can have very useful results".

Pointers are back again...

We all know, there are nothing like pointers in Java, but XML layer in NetBeans Plugin Development does use it indirectly. The .shadow files, are pointers/symbolic links to the .instance files, which in my case, were used to register Actions in System Filesystem.

I explained them what System Filesystem is all about? Just a brief overview, as it was their first real experience with Plugin Development. So, I just wanted to touch every possible aspect, to get them started with development smoothly, rather than explain them FileObjects, DataObjects, etc.


Finally, the workshop got over. Really, it was an amazing experience barring minor hiccups and while preparing for the workshop, I do believe, I have developed a better understanding of concepts I just talked about.

Thank you, Amity and Sun for giving me the opportunity to conduct a workshop.

Related Links

[ Day 1 | Event | Day 2 ]

Photos by Angad Singh, CA Tech Lead

[ Open Office | PDF | Power Point ]
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