Our big little NetBeans IDE book
My name is Patrick Keegan. I've been a NetBeans IDE technical writer for the past six years. I'm starting this web log to communicate my impressions from JavaOne 2005 and I imagine I'll continue with it as long as I feel like I have something unique to say in this ever increasingly densely populated blogosphere. Today I'll start with a round of shameless self-promotion and get that out of the way.
I'm coming to this year's JavaOne as co-author of the NetBeans IDE Field Guide. Pretty exciting for me personally and professionally and hopefully interesting for some of you as Java technology fans. If you're at the conference, stop by the Digital Guru stand to flip through a copy. Or come to NetBeans Day on Sunday and get a free copy (get there early!). I'll be at the Digital Guru stand Monday 4 - 4:30 p.m. with two of my co-authors - Ludovic Champenois and Charlie Hunt to sign copies and talk about the book. If you aren't coming to the conference, you can find it for a discount at Bookpool as well as other online vendors.
When we started writing on the book, we wanted to include as much information as possible about the IDE. There's lots of documentation on the NetBeans project web site and we've gotten better at organizing and presenting it. But for many (like me) there's an undeniable pleasure about being able to leave the computer at the desk, flop down on a couch, flip open a book and start reading. (Also, since NetBeans is the premier everything in one package IDE, why not have a single book to reflect that.)
That said, it's awfully hard to make a book comprehensive, comprehensible, *and* timely all at the same time. However, I think we've done a pretty good job in all three categories. The book delves deeply into the IDE's edit/compile/debug features and explores development of desktop, web, enterprise, and mobile apps. Timeliness is not the norm for such books when the target is constantly in motion as NetBeans IDE is, especially given the typical 3-4 month lag between submitting the manuscript and seeing the printed book. I'm proud of the fact that the Field Guide is coming out only a month after the 4.1 release and will remain relevant for a long time.
More later. Hope to see you at JavaOne!