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NetBeans Day China

Posted by gsporar on September 12, 2005 at 7:43 AM PDT

(Left to right: Tim Boudreau, Martin Ryzl, Gregg Sporar, James Gosling)

After the success of the NetBeans Day that we did back in June, it was decided that NetBeans should go on a world tour. In other words, take NetBeans Day on the road to the folks who didn't make it to JavaOne in San Francisco. The first stop on the tour was Beijing, China where we held NetBeans Day on September 12th, in conjunction with JavaChina. It was a success - the audience had over 500 people.

James Gosling was the moderator and key note speaker. He kicked things off with a big picure view that included a discussion of the Java community, dealing with complexity, the changes in Java EE 5, and the importance of developer tools. The tools discussion included the products that are built on top of NetBeans: Java Studio Enterprise and Java Studio Creator.

James then turned the stage over to Tim Boudreau, who did a deeper dive into NetBeans. He started with an overview: what is NetBeans, etc. He discussed the NetBeans Platform a bit, but mostly focused on the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Tim's theme when discussing the IDE was very straight forward: that which gets you better software should be a natural part of your development experience. To that end, he did demos of some of the features in NetBeans that help you create better software: the integration with Ant, the support for JUnit, the NetBeans Profiler, etc. He also discussed the next release of NetBeans: version 5.0. In that portion of the presentation, he included a demo of Project Matisse, which is always a crowd-pleaser. His talk generated several questions from the audience, including some about the NetBeans Platform.

I then took the stage and talked about the support in the NetBeans IDE for Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE). When we released v4.1 of NetBeans back in May we added some cool new J2EE features: wizards for Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) and for creation/consumption of web services. Those features were on top of the existing support for servlets, Java Server Pages (JSPs), etc. The theme of my presentation was that the NetBeans IDE provides three key things to a J2EE developer:

  • Specific functionality to help a developer learn J2EE
  • Tight integration with a growing list of web and application servers
  • Cool tools: editors, wizards, debuggers, verifiers, monitors, and a profiler

I did a demo that showed all three areas. As I've written before, one of the nice features of the NetBeans IDE is its inclusion of Java BluePrints that are ready to run. So I started with the client-side state BluePrint and then modified it to use a web service from CDYNE that does spell checking (I got the idea from an excellent tutorial that was written by Geertjan). The web service wizard in the IDE made doing that a piece of cake. I followed that demo with another BluePrint demo and, as promised, I showed the localized version; a screen snapshot is available here.

To wrap things up, I talked briefly about the future: Java EE 5. The development team is already working on adding support for Java EE 5 to the IDE, even though those features will not be released until some time next year. The goal here is simple: when the Java EE 5 specification is finalized and released there will be a new version of NetBeans that supports it. There are very early preview builds available, but I had some install/configuration problems on my laptop. So as a fall-back, I ended up stepping the audience through Petr Jiricka's excellent Flash demo of the new EJB 3.0 features.

After that, I had to leave to go to the technical rehearsal for a demo that I will do during Bob Brewin's JavaChina keynote.

Meanwhile, back at NetBeans Day Martin Ryzl took the stage to talk about the NetBeans Mobility Pack. I'm not much of a Java2 Mobility Edition (J2ME) developer, but what NetBeans provides looks pretty powerful. I've seen Martin do demos before and they're always cool and informative, so I was bummed that I had to leave. The report I got is that his presentation was well received.

And from what I heard, the final portion of NetBeans Day China was also pretty cool: James and Tim did a demo of the new collaboration features that are available in NetBeans.

So a good time was had by all. Special thanks go to the team that put all of this together: Julie Welch, John Jiang, and Judith Lilienfeld (pictured below, left to right).