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NetBeans Day San Francisco, 2007

Posted by gsporar on May 7, 2007 at 8:09 PM PDT

After several years at the Argent Hotel, for 2007
NetBeans Day San Francisco
moved to the Moscone Center. The room at the Argent was
no longer large enough.

There were 1,380
people registered for this event. Actual attendance at the opening general session looked to be around
1,000 (last year
we had about 800, the year before about 550). This year for the first time there were additional
sessions going on as part of CommunityOne and folks
were free to mix-and-match NetBeans Day sessions with
the talks that were done by the GlassFish folks, and
OpenSolaris, etc.

The opening session for NetBeans Day was straightforward. Jeet Kaul,
who is the Vice President of Developer Products and Programs
at Sun was the emcee. He talked about how the NetBeans
community has grown over the years and used a chart that
showed email list subscribers to make his point. He
chatted with Adam Myatt
of General Electric, the author of a
recently released book about the
NetBeans IDE.
Jeet also talked with folks from two of the companies
that are in the NetBeans Strategic Partner Program:
Sprint and InfoSys.

The main entertainment during the opening session was from the big brass:
Jonathan Schwartz and
Rich Green. They did an informal
discussion where Jonathan asked Rich "hard questions" such as, "Where did Java go wrong?"

After that, it was time for an entertaining lunch with the Java Posse. They got up on
stage and recorded a podcast episode while the attendees were eating
lunch. According to Dick Wall, some of the feedback they have gotten is that they should
be more controversial. So they went through and did not only a top ten list of things
they would like to see added, but also a top ten list of the things they would like to see
removed from Java.
My favorite from that list was Tor's suggestion that close() should not throw IOException.

Lunch was followed by break out sessions. There were two tracks. In Track A
the first session was all about the new features in NetBeans 6.0. Jan Lahoda
started things off with a demo of the vastly improved editor. He was followed
by Geertjan, who talked about
Project Schliemann.
After that Arseniy Kuznetsov
got up and did some quick demos of new debugger features and also showed the local
history and visual diff features. Finally, Jiri Sedlacek (who blogs here) did
some demos of new features in the NetBeans profiler: profiling points, the
areas of interest graph, and dynamic attach. I finished things up with a quick demo
of the JMeter integration and
the profiler's Heap Walker.

Meanwhile, over on Track B there was a session I did not get to attend. It
was a showcase for two NetBeans Strategic Partner companies. Collabnet showed off
their Subversion support in the NetBeans IDE and Yasu Technologies demonstrated their
business rules engine plugin. From what I heard it went okay.

The second session on Track A was all about the enhancements to the NetBeans GUI builder
(formerly known as Project Matisse). The big news is support for the
Swing Application Framework (JSR 296)
and for Beans Binding (JSR 295).
Hans Mueller and
Shannon Hickey, respectively, led those discussions. The 296 demo was a
Flickr "search"
utility and it was entertaining to see what sorts of random images were found for various
terms. For some reason, the first image found for "James Gosling" was a picture of swans.

The other topic covered in that session was additional GUI building
features that
are being added in NetBeans 6.0. These
have been available on the NetBeans 5.5 Update Center for a while so I was already familiar
with them.
So I went over to see the remainder of the session on Track B, which was all
about support for developing mobile applications. By the time I arrived, Martin Ryzl was
Eric Arseneau, who demonstrated the NetBeans mobility tools
being used to develop an application for Sun SPOTs.

The final break out session on Track A was on JRuby and
I decided to skip it. I had
just seen an excellent presentation by Charlie Nutter and
Thomas Enebo on JRuby a few weeks ago
and I have also seen Tor Norbye demonstrate the
excellent Ruby tools that are available in
NetBeans 6.0. So I decided to attend the final session on Track B, which was another
partner showcase featuring Intland
and Xoetrope.

was mostly done by Olaf David, who is a customer of Intland. Olaf
works for the United States Deparment of Agriculture (USDA) and he and his team make extensive
use of both NetBeans and Intland's CodeBeamer server software for application lifecycle
management (ALM).

The Xoetrope session
was about XUI, an open source framework for building rich Internet applications. The
speaker was Luan O'Carroll and he did demos of XUI applications. He used plugin modules that
Xoetrope has created for the NetBeans IDE to build the sample applications.

At the end of the break out sessions there was a
closing keynote by James Gosling.
My co-worker Brian Leonard told James about the two guys who went all the way to Israel
to deliver a NetBeans CD.
Brian showed the short film that they made, which was actually
pretty entertaining. Using this film as inspiration, we will be doing a video contest -
more details soon.

And then it was time for James's
NetBeans "toy
show." There were three toys this year.

First up was Henry Story who
does research on the semantic web. Henry did a demo of his NetBeans plugin.

Next up was
Geertjan with
his NetBeans-based
movie player

But the biggest hit
by far was Bob Beasley and his dog-training application.
Bob used the NetBeans Visual
Web Pack
to create a web application that he can use for doing remote training of his
dog Sadie. Sadie was unable to make the trip, but Bob brought a movie of Sadie in action.

So as usual, another fun and informative day. Photos soon (I hope).