NetBeans in Manila: Standing Room Only...
At some point, however, there were two empty chairs:
But that was only because Tim Boudreau was speaking, while I was taking the picture that you see above. That's why those two seats were empty... So, there must have been at least 500 people there, but probably nearer to 700 or so, I guess.
Tim opened the day by introducing himself and his co-speakers, who were Sang Shin and myself. Then he launched into a very entertaining and exhilerating presentation about all the cool new features in NetBeans IDE 6.1. I saw people taking notes all around me. Tim asked, at the start, how many were students, and only a handful raises their hands. Either they were shy or all the students were next door at the University Day (which makes sense). In particular, I believe he got the most appreciation when he demoed graphic stuff, such as iReport integration and UML. But, from start to finish, the audience seemed very engaged. Here you seem him in action:
Then Sang did his thing. He's truly wonderful in every sense. Enthusiastic about technology, first and foremost. He presented a host of web technologies, from Hibernate to soapUI to Woodstock to JAX-WS. Here you seem him, gesturing enthusiastically about one of the many cool web technologies that he was talking about at the time:
To see everything, i.e., all his presentations, from Hibernate to Spring MVC, to Visual JSF, to JPA, to web services, to WSIT, to REST, to soapUI, finishing with JMaki, see June 2008 of his speaking schedule. There's not much that that guy doesn't know about web development and the many ways that NetBeans IDE makes life easier for anyone making use of these many technologies.
Next, it was me. I talked about desktop development with NetBeans IDE. I talked about three very specific things, after highlighting the reasons for the recent Swing resurgence (JDK 6 performance improvements, look and feel improvements, Matisse GUI Builder, web start (JNLP), GroupLayout, and frameworks—both JSR-296 and the NetBeans Platform). (In discussion with Tim afterwards, I came to the conclusion that JSR-296 is great in pinpointing the problem, but not so much in finding the solution). Ultimately, my JSR-296 demo failed because of Internet problems with my Flickr demo, which worked perfectly the second before the presentation started as well as the second after it finished, but at that stage the value of JSR-296 was more than clear. I particularly like JSR-296's persistence management, the support for background tasks, and the NetBeans tooling to make it all even easier.
Then I switched to the NetBeans Platform as an alternative to JSR-296 for large applications. (Few will argue the usefulness of JSR-296 in the domain of small-medium applications. Equally, is there anyone arguing the applicability of JSR-296 for large applications? On top of that, how likely is it that it will make it into the JDK now that its main champions are working for Adobe? Was NetBeans too hasty in including tooling support for this framework, i.e., if JSR-296 doesn't make it into the JDK, what would be the point of NetBeans IDE having tooling for it? But these are questions that are not applicable within this context, I guess.) I showed the JFugue Music NotePad as well as VisualVM (constantly running in the background, picking up whatever Java application I happened to be running), as examples of NetBeans Platform applications. I also did a small demo where I ported the NetBeans Angram Sample to a TopComponent, which I installed as a new window into a new NetBeans Platform application.
Here's a pic of me, probably asking the question "Isn't this stuff cool?!":
My presentation, i.e., in PDF format, can be found here. One of the several interesting questions I received at the end of my presentation was: "If I am creating a NetBeans Platform application on top of NetBeans Platform version X, can I open it in NetBeans IDE X+1?" And the answer is "Yes!" That's exactly what I'm doing at the moment with the JFugue Music NotePad. Even though it still runs on NetBeans Platform 5.5, I am developing it in NetBeans IDE 6.1, because of the various editor enhancements that are available in that releaase.
So, judging from the sheer number of attendees and responsiveness of the audience, it was a really great day. Right next door was Sun University Day, i.e., in the same cool location, which is also where our hotel is found.
I'm really enjoying being in Manila so far. Yesterday Tim and I went on a tourist trip around Manila. We organized a guide through our hotel. He really knew a lot of stuff and was very informative. We saw many things, from cathedrals to graveyards and heard many interesting stories about what has happened here in the past years. Pity we're still suffering from jet lag though. I kept falling asleep at odd moments in the middle of our tour guide's anecdotes, not because they were not interesting, but because traveling across time zones can be a very exhausting thing.
Today, between the 3 of us, we covered most aspects of NetBeans: from the new and cool stuff in 6.1 (Tim) to the web (Sang) and the desktop (me). And... tomorrow everything continues—Sun Tech Days then truly begins. I'll be at the NetBeans booth most of the day and so will Tim. Anyone with questions about NetBeans? Feel free to stop by and ask!