Tons of interesting stuff came from todays NetBeans shindig. I am impressed with the progress they have made in just a year. The tool set is tons better and seems to be making significant progress on the way to being a first class player. Yet another reason to be glad for Eclipse. The Eclipse team has really forced the issue to make NetBeans better. One of my favorite quotes last year from a NetBeans/Swing guy was that they didn't realize how important native look and feel was to developers (and ultimately users). Duh! They have a much better story for that now and espically on the performance side of things. It runs fast (esp on my shiny new 17" MacBook Pro:).
Ok so back to todays content.
Started with some history and stuff and a big thank you to the folks that stuck with the NB platform through some lean years. A little chest thumping too with their success. From the sounds of it they have something to be happy about too, 6 fold increase in # of active users. Which is a great growth curve. Hard to know what it was last year but still that is a good curve. They were also very keen on thanking the folks that are new to NB and willing to try it out.
Next up was the Subversion demo. Looks like very good support all the typical stuff worked as exected (checkout, checkin, chaged files, diff etc). But there was some really cool stuff to. You can cut a branch or tag from inside the GUI, which I thought was great. But hands down the best thing was the branch and merge view. So the guy doing the demo made a branch and performed a change on the branch then merged it back into the main line. The subversion integraion showed in a graphical tree view the branch history and the current trunk history and would give the ability to choose to merge down and stuff. It looked really cool indeed.
Next up was Jonathan Schwartz (BTW, is that a big announcement he is foreshadowing?). He talked about his love for developer tools which stem not from actually doing development but trying to lead a group of developers at his previous company. They were grumpy with bad tools and happy with good tools (simplification of what he said of course but not that far off). So he likes good tools. He convinced Rich Green to come back and take over software and tools. He then did a bit of mock question and answer, first question 'so are you going to opensource java'. Which I guess is a growing question in many folks minds. His basic answer was still the 'maybe' that we have been hearing for the last couple of years but there was still a lot of 'we don't want the platform to fracture'. So we will have to see what comes out this week. I wouldn't expect an open source java announcment. There was a bit more talk about how cool NB is and how much they are going to be adding to the platform over the next little bit. Sounds very interesting to me for sure, I'll have to start watching more closely. Ended with 'you will be asked to deliver more, join the JCP and help define the standars. Join the community and help define it etc.
Next up was the Sprint guys with a really cool demo of building a MIDP app in about 9 minutes that played a commercial for Sprint phones. It was very cool and easy to do. Though there was a bit of code that the demo guy had to copy and paste, I'll have to stop by their booth and see what the scoop was with that.
Next up was the google guys, Josh and Neal. They were great, the content was good but they did a great job of presenting. Basically it was a bit of info from their book and a bit of a plug for what you can do with NB and their new Jackpot integration. and finally Ben Brewin (one of the Sun NB guys) gave a quick history of where things are with NB and where they are going. Basically tons of new and cool stuff is going to be added to the community over the next 12 months or so as Sun puts all its dev tools basically into the NB community.
So that was basically it, I tried to get into the GUI builder talk but it was way overcrowded. I went to part of the JavaEE 5 talk but had to bail so I missed the rest of the sessions. Overall very interesting indeed.
I finished up NetBeans day about half way through because I had to meet up with Chris. So I didn't stay to try to win the iPod raffle... Ah well seems that a video iPod is the thing to give away this year at the conference so I'm sure I'll have another chance...