An Interview with Adam Myatt, Author of Pro NetBeans IDE 6 Rich Client Platform Edition

February 2008


Adam Myatt is a speedy writer. Pro NetBeans IDE 6 Rich Client Platform Edition, the second book in his Pro NetBeans series is due out February 25—less than a year after the publication of the inaugural "Pro NetBeans IDE 5.5 Enterprise Edition".

Myatt, a systems analyst for General Electric Global Research and a former Eclipse user, began writing Pro NetBeans 6.0 to coincide with the late Fall 2007 release of the retooled NetBeans IDE. (NetBeans IDE 6.0 was released in December 2007.)

In this interview he gives a quick overview of what to expect in his new book.

Pro NetBeans IDE 6 Rich Client Platform Edition is available to order from Apress Books.


Cover


Author
Author Adam Myatt

What is new in Pro NetBeans IDE 6.0? Is the older book obsolete?


Quite a bit is new in Pro NetBeans IDE 6. It covers many updated features: debugger, profiler, visual web applications, as well as many of the new features in the NetBeans IDE 6.0—local history, Ruby support, and so on. As the rest of the title indicates, there is also a focus on developing rich clients, whether they be Web, Swing, or NetBeans RCP apps. The Pro NetBeans 5.5 book focuses on Java EE 5 and thus is still very much relevant.

Your assessment of NetBeans IDE 6.0—pluses and suggestions?


I really love the new editor. It significantly improves the overall development experience. I also like the updated profiler and the new local history. What needs work? Well, every tool could always be better. I'm looking forward to the NetBeans IDE 6.1 performance release, not just for the improved performance, but also for the revamped auto comment feature which a number of NetBeans fanatics have been missing, including myself.

The NetBeans IDE is more than a Java IDE; how much of your book covers working with scripting languages?


As far as non-Java goes, one of my contributing authors, Brian Leonard of the NetBeans Evangelism team, wrote a chapter on JRuby/Ruby on Rails.

Geertjan Wielenga, a NetBeans Technical Writer and author of Plugging into the NetBeans Platform, is also a contributor. How did Brian and Geertjan became involved in Pro NetBeans 6? What chapters did they contribute?


I actually met Geertjan last year at JavaOne. We had several conversations then and via email for several months afterwards. He kindly offered any advice, assistance, or support that I needed as a general NetBeans user. One thing led to another and he came on board to write the last chapter: Developing Rich Client Applications. Brian became involved as a referral through Geertjan and several folks at Sun. I wanted to cover NetBeans 6.0 support for Ruby/JRuby, but it wasn't a topic I knew much about. To do the topic justice I asked around and Brian certainly fit the bill as being qualified. He authored chapter 12: Developing JRuby/Ruby on Rails Applications.

Is Pro NetBeans 6 beginner-friendly or more suited for those with prior knowledge of the NetBeans IDE?


I think people who are new to NetBeans will find the book inviting and easy to understand. Experienced NetBeans users will also find lots of tips and features they may have not known. In particular, I think there are several areas of the Debugging and Profiling chapters that are covered that experienced NetBeans users will find enlightening.

Was there a learning process for you in writing about the NetBeans IDE 6.0?


Only on a few things. I've been through the IDE's features quite extensively. However, there were areas of the Profiler and the Matisse GUI Builder I wasn't as familiar with as I would have liked. For the Profiler, I had to brush up on profiling external and remote applications. Those features can be a little tricky to figure out. Regarding Matisse, it is a pretty easy tool to use, but I don't do a lot of Swing or GUI development on a regular basis so I needed a refresher.

Any more book ideas on the horizon?


None for the moment. I am taking a break to enjoy some free time and to relax. I also want to focus on several open source Java projects—Hudson, Checkstyle, and PMD—that I'm passionate about.



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