NetBeans worldTour Lands in Prague

Itís an overcast afternoon and very little seems golden about Prague, the golden city. A steady stream of people flows into the Prague Congress Center, a massive convention venue that offers spectacular views of Prague and its many spires. But on November 14, the view is not the attraction as only a few give it a cursory look before hurrying indoors.

In one of the centerís auditoriums, the seats are filled to capacity and a few bodies are leaning against the walls. On the stage, Roman Strobl, a NetBeans evangelist, has concluded a presentation about the recently released NetBeans IDE 5.5 and is now taking questions from the audience.

Yarda Tulach
Yarda Tulach discusses the NetBeans Platform

A man in a tweed jacket raises a handóhe has a complaint about the debugger. Strobl deftly, and with some glee, sends the question over to a long-haired figure standing unobtrusively on the sidelines:

"Why don't we ask Yarda for the answer to that? He's one of the founders of NetBeans."

Jaroslav ìYardaî Turlach, the self-proclaimed ìenfant terrible of NetBeansî, has been placed on the spot; the audience laughs as he shrugs and holds up his hands in mock defense. But before Turlach can respond a member of the audience has assumed control of a wandering microphone and the man begins to suggest a solution.

The moment captures in a nutshell the fundamental purpose of the NetBeans worldTour, a meeting ground of NetBeans experts, devotees, converts and the uninitiated, a venue where ideas are exchanged and information imparted about the latest developments in the IDE world. The worldTour visits select cities worldwide and is organized around Sun Tech Days, which made a stop this year in Prague, the birth place of NetBeans.

NetBeans Booth

NetBeans Day Prague saw an impressive turnout of about 250 attendees from its host country and surrounding European countries. The afternoon kicked off with a welcome address from Jan Chalupa, NetBeans's engineering director, who gave a brief overview of the companyís inception and evolution, most notably, the recent updates to the IDE with the 5.5 release.

NetBeans evangelist Roman Strobl gave the first of the eventís five presentations: On the Move with NetBeans, a 50-minute look at the IDE's latest features and ways for developers to incorporate them into their work. The talk included a quick demonstration of one such feature: the NetBeans GUI builder, which allows developers to design GUIs with ease.

Even developers are not immune to a good deal "win a free t-shirt!" when they see one. Several hands went up when Strobl promised a limited edition NetBeans t-shirt to anyone who could explain the name discrepancy between Maven, the software project management tool, and Mevenide, the effort focused on incorporating the tool into IDEs.

The answer? The discrepancy was a typo that was never corrected.

Jirka Sedlacek
Jirka Sedlacek reviews the NetBeans Profiler

Subsequent presentations offered in-depth looks at different aspects of the NetBeans IDE. A talk led by software engineer Petr Pisl: "Did You Get Your Tools with That?" reviewed the support available to Java EE 5 from 5.5, and included demos of ways to improve on Java EE applications. Strobl returned for another session that gave an overview of the NetBeans IDE's new add-on packs and explored how they increased functionality. Later, Yarda Tulach stepped into the spotlight to highlight the advantages of working in the NetBeans platform. The final presentation was a panel that allowed the audience to NetBeans engineers Jiri Sedlacek, Tomas Hurka, and Jaroslav Bachorik questions about the IDE's profiler.

Overall, NetBeans Day Prague was typical of what NetBeans fans have come to expect from the worldTour: engaging speakers and enlightening content, and a unique opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals who share a passion for all things NetBeans.

If you missed NetBeans Day Prague, worry not. There are upcoming tour dates in other great locations worldwide. NetBeans Day is free and open to the public; but registration is required. Sign up now!

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