Welcome to the world of rich client development on the NetBeans Platform.” So begins the new book on the NetBeans Platform, called “Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform”. Written by three stalwarts of the NetBeans IDE, Tim Boudreau, Jaroslav Tulach, and Geertjan Wielenga, this new title from Prentice Hall introduces you to the central concepts of the NetBeans Platform.

The book begins by discussing the rationale for modular programming. “Loose coupling”, whereby spaghetti code is avoided through a set of related but independent modules, is discussed with reference to a set of concrete examples. Gradually, the need for this approach to robust programming is introduced and, piece by piece, the authors highlight NetBeans’ responses to this need. The tooling for modular programming since the release of NetBeans IDE 5.0 has proven its value to numerous programmers, and the reasons for this quickly become clear in the book. Typical stumbling blocks that new developers come across, such as “nodes” and “cookies” are explored in detail.

The second part of the book deals with a set of concrete NetBeans API scenarios. How, for example, can one provide code completion? Or hyperlinks in the Source Editor? And what about palettes with items that can be dragged and dropped? These and other scenarios are discussed in detail. Each chapter travels through a very specific example scenario, based on the example in the CD that accompanies the book. At the end of this part, the reader should understand some of the basic APIs that are typically implemented by developers making use of the NetBeans Platform.

The book closes with two chapters contributed by two developers with years of experience with the NetBeans Platform. First, Jens Trapp, from Germany, discusses how he integrated the HTML Tidy project into NetBeans IDE. In doing so, he brings together many of the principles and APIs discussed in the preceding chapters. Next, US-based Rich Unger describes a complete application built on top of the NetBeans Platform, for editing WAV files. Typical concerns involved in creating Platform-based applications are discussed in this chapter. Together Jens and Rich provide the two “use cases” of the NetBeans Platform – allowing you to extend NetBeans IDE with new features, and creating completely separate applications, which in turn could constitute the platform of still other applications.

This is the first book since Tim Boudreau’s and Jesse Glick’s “NetBeans: The Definitive Guide” – the popular title from some years ago which had a large section on the NetBeans Platform – to cover the length and breadth of the NetBeans Platform. Judging from the level of interest shown in the Safari Rough Cuts version of the book, which provides an early draft in PDF format, “Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform” promises to take the Swing development world by storm. If you want to leverage the full potential of the NetBeans Platform, this is definitely not a book that you want to miss!



Ric Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans™ Platform
Tim Boudreau, Jaroslav Tulach, Geertjan Wielenga (Prentice Hall) ISBN-13: 978-0-13-235480-6 . 640 pages



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