Toni Epple works as a consultant for Eppleton (http://www.eppleton.de) in Munich, Germany. In his spare time he's an active member of the Open Source community as a community leader for JavaTools community (http://community.java.net/javatools/), moderator of the XING NetBeans User Group (http://www.xing.com/group-20148.82db20), founder of the NetBeans User Group Munich (http://tinyurl.com/5b8tuu), member of the NetBeans Dream Team (http://wiki.netbeans.org/NBDTCurrentMembers) and blogger (http://www.eppleton.de/blog). Toni is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 51 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

NetBeans Community - NetDEV

07.24.2009
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NetBeans is an open source project, but sometimes it's hard to find your way around the processes required to get some changes into the code base. That's why there is a brand new project for making it easier for community members not only to fix issues, but also to propose and implement enhancements: NetDEV. One area that is of particular interest to many contributors are the tools for the creation of plugins for NetBeans itself. These tools are mainly organized in the API support project.

The NetBeans Team only has limited resources, so with every release they define some areas that will be improved a lot, and others that are in maintenance mode until the next release, so only serious bugs ( <=P2 or in NetBeans notation: <P2 ;-) ) will be fixed. APIsupport is in maintenance mode until 6.8. With NetDEV we've got a chance to improve these tools ourselves and make it easier for ourselves and for others to create plugins for NetBeans and applications based on the platform.

From the website:

"While NetFIX process is lighter and more bug fix oriented, goal of the NetDEV process is to cooperate with NetBeans community on development of new features. Not only that, active and quality contributions can bring community developers a push access to NetBeans source code repository or even ownership of some modules. Only a handful of functionality areas will be open to feature contributions in the beginning but we plan to extend the list once the process gets run in."

NetBeans Wiki: NetDEV.

There's also a cookbook page for getting started:

http://wiki.netbeans.org/NetDEVCookBook

And here you can find a list of projects that are being planned.

http://wiki.netbeans.org/NetDEVIssues (it's still a short list, but it's up to you to change this :-) )

As you might have noticed I've been talking about some enhancements to the NetBeans UI recently. My plan is to contribute this code to NetBeans to make it easier to use third-party look & feels to either IDE or platform apps. It's work in progress, but you can follow the progress here:

http://wiki.netbeans.org/OtherTabFOW

In case you would like to participate, I'm still looking for testers. Join NetDEV and help enhance NetBeans!

Published at DZone with permission of Toni Epple, author and DZone MVB.

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