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NetBeans Day 2013 (Part 1)

10.11.2013
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NetBeans Day 2013, held in the Moscone center in San Francisco on the first day of JavaOne 2013, was special in many ways! The day started with the 15th birthday celebrations of the NetBeans project. As reported on OTN, Java's award-winning, free, open source integrated development environment celebrated the 15-year mark, with its worldwide community of users and developers.

In this short article, you'll get a quick overview of the first session of NetBeans Day, entitled "15 Years of NetBeans IDE!" Other parts of this series will cover other sessions that were held during the day, as well as other sessions relating to NetBeans throughout JavaOne.

Ashwin Rao (pictured above), who leads the NetBeans product management team, began by reflecting on 15 years of NetBeans, from the early days of Xelfi until today.

He was followed by NetBeans engineering director John Ceccarelli, left, who talked about the latest NetBeans features. Recently, from 7.3 onwards, the IDE started supporting HTML5 features in many ways, either in the context of separate HTML projects and in the context of pure Java EE and PHP projects. And from 7.4 onwards, deployment to mobile devices and development via Cordova/PhoneGap will be available out of the box. In a keynote, John demonstrated the interaction between the browser and the IDE, which is a much loved feature because you're able to code a lot faster when you know where the items in your browser are defined in your development environment!

Next up was James Gosling. He spent about 15 minutes recollecting the history of NetBeans IDE. He, of course, was there from the start.

He talked about how NetBeans was almost not bought by Sun, how Eclipse began its existence a year or so after NetBeans, how James Gosling was at some point something like the CTO of NetBeans, and the many wars he's fought on behalf of NetBeans. For a full recording of his comments, see this YouTube clip!

Then Jirka Kovalsky took the stage. Jirka is the NetBeans community manager, primarily in charge of the awesome NetCAT program, which is the NetBeans Community Acceptance Testing program.

He talked in detail about the origins of this program and the achievements that have been made over the years. He revealed that for all the time he puts into running the program of volunteer beta testers in the community, he gets far more back, not only in terms of time but also in terms of getting bugs fixed and releases approved. Some NetCAT members were in the audience and, in particular, Glenn Holmer from WeycoGroup shared his experiences of being part of NetCAT for many years, in fact, in his particular case, from the very beginning. Jirka is truly one of the heroes of the NetBeans project and here you can see his talk, via a YouTube clip.

As the final part of the first session, Zoran Sevarac was introduced. Zoran is a professor from Belgrade University in Serbia. He set up a NetBeans User Group (NetBeans User Group Serbia) there and is a very active member of the NetBeans Dream Team.

Zoran talked about the history of the NetBeans Dream Team. Several Dream Team members, such as Toni Epple and Sven Reimers, were in the audience and he talked about their activities in the context of the NetBeans project.

Of course, since it was a birthday celebration... the session ended with cake!

In the next part of this series, we'll take a look at the next session of NetBeans Day, which featured a star line up of James Gosling, Kirk Pepperdine, and Glenn Holmer.

And then we'll take a look at the other sessions that happened throughout NetBeans Day, such as an action packed plugin session and two panel discussions on Java EE and JavaFX. It will be like you were there yourself!

Finally, here's a close up of the cakes!


Published at DZone with permission of its author, Geertjan Wielenga.