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Reflections on JavaOne 2013 by the NetBeans Community (Part 2)

10.14.2013
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The NetBeans community turned out in full strength at NetBeans Day and JavaOne 2013. From packed out sessions at NetBeans Day with rockstar speakers such as James Gosling, Kirk Pepperdine, and Adam Bien to NetBeans-oriented panel discussions throughout JavaOne, NetBeans users were everywhere. 

Below some of them reflect on what they experienced at JavaOne, as they did last year, following on from part 1 of this series .

Thomas Kruse, JUG Munster, Germany. What I like most about JavaOne is that each year is different. New trends emerging, technologies are changing. One thing is constant, though—the Java community is vibrant, inspirational and, for me, a very strong reason to make the long trip to San Francisco! And you also often meet other people from your own country whom you hadn't seen since the last JavaOne.

From my perspective, NetBeans IDE gained a lot of momentum since last year. Many presenters used NetBeans IDE or IntelliJ, while other IDEs felt less prominent. I am especially interested in how the future of Avatar will work out. I expect to see a lot of movement towards stronger JavaScript tooling (Karma testrunner, for example) and polyglot skills for programmers.

For the next years I hope the Google/Oracle issue will be settled, since I deeply miss the valuable speakers from Google and I fear that the whole community suffers from these issues. And I hope I make it back again next year!

Shai Almog, Codename One, Israel. On NetBeans day, I was on my way to Moscone, when I ran into Geertjan. We both walked to the first session of the day, entered the room, and there sitting and working bright and early is Dr. James Gosling. Alone.

People reading this can probably imagine my feeling at that moment, but I'm an entrepreneur first and a human being second… I instantly descended on him like locusts pitching Codename One and giving him the birds eye view pitch. He was great, expressed interest, and at the end of the day I asked that he would join our advisory board. I have his email so I can continue begging through that medium! That alone was a huge thing for me on a personal and professional level.

Gosling demoed his cool robots to the crowd, being a mobile/embedded guy (and having worked on robots as a kid) I really appreciate a lot of the stuff they are doing at Liquid Robotics. They have amazing visualization tools for controling these robots, which I'm sure will really benefit from Codename One… I promised him that if he accepts my invitation I will personally port everything to Codename One and give him a great tablet UI to play with the robots.

Gosling told the story of the NetBeans acquisition. Having worked at Sun, I can pretty much attest to the mindset behind it. The gist of the story is that Sun at some point decided they wanted a "big play" on development tools and didn't have anything good (because they kept killing internal projects so as not to compete with Borland et al). So they were looking for a billion dollar acquisition and came across Forte which was making mainframe tools (totally unrelated), Gosling tried to convince management to buy NetBeans but they decided that the price was too low so it was not a "big play". Eventually the compromise was to buy both (he put it as: the price for NetBeans was a rounding error on the Forte deal).

Years later, Forte is effectively nothing and NetBeans has 1.4m active users. (More details in Shai's blog.)

Zoran Sevarac, Belgrade University, Serbia. JavaOne 2013  was the greatest and most successful for NetBeans and me personally so far!

The biggest thing that happened this year: the Neuroph  project got the Duke's Choice Award! Neuroph is the flagship project of our NetBeans User Group Serbia, and many of our members have been involved in it.

The greatest impression on me was the talk by James Gosling at "15 Years of NetBeans" during NetBeans Day, about the early days of  NetBeans and Java and how everything started.

It was a fun fact to hear that NetBeans was too cheap for Sun to buy, since they wanted to spend a whole lotta money on a new Java IDE :) During that session, I talked about the NetBeans Dream Team, who we are, and what we do.  Then we had a Liquid Robotics live demo, also by James Gosling, a real time view from a camera on a robot in the middle of the ocean, and we saw James Gosling navigating the robot from a Java desktop application—it was amazing! (More details in my article here.)

Watch this space for further additions to the series!

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

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