About two weeks ago, our local JUG leader John Yeary forwarded an email from Geertjan Wielenga announcing a new book that appears to have been written with me as the target audience. Jason Wexbridge and Walter Nyland have published NetBeans Platform for Beginners: Modular Application Development for the Java Desktop.
As you can tell from my blog – this is exactly the kind of knowledge I am interested in. It’s not another “Java Fundamental” text, but rather how to transition from these fundamentals to being able to make use of the NetBeans platform for the project framework and infrastructure.
The book leads the beginner (me) through the various layers of the NetBeans Platform in a logical manner, starting with the basics and progressing through Module Systems, File Systems, Lookup, Action and Window Systems, and so on – whether it is addressing data sources our using Pallets and Widgets for your GUI.
To be honest, I have only worked my way through Chapter 1 and a portion of Chapter 2 in the week I’ve been reading and practicing with the book – but then I let myself sidetrack to Chapter 10, which is basically a compendium of various useful NetBeans API’s. (This may be very well be a subconscious hold-over from my childhood, where all the fun stuff was always near the end of the big Sears catalog or whatnot… but same thing here, Chapter 10 is a collection of all the API’s that grab my attention!)
Jason Wexbridge and Walter Nyland do an excellent job of starting with the fundamentals and bridging basic concepts with practical application. I very much appreciate finding a book that, in a very straightforward and concise manner, lays out the fundamental tools / features / concepts I will be using, describes them, and then illustrates how to use them with a combination of screen shots and code. In addition, the authors take many opportunities to close the loop from concept to practice by explicitly pointing out the real world applicability and benefits the NetBeans Platform can provide, as well as offering pointers on how the developer can leverage the basic concepts for their particular project.