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NetBeans: The Definitive Guide
by Tim Boudreau, Jesse Glick, Simeon Greene, Jack Woehr, Vaughn Spurlin

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Edition: Paperback

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Editorial Reviews
From Book News, Inc.
Written for experienced programmers, this guide introduces the NetBeans open source integrated development environment (IDE) for writing Java code and packaging JavaBeans. The 28 chapters explain the syntax-coloring source editor, GUI development, the role of XML, the open APIs, the internals of the running IDE, building a mail reader, and tuning modules for performance. Five of the chapters demonstrate the creation of a mini-composer module.Copyright © 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Book Description
As the Java programming language has increased in both functionality and complexity, developers have demanded more of their program editors. Gone are the days when a simple visual editor is sufficient for even small programming projects. While there are numerous IDEs available today for use by Java developers, one stands above the rest, not only for its functionality, but for its extensibility: NetBeans.

In NetBeans: The Definitive Guide, you'll find out how to use this IDE to its fullest, making your Java programming more efficient and productive than ever before. You'll understand the basics of the IDE, and quickly be utilizing the various editor and explorer windows. You'll also master many of NetBeans advanced features, and be working with XML documents, CVS repositories, Javadoc trees, and web applications, all within the NetBeans framework.

In addition to teaching you how to use the existing features of NetBeans, this work goes on to cover developing additional modules for NetBeans. Through this instructional portion of the book, you will master the NetBeans APIs, and learn how to enhance NetBeans for your own specific needs. Whether you need to add customized behavior to handle your proprietary file formats, or want to redistribute NetBeans as a proprietary product, NetBeans: The Definitive Guide will allow you to master this open source IDE and all of its advanced features. Whether you are an enterprise developer looking for an IDE that can handle your complex program tasks, an open source developer looking to integrate NetBeans into your own visual projects, or a manager trying to maximize your team's development potential,NetBeans: The Definitive Guide is the book for you.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0596002807
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.0 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #217,558 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful:

Enough! or Too much, May 14, 2003
Reviewer:Daniel R Greenfield (Illinois, United States) - See all my reviews
I agree with the other reviewers: this is an outstanding book and a must-have for anyone who is serious about programming in Java using the NetBeans IDE. However, it is not a book that will teach you the Java programming language, nor is it a book that will in any way extend your Java programming abilities into such areas as Java Beans, Servlets, or JSPs. The first ten chapters are really the core how-to. These cover 1) Installation, 2) Basic Concepts, 3) The Source Editor, 4) Debugging, 5) Compiling, 6) Customizing the IDE, 7) Using CVS, 8) GUI Building, 9) JavaBeans, 10) JavaDoc. Beyond that, there are two other chapters devoted to working with XML, JSPs, and Servlets. These chapters are meant to show programmers already comfortable with these technologies how to utilize NetBeans for implementing them; they are NOT for learning the technologies themselves. The rest of the book is quite advanced, and I'll admit that as an intermediate-level programmer I haven't been able to benefit from it. It consists of detailed analyses of how to create custom NetBeans modules, how to tune the existing modules for performance, etc.

For those of us who are still grappling with the enormous amount of study necessary in order to build a functional Java program, this book represents a good investment. But you will probably only use the first 200 pages, about 1/3 of the total book. So you must ask yourself, "Does the cost of this book justify the 200 pages I will probably only ever use?" The answer to that question is Yes, if you are truly serious about programming in Java. This NetBeans IDE is truly awesome, and it is a godsend for those of us who have struggled to code in Notepad or something equally as [bad]. For those of us who are not really serious but merely casual programmers, I would say, No -- there are much better ways to invest your time and money.

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Customer Reviews
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lalin, April 19, 2005
Reviewer:Lalin "Lalin" (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
Excellent book, even though there is only one :| Unfortunately, since it's release in 2002 netbeans have grown so much. This book was a life saver, too bad it's hard to link what it contains to what netbeans can do nowadays.

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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

It's a good book, but Eclipse is a better open-source IDE, August 4, 2004
Reviewer:K. D Leavitt "Kaydell" (Layton Uah) - See all my reviews
At first, I thought that this book was a good book. It covered a free open-source IDE for Java and I wanted to learn to program in Java. I met a professional Java who was going to the Sun One Conference in San Francisco and he recommended Eclipse. I tried Eclipse and I think that it's much better than NetBeans. I first started to dislike NetBeans when it used tilde characters in my pathnames, which made them unreadable. I tried Eclipse and so far I love it. I'm selling my NetBeans book.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

A complete and worthwhile reference, May 22, 2004
Reviewer:Bill Wohler (Menlo Park, CA) - See all my reviews
This is mostly a well-written, dense, book about a very complex subject. I learn something new each time I pick up the book meaning this is a book that you will want to keep nearby.

Many of the reviewers lamented the second half of the book about creating your own plug-in. Since that was the sole purpose for me to obtain the book, I welcomed the wealth of information. I was also impressed that it covered branding, which is precisely the information I was looking for. In a the short time it took for me to read a few chapters, I had written, branded, and packaged the initial skeleton of the application I'm building on top of the NetBeans platform.

The organization of the opening Concepts and Paradigms chapter baffled me. It's also a tutorial and user guide and overview. The section didn't flow together very well unlike the more focused chapters that came later.

The only major complaint I would have is that many of the examples and code didn't work in my version (3.6). But that can't be blamed on the book which was based upon version 3.3. The solution was usually easily found. The O'Reilly errata pages also provided some fixes. I expect everything else will be cleared up by the NetBeans community on their fairly active mailing lists.

I also found the chapter on creating beans to be a bit light on motivation. Why would I want to create a bean? What is a bean and how do the steps presented create a bean? How would the bean be used?

I would have also liked to have seen how to make the editor use Emacs keybindings. While that capability does not exist in the product at present, I'm sure there are enough people who want that capability that it would have been useful to describe a workaround in the book.

I caught nearly a half dozen typographical and grammatical errors and one error in an example. More than I'd expect from O'Reilly. Since NetBeans is evolving so quickly, I'd encourage O'Reilly to come out with editions that cover 3.6 and the upcoming 4.0.

No matter, if you're going to use NetBeans, you have to read this book.

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

Paradigms, metaphors, nodes and objects, February 15, 2004
Reviewer:Koeeaddi "shmuelman" (Denver) - See all my reviews
I have always maintained that everything after getting "hello world" to run is merely hacking. I sat down with this book to get a jumpstart on using NetBeans. But the book starts out with "Concepts and Paradigms." It is filled with computer-sciencey, jargon-filled, stiff writing. Page 22 has the illuminating comment "Typical of this grouping together of disparate actions under a unifying metaphor is the concept that NetBeans Explorer nodes are pretty uniformly subject to some sort of "Customize" action." Look - I create projects, edit, compile, deploy and debug programs. I need to know how to do that in a concrete way (and quickly). The "paradigms" and "models" and "metaphors" and every last abstruse option can come later.

No doubt that this is a complete and extensive view of NetBeans, but it shouldn't be confused with a "quick-start" tutorial. The book is definitely geared to the very experienced Java programmer who is comfortable with all the design pattern jargon. I found it highly frustrating as a getting started guide to an IDE.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

Netbeans, September 28, 2003
Reviewer: A reader
Netbeans is a free full-featured IDE for Java. The original code was developed by Sun and donated to the Netbeans open source community.

This book will not teach any Java programming, but will teach you how to use Netbeans to program in Java. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is about using the IDE to write Java code for your application. The second part is about writing modules to plug into Netbeans to extend its functionality. The opening chapters cover features available to most IDEs, including debugging and using the GUI building functionality of Netbeans. The chapter on CVS was helpful in setting a CVS client with Netbeans, but it only gives a high-level overview of CVS, not enough to learn CVS with this book alone. The GUI building chapter is a very good tutorial on how to build GUI forms inside of Netbeans. The sections on the code generation properties and adding event handlers are well written and easy to follow and should be easy to incorporate into your own projects.

The second part of the book covers consists of how to create custom modules using the Netbeans API. The examples are well written and comprehensive. If a programmer were going to write a custom module, these chapters would be very helpful, but most users of Netbeans are not going to write custom modules, so he or she could skip the last part of the book.

This book is really two books in one, one is about using Netbeans and the other is about extending Netbeans using the Netbeans API. The book has excellent examples and is a good tutorial, but the second part is probably excessive for most users.

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