Saturday, January 3, 2009

NetBeans IDE Basics

This lesson talks you through NetBeans IDE application interface. This is worth a read. My first impression, having forked out several hundred dollars for VB5 and the same again for later editions, was to be amazed at the sophistication of the application. I was quite excited about the prospect of using it.

The next lesson, Creating the Celsius Converter GUI, takes you step by step through the process of adding components to the JFrame (or form, as I still like to think of it). It's not rocket science, but it's nicely explained, and from my perspective as an ex-VB user, I was pleased to see the instructions pretty much as I expected them to be.

This is followed by Adjusting the Celsius Converter GUI, which fine tunes the components. Again there is nothing too frightening here, but I couldn't help concurring with the lesson comment: "...you might be surprised at the amount of code that has been generated ...". The word bloat came into my mind. I started to worry a little bit. I like code to be elegant and concise.

I was also a little concerned at being locked out of the generated code. Perhaps I am being greedy. I know VB locks you out of a lot of behind the scenes stuff. But every automated process has quirks, and sometimes it is nice to un-automate. Just for fun I opened the form source file with a text editor. This was disappointing. The were no line breaks. It looked difficult to edit.

Carrying on with the lesson, Adding the Application Logic talks you through adding code to the button, as well as a little more fine tuning. You are then invited to run the application, and if you are lucky it works.

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