The recently published The Definitive Guide to NetBeans Platform (Apress, June 2009) was unique in that the English translation was done by a volunteer team of NetBeans Platform community members. And they completed the project of translating a 400 page German book to English within one month!
In the second of a series of interviews with the translation team (read the first one here), you meet Fionn Ziegler who talks about his background in programming, interest in the NetBeans Platform, and involvement in the translation project.
Who are you and how did you get into programming?
My name is Fionn, I'm a software developer in Würzburg, Germany. And I got into programming through a funny twist of fate! When I was about 14, I was on holiday in Portugal and a cousin got me hooked into the world of Visual Basic. :) Some of these funny early attempts are still available on my site www.fionn-ziegler.de.
Now, through my current work, I got to know Java, and especially the NetBeans Platform.
Why and how did you get involved in translating this book?
At the NetBeans Platform Certified Training in Würzburg, my e-mail address was added to a dedicated mailing list for NetBeans Platform students. There, Geertjan asked if anyone wanted to contribute to a translation of Heiko Böck's German book. Because we had already worked with this interesting book in my company, I decided to contribute to the translation.
Have you used the NetBeans Platform yourself and, if so, in what context ?
In the final exam of my aprenticeship, I made use of the NetBeans Platform:
For details, read Modular Tendering Solutions on the NetBeans Platform, or download the German documentation (PDF), which includes code, diagrams, and screenshots. It is entitled: "Modul-Entwicklung auf der NetBeans Rich-Client Plattform: Entwicklung eines dynamisch ladbaren Moduls zur Verwaltung der Zugangsdaten für verschiedene Vergabeplattformen".
What are a few things you learned about the NetBeans Platform from translating the book?
While translating Chapter 3, "The Module System", I really "understood the basic building blocks", which is the subtitle of the translated chapter. I learned the structure of a NetBeans module, how to manage dependencies and, for me very important, how the lifecycle of a NetBeans module can be influenced, especially through changing UI components while loading or closing a module.
So, read chapter 3 to see what I learned!
Why should everyone buy this book?
To enable Heiko to buy a new car! Just kidding...
If you are interested in building an application on the top of the NetBeans Platform, to use its wonderful features, this book is definitely "the definitive guide" for you!