jPlay on the NetBeans Platform
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My name is Carlos Hoces. I've never been involved, professionally speaking, in software development, though it's a personal passionate activity since my college times. I'm a telecommunication engineer, specialized in Electronics and Automation Equipment, and have worked in Control Systems Maintenance for companies like Westinghouse and Phillips Medical Systems, most of my professional time, stretching over 25 years.
My long term relationship with computers has had more to do with embedded proprietary systems than with software itself. I'm currently unemployed and am having extreme difficulties to get a new job, due to my age, which is 54. I live in Asturias in the north of Spain.
I'd been interested in the Java language since it showed up. However, I never got involved hands on too much, until recently. I have a long background in Assembler and Pascal programming, so once I became unemployed, about 4 years ago, I saw an opportunity to "spend" time enough to get updated myself into Java world.
Those were the early stages of jPlay development: a project useful to improve my programming skills, this time using Java, along with its own usefulness as both an application and a tool-set for further development. There is another developer involved since a bit more than a year ago, Salvatore Ciaramella, who has been a source of excellent coding and ideas all this time. I must say jPlay is what it is now, due to his efforts too. This is now a "two players" project.
Enter the NetBeans Platform
Three months ago, Salvatore Ciaramella, my development colleague, and project co-administrator, made a proposal for moving the application from Swing Application Framework (SAF) to the NetBeans Platform. There were very good reasons to do it so:
- SAF was no longer under development, and our own SAF forge (which is also in the repository) didn't do anything better than an overall polishing.
- There were issues like Application Update and Plug-in support, which could take a great amount of development time to implement.
- Deployment was another main concern: we like to make life easier to use both at installation and starting up.
The NetBeans Platform, among other benefits, solves these issues out-of-the-box.
Unique Look and Feel
We use the JTattoo library (http://www.jtattoo.net/index.html) for application LaF, which gets initialized via the main ModuleInstaller class. This gives us a great degree of user selectable LaF via the application main menu, under the Aspect menu. You may also notice we hide the tab from our main top component, following this tip. The remaining components you see are plain Swing ones, usually extended to give them some more functions. It's really all a visual trick!
Some more screenshots are shown below:
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