Netbeans, another Visual Studio?

One of the things I hold against visual studio cum .NET guys is their low level of understanding of some basic principles governing their trade. This is no joke, I know a .NET guy who doesnt know Jack Shit about css and javascript! I know another guy who have done Visual Basic all his life and I have the priviledge to interview him for a job position. He’s been programming Visual Basic for some time, showed me some cool apps, like a fuzzy logic mapper, an online stocks calculator etc and he doesnt know jack about javascript, css and even his html has not gone past primary school level. I asked him what he used for his Online Stock Calculator and he said pure DHTML.

I hold this against them, bcos I believe that if a programmer didn’t know these basic underlying principles, he is but another Microsoft Word user! But of recent, I found out that I am also about to step in the same direction as these guys with Netbeans. So I stopped using Netbeans for a while to really see how I can survive without it and I my findings are quite interesting

My ANT is very very poor. It took me the better part of three hours to get my ant to work and do something meaningful. I used ant before now, so I thought I know it. It was until my build.xml almost frustrated me that I dusted my Definitive Ant again and thanks to the book anyway.

Tomcat Installation almost made me cry. At last i resolved to yum install tomcat(well I later got it to work)

Then AXIS: This guy I took for granted and it really dealt with me more. After the better part of three days, my web-services were up and running(how easy is it to do web-services in Netbeans)

Here come WTK. After the days of WTK1.1, I have never Installed it as a standalone, so the experience for me is really interesting. Although I goofed but it was not that much. There is a place I should have type /usr/share/java/bin/, I was typiing /usr/share/java

And so I brought my box up-to-date, I installed log4j, javamail, and the rest. I had a little problem with javamail. I forgot to add activation.jar to my classpath so javax.activation.DataSource was not found.

Now my point is this. I have engaged in battles with guys who dont belive in IDE’s. Netbeans was cool in the days when I it allowed me to do some things on my own. But these days, Netbeans has gotten so intelligent that it can actually do almost everything for me. What does this make me? How am I different from the average Microsoft Word user? By God’s name, you can write macro scripts in M$ word!

After 2 months of wading in the muddy waters of vim, makefiles and build.xml, I am back on Netbeans. But now I am a better Netbeans user, I now know what is actually happening under the hood. When Netbeans coughs, I know what syrup to look for. And above all I am able to appreciate the work of Netbeans developement team more than ever before.

The CRUZ is dis, know your tools, and know what your tools are made of. It makes you a better workman.



  1. javaprince said

    Lovely piece. Brave of you to have deserted Netbeans IDE and learnt it the hard way. But what does the client care??? – He just wants the Job done. But I admit, knowing the tools as standalones helps a lot in using the IDE better.

  2. Omo Olorun said

    Interesting piece. I agree that IDEs make lazy/ignorant developers. On the one hand, that is. The larger picture you are over-looking are the advantages:

    1. Much productive time is not wasted doing set up (like you experienced)
    2. Development is not limited to the limited number who understand the nitty-gritty of programming. Society is increasingly abstracting at higher levels. IDEs and the like allow people who likely would not have been able to get involved in development to get involved because someone/something has taken the complicated part out of it, allowing them to focus on being creative in terms of what to achieve and not be bogged down by how to achieve it.
    It is a bit like how musical instruments have standard interfaces that allow musicians to “do their thing” without necessarily knowing the technology behind the guitar/keyboard, etc.

    The bottom line is that we end up with two classes of developers; the higher-level and the deeper-level. Depending on the kind of project at hand, many clients would be happy with the former while others would require the latter.

  3. Xown Solutions said

    Quite agree with you. Just make sure you are making money otherwise you can frustrated for knowing too uch.

  4. I’d had a similar feeling when I discovered Grails; that the ease of auto-generating CRUD apps would be offset the first time I tried to deviate from the templates and add my own features (i.e. transactional services, external libs, etc). I’ve grown comfortable with the authors’ assertions that all the underlying technologies are there (Hibernate, Spring, Sitemesh) and I can ‘turn them on’ at whatever find-grained level I want and whenever I want which I’ve demonstrated by modifying how Spring and Sitemesh are used in my app. I’m sure as I grow more comfortable with Hibernate and require DB complexities that Grails can’t (yet) handle I won’t be clueless on how to proceed.

  5. daudu said

    hey there nice blog ,i was wondering if you could give me some help as i intend going into programming though i’m not such a computer guru but i believe i can do anything as long as it has been done by a human befoore somethings that haven’t even been done as well
    anyways i was wondering if you could guide me a little as on how to begin
    -wat language do i learn first
    -wat do i need to write a programme
    -just any stuff u feel i should knowas a beginner

  6. daudu said


  7. daudu, I started learning programming with javascript..but that was in 2001. Now I recommend python. You can get loads of documents online, and I believe you can get some nice books on Amazon too

  8. daudu said

    thanks a lot
    i’ll let u know if i need more help

  9. daudu said

    why do you sugges phython cos i hear a lot about java being the most prolific or say versatile and right now they gat a new platform or something that lets you pull out applications from websites and lets u use those applications even when the page is closed
    i expect your reply

  10. well, since you said u are a beginner, I know many people who started learning programming with java and are not as successful as people who started with less statically typed languages as python and maybe php. Because python is more of a complete language than php(whose strength is basically web), I recommend python for starters. Later on you can pick up java, and you will see things clearer then.

  11. Duncan said

    CSS, HTML and Javascript are not basic underlying principles they are specific presentation layer technologies. Would it not make more sense to investigate the candidate’s grasp of the real underlying principles of his development practices such as clarity, consistency, cohesion, encapsulation and extensibility? These basic principles will outlast all our current programming technologies.

    • I believe in the things you have mentioned above, but I dont think if I want to teach web design, I will start by teaching clarity, consistency, cohesion, encapsulation and extensibility. If one is taking a course in computer science, all these makes a whole lot of sense, but for web design, I wont start even go there. I’ll better call the concept of networking, inter-networking and say the web as underlying principles for an html class.

  12. lyrics said

    very great and informative post. thanks a lot for sharing it.

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