Phase 3 | NetBeans Community Docs


I am yet again blogging about Community Docs, this time not blogging personal experience but would like to give you a recap of events that brought changes to the way program was being driven and lot more news..

What exactly do we mean by Phase(s)?

Well, it all started when James and Amit started up official weblog for NetBeans Community Docs and announced that they are gearing up for “Phase II“, as they were done with getting 100 community-contributed docs..

So, there was no “Phase I”, I mean there was no articulation of it that they were in “Phase I” and are aiming for future phases. If they did have something, then I was not privileged enough to have that information πŸ˜‰

I was neither in the NetBeans Community Docs Team nor in the NetBeans Dream Team..

Phase II | Blog and Groups..

Well, I can think of phases, as of how the project evolved? So, James announced lot of stuff for “Phase II” and soon, social networking began outside your inbox at a much larger scale.. and other established social networking sites translate into more ways for NetBeans community members to communicate with each other, start exciting projects, be in the know about NetBeans, and help to keep the NetBeans community strong and active.

Revolution was taking place and many people joined Facebook group, while few joined MySpace..

Midway through Phase II..

Changes in the team management took place, when I became Contribution Coordinator as Amit K. Saha moved into employment at Sun Microsystems, India..

Since then, lot has changed and I have kept you all updated with my personal experiences on being aboard the management of NetBeans Community Docs..

Phase III | Newsletters, Evangelists and More..

Phase III kicked off when we got 200 docs.. finally, we come towards “Phase III and again there wasn’t any specific articulation I could point you to, where we could have listed what all we would do..

Instead, our team had a Skype chat session and thereafter, we started executing the discussed ideas steadily, not at one-go!

Today, I can proudly say that all our ideas have resulted in timely goods.. Of course, community members were always there to support our ideas and helped us in realizing them..

Weekly Newsletters (20, 8, 7)

20 (20) English, 8 (20) Spanish and 7 (20) German were published.. We will be launching “Monthly Newsletters”, soon..

Blog Series- NetBeans Dream Team Docs

The posts of this special series were highlighted in weekly newsletters..

Special News Item Archive

and, some More Updates..

Whats Next?

We are 21 docs away from beginning the next phase of this amazing project/program, whatever you call it.. You would soon see some more out-of-the-box thinking taking place, at our side..

New Year has just begun and you’re in for many more surprises..
Stay tuned for more..


The day I began writing docs…


You have all seen me blogging for more than a year now. Some people call me crazy, avid, passionate and/or highly active (hyper-active) blogger πŸ˜‰ Then, there were some who didn’t even bother reading my blogs OR commented negatively.

I never mind as I blog because I had developed an interest in it which made me passionate for blogging. Too, it helped me improve my writing skills, as last year I was new to blogging.

You might be surprised to know, but I was runner-up in an International Blogging Contest (June, 2008). Also, for the past several months, I have been writing 3 blogs… πŸ™‚

2007- 13th Dec

I started writing my first ever documentation for the community. I had no experience in writing at such level. By the time, I finished writing the document using their online wiki engine, it was midnight. Yes, Dec 14th– my birthday. So, coincidentally, I wrote my first ever documentation on my birthday πŸ™‚ I realized this fact few days back while restructuring the community contributed docs archive!

2008- 1st May

I became NetBeans Community Docs (Contribution) Coordinator and I was feeling lucky to have got this opportunity to showcase my skills to the world through this wonderful platform. I thought its going to be easy, as I had closely followed Amit (K. Saha) while he was holding this position.

When I actually stepped into his shoes, they were really big. So, I realized, even though it looked very easy from contributor’s perspective, it isn’t. I had a tough time initially, when I invited people and they never responded.

Then, came a rough patch from May 22nd (since we reached 150 docs), I was finding it difficult to get new people to contribute. James (Branam) got a blogger whose 2 blog entries were converted to docs, initiating the counter for the month of June.

Entering final week of June, still 4 docs up there. It was definitely not a good position to be in. Around the same time, I was creating NetBeans Module (along with Jay) to take snapshots from within the IDE. I had to tweak the XML Layer a lot for registering Actions.

This made me write 8 docs (record was held for 5 months) within 3 days and contributed them on single day within that week. Position looked much better than it was and we had now got 12 docs. Still, 2-3 days were left and I interacted with my fellow blogging contest participants to contribute docs, they did.

Eventually, we ended up having 16 docs πŸ˜‰ It was like rising from the ashes. I think I really did that, as this made me more determined and dedicated to help the community, as well as the project to strive forward. Along with James, we took the program to new heights. 150-200 in just 2 months!

2008- 13th Dec

Yesterday, I started making this post, and by the time I ended publishing it, it was midnight. I hope you might have realized by know, that its my birthday today. I am 21 years old πŸ˜‰

I had a wonderful year with NetBeans Community Docs Program, beginning as an active poster on their mailing lists, contributing documentations and finally, becoming Coordinator.

I have been maintaining a web page since April, where I have listed all the events that took place since I took over the position on May 1st. Its actually much more than that, it has complete information of how I got started and what all happened. Initiatives that I took, launching newsletters, exclusive interview and lot more.

Thank You!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank NetBeans Community Docs Team, NetBeans Dream Team Members, NetCAT Participants, Sun Technical Writers, as well as Engineers and Heroes (i.e. everyone who has contributed a documentation) for their love & support.

I really appreciate all those wonderful comments/compliments I got from community members for my services. Special thanks to James Branam and Amit K. Saha.

Community Docs and NetBeans Logos

Day 3- Community Docs, Logos and Decathlon

It’s a Bean, It’s a Cube … It’s the NetBeans Logo!

Did you know that the NetBeans logo was almost a bean? See the first hand-drawn drafts of the NetBeans logo, and how it evolved over time to become the cube we all know and love.

The Many Faces of the NetBeans UI

The NetBeans user interface changed a lot over time. Have a look at our collection of historic screenshots β€” do you remember?

NetBeans Community Docs

The NetBeans Community Docs program is a program in which community members write and submit documentation for use by the community. Since its beginning in March 2007, the Community Docs program has developed into a dependable source of quality NetBeans documentation.

Submitted documentation includes tutorials, screencasts, FAQs, book chapters, and Tips & Tricks. Today more than 90 community members participate regularly in the program, which has resulted in more than 220 documents. The Community Docs program is yet another way in which NetBeans Community members can contribute to the success of NetBeans IDE.

Featured Project- OpenJDK

NetBeans 10th Birthday Celebration Decathlon

To honor 10 years of the NetBeans project and community, we’ve selected ten events that anyone can participate in to be a part of the celebration. The first 300 participants to complete events that add up to 50 points will receive a limited edition NetBeans 10th Anniversary Shirt! In keeping with the spirit of community, these events are all based around various community activities and sites: blogging, forums, Facebook and more. So read on, pick out your favorite events and celebrate away!


  1. 10 events, each worth a different amount of points.
  2. Complete any number of events that tally up to 50 points.
  3. IMPORTANT: Keep track of links to blog entries, forums, and so on. You will need to submit these links in the Decathlon Entry Form.
  4. The first 300 participants to complete the Decathlon form will be eligible to receive a limited edition NetBeans 10th Anniversary T-shirt.
  5. There is no judging, so be creative, reminisce, and have fun!
  6. The Decathlon ends on Monday, October 27th, 2008.

Cheers πŸ˜‰

10 Tips and Tricks


I will be hoping to write a blog each day to mark each day as a special day in the countdown to NetBeans 10th Birthday.

Tips and Tricks

At the end of the last entry, I had pointed to our NetBeans Community Docs Blog, where James had posted about “Call for Contributions: Tips and Tricks“. Do give it a read, its IMPORTANT.

Now, lets talk about the Tips and Tricks (taT’s) I contributed to the community. I have actually maintained taT specific blog entries, you can even subscribe to them as well, more details down below.

Coincidentally, I have blogged only 10 entries and 7 of them have been contributed to NetBeans Community Docs Program. So, lets have a look at them-

taT-10 | Open Projects w/o Browsing

Community Docs | TaT_09

taT-09 | Sort Key and Woodstock

Community Docs | TaT_08

taT-08 | Editor Windows Reactivated

taT-07 | Reload Debugging (debug-fix-nb)

Community Docs | TaT_07

taT-06 | Editor Fold Utility

taT-05 | Play with XML Layer (Part 3)

Community Docs | TaT_06

taT-04 | Play with XML Layer (Part 2)

taT-03 | Play with XML Layer

Community Docs | TaT_05

taT-02 | Passing Arguments Using IDE

Community Docs | TaT_03

taT-01 | Space Around Component…

Community Docs | TaT_02

So, as you can see there are 7 documentations, out of the 10 entries, I forgot I had another blog too, from where I have done some contributions as well, when program was going through Phase II. Have a look-

Phase II | Troubleshoot NetBeans Startup (Part 2)

Community Docs | TaT_04

Phase II | Troubleshoot NetBeans Startup

Community Docs | TaT_01

Tally reaches 9

I need to contribute 1 more, making it 10 on 10 as 10 days to go for 10th B’day. πŸ˜‰ Also, this is my 100th post for NetBeans category πŸ™‚


I was wondering, if this could be an easy way to contribute, yes if you are not able to articulate any tips and tricks for the community. You can atleast do one thing, make use of my existing taT documentations (not blogs), and localize them in German, Spanish, Portugese, French or any other language you feel like in your blog as a post and comment back here with the link.

Also, email me- nvarun AT netbeans DOT org

Else, you may localize them directly onto the Community Docs wiki at Also, NetBeans is a huge IDE, and there are lots of things you can write about. Just pick an area and submit a few tips and tricks. It’s that easy πŸ™‚


You can also add my feeds on taT’s into any feed reader OR you may subscribe through email as well. Have fun and be ready to celebrate the NetBeans B’day next week.

Party has just begun!

taT | Open Projects w/o Browsing

Its been 2 months, and I have not written any taT’s since then 😐 Anyways, its time to move on, and try out another cool trick πŸ™‚

A different way of starting the IDE

Geertjan once blogged this entry, and said, “Drag and drop a desktop icon of a file onto the NetBeans desktop icon……and the IDE will start up, with the specified file open in the editor. That’s always been possible, but is [as far as I am aware] completely unknown.”

There are several such observations, which could be made, but it generally happens accidentally πŸ˜›

Opening Projects..

Now, there are two ways of opening projects (created/maintained locally), that I have seen.

General way- Browsing from Inside

Firstly, you know that one has to go to “File > Open Project..” OR, use a shortcut key- “Ctrl+Shift+O”

Then, you browse to the location of the project and then you “Open” it in the IDE.

New way- Without Internal Browsing

Now, what you can do? Whether NetBeans IDE is running or not, it doesn’t matter, just use your system file browser which is faster than the IDE, and locate your project root.

Drag-n-Drop the folder over NetBeans Desktop Icon, if its not running, OR Drag-n-Drop it over NetBeans running instance. It will take some time, and project would be opened, that too as Main Project, by default.

What you have to do?

Execute this trick and comment, if you like. Also, if you have some of the tricks to share, which makes life easier for users, share it with NetBeans Community through NetBeans Community Docs Program! Another thing, if you’re not a blogger and want to share similar DnD discoveries with the community, you can mail me – nvarun AT netbeans DOT org

So, that I can blog about your discoveries, and contribute them to the above documentation project as well.

This blog has been contributed to NetBeans Community Docs Program and for latest updates on this content, refer to the contribution.

Have a good day πŸ™‚