04 June 2019
I'm a Hungarian recently relocated to and living in Portland, Oregon. I've first encountered Java on an university project in 1996, Szeged, Hungary. It was Java 1.0.2, no modal dialog support in AWT. I did not like it at all. Two years later another university course chose Java over C, so I had to deal with it again. Java 1.1. What a surprise, correct event handling now, I fell in love! Later on Swing came by and I bumped into an ad on the net requesting alpha and beta testers for a new IDE called NetBeans. I remember that I carried the 13 floppy disks to home. I had a PC with 16mb of RAM. I had to buy 64mb next week to stop the constant swapping (I still do not know how I got the money for that.). So NetBeans and me became friends. I was considering to move to Prague for developing it after university, though my life took another turn.
I skipped the year 2000 and 2001 while NetBeans was transitioning to Sun and started using it again when it become Open Source, from 3.0. Since then I'm using NetBeans every day. I worked as a Java Developer on a few dozen projects since 2000. I've change my trade to from development to more like construction, a build engineer later on DevOps engineer, whatever that means.
I made NetBeans usable on OS/2 till it was run-able with Java 1.4.1. I've submitted patches every now and then, but became really active when NetBeans went to Apache. I think Oracle did a several unfortunate mistakes with Sun's software portfolio (Hudson, OpenOffice, the Jakarta EE case is just forming right now). NetBeans seems to be an exception here. It is more easy to contribute, to be involved. I've started with simple things, like herding JIRA issues, answering questions on the development mailing list. Then I volunteered for release manager for NetBeans 10.0 and 11.0.
Being a build engineer means I have gathered knowledge on Ant, Maven, and later on Gradle. I've started to write my own Gradle plugin for NetBeans about 4 years ago. I've contributed that work to the Apache NetBeans after 10.0 came out. I'm maintaining that piece of code since then. Support for Gradle Java EE web projects are coming as well.
I switched to Ubuntu in 2005, using that ever since. I always liked the apt package manager. NetBeans and Java Class library packages were never was consistent enough for me to use it for any other than install the JVM. Then NetBeans gave up on its own support for Debian packaging starting from 8.0. A few individuals did step up to make the netbeans package alive with more or less success. Apache NetBeans 9.0 has been left without an installer (we are working on bringing them back). In the meantime Canonical introduced Snap packages for Linux. It really fits into NetBeans "unzip and run" installs, it is just came with automatic upgrade, and easy install and desktop integration. So I moved a few rocks around and made netbeans as a Snap package happen.
If I'm not coding Java, I still use NetBeans as an editor, file manager and terminal emulator combo, to deal with my Ansible playbooks or Terraform projects. My current pain point is that NetBeans does not recognize Terraform files, and I'm probably going to do something about that, but ironing out Gradle Support wrinkles are the top priority ones.