Time is long over due to start providing instructions on how to get started using the NetBeans Platform... without using NetBeans IDE.
  1. Download the NetBeans Platform. Go here, download it, and unzip into a folder:
  2. Download the NetBeans Platform Build Harness. Into the same folder where you downloaded the above, unzip this:
    You now have the NetBeans Platform as well as its build harness. Let's start using it.
  3. Set Up a Project. In a different folder to where the above two have been unzipped, create a folder named "DemoApp". Inside "DemoApp", create a folder called "nbproject" (so that you'll be able to open the project, sometime in the future when you might want to do so, into NetBeans IDE). Inside the 'nbproject' folder you only need to put three files: project.xml

    org.netbeans.modules.apisupport.project.suite DemoApp platform.properties

    nbplatform.active.dir=/home/geertjan/projects/platform-zip/ harness.dir=/home/geertjan/projects/platform-zip/harness cluster.path=\ ${nbplatform.active.dir}/platform disabled.modules=\ org.jdesktop.layout,\ org.netbeans.api.visual,\ org.netbeans.core.execution,\ org.netbeans.core.multiview,\ org.netbeans.libs.jsr223,\ org.netbeans.modules.autoupdate.services,\ org.netbeans.modules.autoupdate.ui,\ org.netbeans.modules.core.kit,\ org.netbeans.modules.favorites,\ org.netbeans.modules.templates,\ org.openide.compat,\ org.openide.execution,\ org.openide.options,\ org.openide.util.enumerations app.name=demoapp app.title=Demo Application branding.token=${app.name} modules=
    The first two properties above point to the folder where I unzipped the two downloads into. build-impl.xml

    The above files, within the 'nbproject' folder, are all that's needed to hook the 'platform' and 'harness' downloads into your project.
    Add a Build Script. On the same level as the 'nbproject' folder, i.e., the root directory, add your build.xml file. A starting point would be as follows: Builds the module suite DemoApp.

That's it. Go to the project's root directory and do 'ant -run'. The NetBeans Platform will start up and you'll see the main window. Next time, we'll look at how to add a module to the application.

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