Used NetBeans to put together a Swing application framework and to prototype a GUI. The NetBeans folk follow the new Swing/JDesktop work pretty closely, and the generated code is a time-saver. Matisse is good solid step up from other “visual editors” I have used before, and is also a time-saver.
Not that Matisse is perfect - it gets confused easily, and I have had to start over or restore a prior version from version control more than once. Not that the underlying implementation is simple, and I am using a 6.0 beta - so the problems are understandable.
Otherwise I find Eclipse somewhat preferable for general editing / refactoring / debugging. I took the NetBeans-generated project and copied into a subdirectory of a newly-created Eclipse Java project, then adjusted source, libraries, and output to match. The end result is a project that can be built under either Eclipse (generally) or NetBeans (GUI work).
Eclipse took one look at the NetBeans-generated sources, and came up with a bunch of warnings. :)
A couple decades back I was running all my “C” sources through lint on a regular basis. Yes, I was one of those odd folk who actually used lint. All my builds were done with the production compiler (Greenhills) at the highest warning level. I had even ported the GNU C/C++ compiler to our in-house system (a very tedious operation), and ran all the sources through with “-Wall”. The interesting bit is that each tool could spot problems (or potential problems) that the others missed.
Now I’m using NetBeans to do what Eclipse cannot, and Eclipse to spot dubious code that NetBeans missed. Kind’a familiar, this. :)
The potentially useful bit here is that the NetBeans folk could improve Matisse-generated code by using Eclipse for an extra round of testing. Wonder what the chances are?