Appendix B. Useful Utility Classes

In any piece of software, developers will find there are some common tasks that need to be done in widely differing areas of the code, but none of which are of such significance that they merit their own API definition or package. This is as true of NetBeans as any other large software project. Here we’ll try to cover some of the convenient bits of utility code that are available to you as a module author.

XML Utilities

Increasing numbers of modules deal with XML, either for their own internal use or to support an XML-based user data format. There are a number of useful utilities you can use if your module deals in any way with XML data.


The XMLUtil class consists entirely of static utility methods. Some are purely convenience methods that provide easier ways to access JAXP functionality to parse documents, create DOM documents, and so on. You can also serialize a DOM document to XML text—this functionality is provided in some parser implementations, but with XMLUtil you do not need to know which you are using. Finally, various methods help escape XML metacharacters, useful when manually generating XML markup from a data model.


EntityCatalog provides an entity resolver that is able to look in a local catalog for DTDs and other entities without having to connect to a network to download them. Modules can register DTDs in the system filesystem via their XML layers, and these local copies will be ...

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