Chapter 28. Building Your Distribution of NetBeans
Since the NetBeans project is open source and makes an effort to be friendly to people building all kinds of applications, you have the opportunity to create a custom distribution of NetBeans, or even a rather different application reusing some NetBeans code.
Do You Need Your Own Distribution?
The first serious question is whether creating your own distribution is necessary or even advisable. There are some good reasons to do it:
NetBeans includes a number of modules your users do not want or need.
NetBeans does not include a number of modules you produce that your users need, and it would be silly to force them to get vanilla NetBeans and then download these modules.
You want the application to look like yours. This is known as a desire for branding.
You wish to suppress some pieces of the NetBeans UI that are not appropriate for your purposes. For example, nothing you are interested in involves compilation; why should users see a Build menu they will never use?
Your desired application does not really resemble an IDE at all. You just want to reuse some pieces of the NetBeans platform, for example the Filesystems library, the module activation system, or the Explorer GUI.