Oracle yesterday announced a major new version of the NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE), NetBeans IDE 7.0, allowing developers to take advantage of the newest developments in Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE).
NetBeans IDE 7.0 introduces language support for the upcoming JDK 7 release, currently available as a Developer Preview. Many of the new language features proposed to be introduced in the new Java release concentrate on making the actual Java coding more concise and cleaner, Duncan Mills, senior director of product management, Oracle, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
"We have been able to inject into the developer's experience an insight into where they might want to use a new feature that is now available in the language if they are using this version." Mills says. With NetBeans, it is not just a matter of providing support for the latest version of a particular standard but also encouraging and guiding developers on how to use the new features productively, Mills notes.
The release also provides support for Oracle WebLogic Server as well as support for the latest version of GlassFish. HTML5 editing support in the HTML Editor, and improved visual customizer for GridBagLayout are among additional key enhancements.
While both NetBeans and the Eclipse IDE are open source and both appeal to the same core audience, Mills points out that the main differentiator with NetBeans has always been a philosophy that it should be more of a turnkey solution, while Eclipse takes a very much plug-in-based approach. And, while NetBeans also has a "strong and powerful" plug-in mechanism that is used extensively within the community, Mills says "it is not something you have to do out of the starting gate to be useful and productive with the IDE."
Production versions of NetBeans have about 550,000 downloads on average, though NetBeans IDE 7.0 has had a healthy uptake in its beta release phase as well. Between the two release candidates there have been about 40,000 downloads.
More information is available about the NetBeans IDE, NetBeans Documentation and Resources, NetBeans Community Portal, and Oracle Development Tools.