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NetBeans 6.8 Beta Coming; Does Oracle Care?

NetBeans 6.8 just crossed milestone 2 and the beta is set to release next ThursdayGeertjan Wielenga, a NetBeans technical writer and DZone Leader, has been writing extensively on the capabilities and usage of NetBeans as an IDE and a platform.  His research on the usage of the NetBeans platform has revealed a wide array of applications.  It has led him to create his own acronym, YANPA (Yet Another NetBeans Platform Application).  The significant underlying capabilities, stability, and reliability of NetBeans produce a high level of trust in the platform.  That trust is the explanation behind YANPAs. 

The future of NetBeans could be very bright if Oracle puts its weight behind its promotion.  Many developers are worried, however, that Oracle may choose to officially support it's own IDE, JDeveloper, instead of NetBeans.  There hasn't been a lot of talk about NetBeans at this week's Oracle OpenWorld, and developers don't know what to make of it.  An Oracle forum thread suggests that Maven will be used to facilitate collaboration between the JDeveloper and Netbeans IDEs, so that means at least the Netbeans IDE will be preserved.  Any more information about Oracle's plans for the NetBeans platform may not come until the Sun acquisition is complete.

Here are the main new features coming in NetBeans 6.8:

Java Enterprise Edition 6
  • Now supported in Maven projects
  • Deployment, debugging, and profiling with GlassFish v3
  • RESTful web services support and Java Persistence JPA 2.0
  • EJB use in web apps

JavaServer Faces 2.0 (Facelets)
  • Code completion, error hints, documentation popups, namespace completion, and tag auto-import for Facelets
  • Editor support for Facelets libraries

Kenai Support
  • Full JIRA support
  • Enhanced issue tracker integration

  • Enhanced support for Java EE 6, Groovy, and Scala projects
  • Customizable dependency exclusion in dependency graph

  • PHP 5.3 support including syntax highlighting, code completion, code folding, and navigator
  • Symfony Framework support
  • FTP/SFTP improvements

  • Support for JRuby 1.3.1, Ruby 1.9 debugging, and RSpec 1.2.7
  • Support for creating Rails 2.3.2 apps with dispatchers
  • Improved rename refactoring, type inference, and navigation

Groovy & Grails
  • Groovy 1.6.4 supported and bundled
  • Methods introduced via AST tranformations visible in code completion
  • Reliable Grails process exiting on Windows platform

  • New Thread Microstates indicator and Thread Details view (Solaris and Open Solaris specific)
  • New tools for I/O Monitoring, Thread Analysis and Race Detection
  • Faster synchronization during remote development

  JIRA plugin  Expression Language support in Java Server Faces 2.0
                          JIRA Plugin interface                            Expression Language support in Java Faces Server

  • More articles on recent NetBeans developments can be found here and here.  To learn more about NetBeans, check out the NetBeans 6.7 Refcard.
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