NetBeans News Growing

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-05-05 Print this article Print


Meanwhile, Sun and the NetBeans community announced the availability of the NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP scripting language. The move enables Web 2.0 developers using PHP to leverage the NetBeans IDE. Sun also announced the general availability of NetBeans 6.1, the latest version of Sun's open-source IDE. Both can be downloaded here.

NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP includes intelligent editing features such as prioritized code completion, instant rename, mark occurrences, dynamic code templates and easy navigation. Outside of the editor, it provides debugging support, deployment to the local server, dynamic help and sample projects intended to make it easier to get started with PHP development, and support for embedded CSS, HTML and JavaScript technologies. More details can be found here.

"Dynamic languages continue to be a major focus for Sun and we are thrilled to provide NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP to this community," said Octavian Tanase, senior director of NetBeans Engineering at Sun. "Support for JavaScript technology, integration with MySQL database and a host of other powerful features position NetBeans as a premier IDE for PHP developers everywhere."

NetBeans 6.1 includes new features for developing AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Web applications using JavaScript technology and delivers tighter integration with the MySQL database. 

David Folk, group manager for marketing at NetBeans, said NetBeans 6.1's JavaScript technology support is based on the dynamic language infrastructure added for the Ruby programming language and includes semantic highlighting, code completion, type analysis, quick fixes, semantic checks and refactoring. Version 6.1 also adds in a browser compatibility feature intended to make it easier to write JavaScript code to run in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari or Windows Internet Explorer. 

In addition, the NetBeans Database Explorer in NetBeans IDE 6.1 makes it easier to create, start and stop MySQL databases and connect to and browse a database's tables, said Gregg Sporar, a NetBeans technology evangelist. Other new NetBeans features include faster startup and code completion, enhanced support for Ruby and JRuby such as a new Ruby platform manager, and support for the IBM Rational ClearCase version control system, Sporar said.

NetBeans 6.1 also includes enhanced support for Web services. "We have support for REST-ful [Representational State Transfer] Web services," Sporar said.

Sporar and Folk said NetBeans has closed the gap considerably in its competition with the Eclipse open-source IDE, which maintains the lion's share of mind share among developers who use an open-source Java IDE.

However, over the last three years, that as begun to change as NetBeans has added a host of new features such as PHP support, support for Ruby and all the new features in NetBeans 6.1, Sporar said. When it comes to whether developers are using one or the other, "the conversation has changed to become one more of 'and' rather than an 'or,'" Folk said, noting that more developers are saying they use both Eclipse and NetBeans, choosing depending on the situation.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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