Sun Unveils NetBeans 6.1 Beta

With EclipseCon going on right down the road, Sun releases a new beta of its open-source Java development tool set.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-Not to be outdone by the confab for Eclipse developers at EclipseCon here, Sun Microsystems is announcing the beta of its NetBeans 6.1 integrated development environment.

While the Eclipse Foundation is holding its annual conference opening March 17 across town, Sun officials are announcing the availability of NetBeans 6.1, which delivers a set of features for JavaScript development, a key component for delivering AJAX Web applications and tighter integration of MySQL database functionality. NetBeans is Sun's open-source Java development tool set.

Other new features in the NetBeans 6.1 beta include performance enhancements, including faster startup and code completion; support for the Spring Framework; significant enhancements to the IDE's Ruby/JRuby support, including a new Ruby platform manager; and support for the latest version of Ruby on Rails and new hints and quick fixes in the editor.

The NetBeans 6.1 beta also features support for the IBM Rational ClearCase version-control system, via a plug-in from the NetBeans Update Center.

Sun officials said the new JavaScript support includes semantic highlighting, code completion, type analysis, quick fixes, semantic checks and refactoring. In addition, the NetBeans 6.1 beta has a browser compatibility feature that enables developers to write JavaScript code that works in the Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari Web browsers.

Jim Parkinson, vice president of tools and services at Sun, said that, since the release of NetBeans 4.0, momentum and adoption have been strong, with more than 3.2 million downloads coming over the past two years. "With NetBeans 6.1, we expect adoption rates to continue to go through the roof, especially with the new JavaScript functionality and the tighter integration work taking place with the MySQL database," Parkinson said.

The NetBeans 6.1 beta is available for download here.