The NetBeans community acceptance survey has voted for thhe last NetBeans 6.7 RC to be stable enough to be shipped. While this sounds great there is one minor details I consider critical for the significance of the survey: Only 182 people responded. (re-engineneered from 144 people being 79%). If we go with common numbers in empirical research ~5 % of the population take part in survey like these and therefore I conclude that the size of the NetBeans community is around 3.600 people.
NetBeans is actually having quite a a hard time with Eclipse pressing from open source and Idea pressing from commercial alternatives. Also the free IDEs of Microsoft’s .NET family affect the scene. However, I still think that if NetBeans manages to advance from the “I can do all” principle to a small and lean application development environment featuring a fast and intelligent editor and a WYSIWYG gui builder there is definitely a chance.
Installation works fine and fast, start up speed is ok. The start up screen gives enough hints to start with. I like that as it is especially good for people starting with Java and/or NetBeans. I’m really satisfied now with the editor. It works fast enough and the completion hints are fine. Classes and members the editor does not know are created fast enough by hitting <alt>-<enter>.
I found one
bug thing though: I created a class Tile with two members: One of the class Rectangle2D.Double and one of the class Point2D.Double. When using the automatic Getter and Setter code generation the return values for the Getter for the point were just Double while the Getter for the rectangle returned java.awt.geom.Rectangle2D.Double. That’s not really an issue, I know, but not the optimal way of programming either. At least I was not satisfied and edited the source afterwards 🙂
An update to my previous entry: NetBeans 6 Milestone 7 was released: That’s the time for trying out 8-). A first beta is expected in May, the final release in November 2007. See also the NetBeans Roadmap for more insight.
What’s inside M7?
- Java Webstart development simplified (Creation of jnlp file & running locally for testing)
- Redesigned Icons (Uh! Good looks 🙂 )
- Local history function
- EJB Code Generation, JBoss 5 support and much more
Having heard a great deal about Netbeans 6.0 and I installed it some days ago (some daily build: 200702162122). My main intention was to find out if it was time to switch to Netbeans … and in my humble opinion NB 6 will be a reasonable alternative to Eclipse and Idea with 6.0!
So here are my findings:
- The new editor is great (compared to the old one)! It’s fast enough, has meaningful shortcuts (roughly the same as IntelliJ Idea) and it works rather smooth and does what one likes it to do.
- The GUI editor is great and the only (free) GUI editor that simply works. Furthermore the built-in i18n things are really really cool! (totally missing in Idea).
- Most of the refactoring is missing, but I hope it will find its way in until the final version.
- The same goes for the code completion: It is there in different flavors, but it does not do what one might expect. 😉
- Using <alt>-<enter> in the editor while text is selected brings up a new template dialog, which is a combination between “Surround code with ..” and Live Templates.
The daily build proved rather stable and I continue to use it. However there is one thing that nearly drove me mad: I created a panel and set it to CardLayout. Then I put in three panels in the CardLayout panel. After that I wasn’t able to move the CardLayout panel any more (dragging it around in the GUI editor)! At last I found a workaround: Giving the CardLayout panel an empty border one can then drag the panel around using the border pixels 8-).