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.
With the release of NetBeans 6.1 beta Sun started a blogging contest. Until April 18th, 2008 one can test NetBeans 6.1 beta and blog about it. After blogging you need to submit the URL to netbeans.org and your review will be judged. I’m looking forward to submitting as I definitely want to have a T-Shirt 🙂
Roman Strobl created a screencast showing off the features of the NetBeans 6.0 GUI Builder. He shows how to create data (base) driven applications in a fast and efficient way. He uses Actions instead of Listeners and also relies on the SwingLabs SwingX Swing Component Extensions (find demos here, I really like the drop shadow border).
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 🙂
Final release of the Java IDE NetBeans 6.0 is planned in late 2007. However the release candidate 1 has been released. NetBeans 6.0 offers tons of features for Java SE, EE and ME developers as well as a D’n’D Swing editor, BPEL support, graphical SQL editor, one click webstart release and so on. I’ll try and report soon.
Yesterday the first beta of NetBeans 6.0 was released. I could not withstand and installed it – of course 😀 The installer (Linux, Ubuntu Feisty) worked like a charm. Startup seemed somewhat faster, the looks are clean and good (nothing like the thing with M9 anymore). The editor now responds faster than in the last milestone and is therefore more usable. Looks like NetBeans is on its way.
Another comment: Why bother with NetBeans if they are somewhat behind with features and ease-of-use? From the viewpoint of an application developer NetBeans offers some very interesting features one might search in other databases. There is the really cool GUI editor and the database support out of the box. Furthermore they have a profiler built in (for free).
I took the news on the updated NetBeans plugin for JavaFX as impulse to try it out at last: JavaFX has been buzzing around for some months now. So long Adobe/Macromedia Flash has been the only choice for interactive graphically intensive and multimedia application. Well I know that there is SVG and SMIL, but I also know that those two can’t compete with Flash (I spare out a ‘yet’ … how long do we have to wait?). With JavaFX and Microsoft Silverlight there are two competitors on the scene. However I cannot try the latter one – I didn’t find an Ubuntu download 🙂 JavaFX however is looking cool: The demo / tutorial from openjfx.dev.java.net shows a lot of nice effects and features.
NetBeans 6.0 Milestone 10 is now available. According to Roumen’s blog its the last milestone, so expect a beta release after this one. You will find the original announcement here. Updates (excerpt from the announcement) include: