NetBeans 7.1 nears as release candidate arrives
Oracle's NetBeans developers have published the first release candidate of version 7.1 of their IDE. NetBeans 7.1 is due for final release on 14 December and introduces support for JavaFX 2.0, the UI toolkit that Oracle is planning to release as open source and incorporate in a later release of Java.
The NetBeans JavaFX support requires the currently proprietary JavaFX 2.0 SDK (downloads for Windows and Mac OS X only), but will cover the full compile/debug/profile cycle for Desktop, Applet and JNLP deployment. Enhancements to the Swing GUI Builder, CSS3 support and tools for debugging both Swing and JavaFX user interfaces have also been added. The CSS3 support is needed for JavaFX as it is the route to customising the user interface controls, but its addition also benefits NetBeans 7.1's web support by bringing along CSS3 code completion and documentation.
"Inspect and Refactor" is a new feature which allows project-wide refactorings to be applied to code. For example, a "Convert to JDK 7" refactoring configuration is included which can help update code to use newer features of the Java language. Other refactorings such as inlining and inserting parameters are also now supported.
Java EE developers will find more Java EE deployment options supported for Glassfish, JSF component suites and improvements to Java Persistence, Web Services and EJB. PHP developers will find that NetBeans 7.1 has an enhanced debugger, support for PHPUnit test groups and a faster uploader thanks to an (S)FTP client which implements keep-alive. NetBeans Platform developers will be able to use new Window System APIs and have access to a visual window layout designer and pluggable multiview components.
Full details of these and all the other enhancements that can be found in the release candidate for NetBeans 7.1 are available on the NetBeans wiki. Installation instructions cover installation on Windows, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X and other platforms and release notes are also available. NetBeans IDE 7.1 RC1 is available to download from the site, but as with all pre-final release software, is intended for testing and evaluation purposes and should not be put into production use. The IDE is dual-licensed under the CDDL and GPLv2.