NetBeans 7.1 released
The NetBeans developers at Oracle have released NetBeans 7.1, slightly later than was initially anticipated. The headline feature for this release of the Java-based but multi-language supporting IDE is the introduction of JavaFX 2.0 support, including compiling, debugging and profiling of applications, and their deployment to the desktop as an applet or via JNLP.
The NetBeans JavaFX support requires the, currently proprietary but being open sourced, JavaFX 2.0 SDK – downloads for Windows and Mac OS X only – though that has now been built into the most recent release of the Java 7 SDK. Enhancements to the Swing GUI Builder, CSS3 support and tools for debugging both Swing and JavaFX user interfaces have also been incorporated. The CSS3 support is required 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.
Git support has now been fully integrated into NetBeans 7.1 and versioning in the IDE is easier to manage with the addition of a history tab on the file editor window. Subversion users will be able to lock and unlock files and Mercurial users will be able to make use of branches and tags from within the IDE. Other enhancements include "Inspect and Refactor", 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 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 Smarty templates. These features are joined by a faster uploader thanks to an (S)FTP client which implements keep-alive instead of having to regularly re-establish a session with the server. NetBeans Platform developers are now 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 NetBeans 7.1 are available on the NetBeans wiki. Installation instructions cover installation on Windows, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X and other platforms; detailed release notes and a number of tutorials are also available. NetBeans IDE 7.1 is available to download from the site. The IDE is dual-licensed under the CDDL and GPLv2.