NetBeans 7.1 Shipped with JavaFX 2.0 and CSS3 Support
Oracle have today released NetBeans 7.1, with a strong emphasis on GUI enhancements. The product includes developer support for JavaFX 2.0 with an FXML editor, significant updates to the GridBagLayout Customizer in the Swing Builder (Matisse), and tools for visual debugging of both JavaFX and Swing user interfaces. The latter "is really a dramatic step forward," Oracle's Bill Pataky, vice president product management, developer tools, told InfoQ, "because it allows developers to just click on a user interface component and examine the component whilst the application is running, without needing to set a check-point".
Whilst JavaFX support continues to be tightly coupled to NetBeans, there is a separate initiative to provide Graphical UI design capabilities via a stand-alone tool that can integrate into any IDE, Pataky confirmed.
For web GUI, NetBeans continues to flesh out its already strong HTML 5 coverage, adding support for CSS3 in the NetBeans CSS editor, with code completion, syntax colouring and documentation for new CSS3 elements, as well as new browser specific properties settings. This is, of course, also important for JavaFX 2, since JavaFX 2.0 UI controls can be customised using CSS3. JSF2 support has also received some attention, with basic support added for ICEfaces 2.0 and RichFaces 4.0 component libraries. Finally, NetBeans' popular PHP support also continues to improve, with enhancements to the debugger, PHPUnit test groups capabilities, support for Smarty templates, and faster uploads with keep-alive for (S)FTP clients.
Elsewhere, the product gains out-of-the box support for Git 1.7, reflecting the growing importance of Git as a version control system, and support for the newly announced Oracle WebLogic Server 12c, bringing Java EE 6 support to developers creating applications on the Oracle WebLogic Server platform.
When InfoQ covered the release of NetBeans 7, we mentioned that the product had around 880,000 "active users" (i.e. users who allow the product to "phone home" periodically), and Oracle's senior director of product management, Duncan Mills, told us that the target was to grow that figure to one million. During our conversation Pataky told us that that target has been reached over the summer, and NetBeans continues to attract more developers.
We've seen dramatic increases, especially in India and Asia, and also in the academic community. The academic community really makes sense, particularly when you consider the positioning of NetBeans as the IDE that supports the Java standard.
You can download NetBeans 7.1 from the NetBeans website.