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InfoQ Homepage News Getting Ready for NetBeans 6.8 - What’s New?

Getting Ready for NetBeans 6.8 - What’s New?

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The NetBeans development team has announced the release of version 6.8 milestone 2 and the beta version is scheduled in a few days. Notable additions include support for Java EE 6, JSF 2.0, an embedded broswer and more.

The announcement higlights the major new features:

Release Highlights include:

  • Java Enterprise Edition 6
    • JavaServer Faces 2.0 for web interfaces and the ability to use EJBs in web applications
    • Java Persistence JPA 2.0 and RESTful web services support
    • Deployment, debugging and profiling with GlassFish v3
  • JavaServer Faces 2.0 (Facelets)
    • Code completion, error hints, namespace completion, documentation popups, and tag auto-import for Facelets
    • Editor support for Facelets libraries, composite components, expression language
  • Connected Developer
    • Full JIRA support
    • Improved issue tracker integration
  • PHP
    • Full PHP 5.3 support
    • Symfony Framework support
  • Maven
    • Improved support for Java EE 6, Groovy, Scala projects
    • Customizable dependency exclusion in dependency graph
  • Ruby
    • Support for JRuby 1.3.1, Ruby 1.9 debugging, and RSpec 1.2.7
    • Improved rename refactoring, type inference, and navigation
  • C/C++
    • Profiling: New tools for I/O Monitoring, Thread Analysis and Race Detection
    • Faster synchronization during remote development

As Adam Bien reports, two very practical features in the current milestone, which are native support for JIRA and fast incremental deployment with Glassfish:

·  Incremental deployment with Glassfish v3 b66 is extremely fast. It takes less than a second in general. Class, interface, method changes are immediately recognized and deployed. 

·  The HttpSession is preserved during deployment. You don't even have to re-login after the deployment of your application.


·  JIRA is directly supported for Additional plugins are no more needed.

One thing that seems to confuse users in the NetBeans forum is the support for the Visual Web pack which was based on the Woodstock components library:

Visual Web JSF and Project Dynamic Faces are not available in the Update Center. I understand in NetBeans 6.7, Woodstock version 4.2 is still available.
Is woodstock no longer included in the update center for NB 68 M2. I went thru the Stable and Beta Update Center but it is not available.

Visual Web JSF in NetBeans is still the best in its class, even in its version 4.2 form. There appears to be no alternative that is close enough. I don't understand that other 3rd party plugins are supported in the Stable Update Center while the homegrown woodstock is not. This feature is a big differentiator for NetBeans (vs. Eclipse and others). Many of us have made good use of this tool can not really find comparable substitutes, The IceFaces Visual Web though good in some ways, has many bugs that we go back to Visual Web JSF in NetBeans 6.5/7 to avoid hassle.

Since Woodstock is no longer supported and there is no “Visual Pack” for NetBeans yet, there are people that suggest that Oracle should be  replacing all this with ADF support from JDeveloper:

Oracle has much better support for JSF / ADF, and NetBeans is a superb and lightweight Java EE 6 environment. In NetBeans 6.8+ the Visual Web Pack is no more supported, so JDevelopers ADF supported would fit just perfectly into NetBeans The fact is: JDeveloper is a good IDE, but is not as popular as NetBeans. I really only rarely (<5 times) saw it in action in projects.

The beta version of NetBeans 6.8 is planned for Oct 22nd and will be followed by two RC versions in November. The final release is planned for the Dec 1st.

You can download m2 or visit the mailing lists and forums for more information.

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