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Apache Netbeans 12 LTS Released

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The Netbeans integrated development environment (IDE) has released its first long-term support (LTS) version a year after the Apache Software Foundation promoted it to a top-level Apache project.  

NetBeans 12 consolidates the features in releases 11.1, 11.2 and 11.3 (developed over the last half year). The newly released version of the IDE brings new features for Java developers, but also for C/C++ and PHP/JavaScript/HTML developers. Regardless of the language, all the existing features are available out of the box, no extra plugins needed to be installed.  

Nevertheless, one has to be aware that the NetBeans compiler and JDK (nb-javac fork) that is bundled with NetBeans doesn’t provide the latest features of the language. To take advantage of those, the corresponding JDK version needs to be installed.

Keeping up with the latest added features in Java 13, there is now the possibility to transform to and from the text blocks. Also, the Java developers eager to have a feel for the preview features of Java 14 can benefit from the support for pattern matching in instance of operator or syntax coloring for the record keyword. Besides providing support for the latest Java features, the new release integrates new code donations from Oracle for Java Web development.  

This version comes with a bunch of new Maven features and artifacts as well, among which mostly notable are new OpenJFX Gluon Maven artifacts: FXML JavaFX Maven Archetype (Gluon) and Simple JavaFX Maven Archetype (Gluon), and the new Java EE 8 Maven archetype, "webapp-javaee8".  

Even though Netbeans is famous for being the first Java IDE developed, lately it has become a multiple-language toolbox. Hence even web developers have a couple of reasons to be happy as well, with support for PHP 7.4 on top of multiple features and bug fixes. Also, this version comes with an out-of-the-box Typescript editor, while for the users of the Chrome/NetBeans integration, a fix allows the Chrome connector to work correctly.

NetBeans did not forget C/C++ developers either - version 12 integrates the newly Oracle-donated C/C++ features, even though code level integration is still to happen.

More than just features, the NetBeans 12 LTS has a key focus around appearance as well. The fans of dark themes will be happy to know that starting with the current version, NetBeans provides support for dark themes as well (Dark Theme and Dark Nimbus being donated by Oracle to Apache). On top of that a totally new look and feel was added as well: FlatLaf.

Developers looking to use Netbeans can download Netbeans 12.0 now. New users can consult a number of tutorials within the NetBeans help pages.

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