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Roll It Up

Posted by editor on November 15, 2007 at 6:29 AM PST

Putting the final touches on NetBeans 6

A lot of people I know have already switched to the NetBeans 6 betas, getting early access to the array of new features in this version, even though it's not, you know, done yet. On a number of occasions over the last few months, I've been following a discussion on a forum or IRC chat, and the solution has been "oh, that's way better with NetBeans 6, just switch to that." And I don't recall too many cases where users have been burned by bugs in the milestones and betas, even though these releases are buggy and incomplete by their very nature.

So for everyone who's already switched to NetBeans 6, the announcement of Release Candidate 1 is surely a must-have. Those who've kept up with the betas have probably already downloaded it, and are anxiously awaiting the final release in the coming weeks.

And if you're not using NetBeans, take a look at version 6's "what's new" list and see if there's something there that wouldn't make your life a little easier. I'd been IDE-free for years before giving NetBeans a fresh look while developing a Glossitope widget earlier this year, and even though I expected not to like the visual GUI builder, I was surprised by how practical it is for building highly-customized, attractive GUIs. Given that NetBeans 6 adds Beans Binding, Swing Application Framework, and integrated profiler support... oh yeah, I've already downloaded RC1. Even if you're not a GUI developer (and odds are you're not), there's much here to like.

It will be particularly interesting to see if NetBeans can make inroads into the Ruby community by filling the need for a comprehensive Ruby IDE. But that's speculation for another blog...

Also in Java Today,
an interactive graphic on SDN's Mobile Service Architecture (MSA Overview) page offers an interactive graphic showing the JSRs that go into making up JSR-248, the Mobile Service Architecture umbrella specification. Clicking on any of the JSRs takes you to the SDN page with resources for that JSR. The block diagram shows how the various layers of the spec relate to one another, and how the JSRs are organized by function: security and commerce, graphics, communication, personal information, and application connectivity.

Steve Roy has posted version 1.1 of his MRJ Adapter for accessing Mac-specific Java functionality. "MRJ Adapter is partially a wrapper around some APIs provided by Apple and which are built into their various virtual machines. However, they have changed over time and some APIs were not always available, so MRJ Adapter provides a consistent API for the developer wanting to target the Mac. MRJ Adapter is an easier path for developers because it is easier to learn, leveraging concepts they already know, such as action listeners to handle menu items. It also shields the developer from the problems associated with compiling their code on other platforms when the APIs they need only exist on the Mac." MRJ Adapter is open-source and published under the Artistic License.

In today's Weblogs Bruno