The Winds of Change
As we head into the holiday season I'm feel pretty upbeat about the state of client Java. There are many challenges ahead, but things are better for client developers than they have been in close to a decade. Before I dive into the future let me do a quick recap.
NetBeans 6 final just went out the door, including many GUI builder improvements like the new menu designer, super easy multiple language support, and new hooks for the Beans Binding and and Swing App Frameworks. After being in development for close to 2 years it's quite a relief to have the release finally done. This is probably the most important release we've ever shipped. I'm very proud of it.
NetBeans 6 also includes the latest release of the JavaFX developer plugin. You can turn it on with a quick download from the Plugins dialog (see instructions). We've also launched a brand new version of the OpenJFX website, which is much cleaner and easier to navigate. I've even got some more demos on tap for the next few weeks.
Going into 2008 we've got a lot on our plates. The upcoming release of Java SE 6 Update N promises to deliver tremendous improvements for desktop developers. The JavaFX Compiler project will bring drastic runtime speedups to FX programs. And next week we will release a secret open source project that none of you have been expecting. No more details until then, but I will say that it will not only benefit the JavaFX designer tool, but many of your own projects as well.
The winds of change are blowing so you'd better ask Santa for a warm coat. 2008 is going to be a windy year for Java developers.