Will the future release 3.6 permit to NetBeans to stay in the race or is it too late ?
NetBeans team announced some weeks ago the near future of NetBeans.
Already last month it was possible to test the new window systems integrated in the trunk release.
Very nice result. You can
- Drag & Drop windows, Tabulations, as you want.
- maximize the editor,
- change order of tabulation, ...
- see if the method is well an overriding method
- manage tasklist
A lot of nice and very useful enhancements have been done.
But I would like to know if it's too late for netBeans or not.
I can affirm that it existed before Eclipse and that it exists after Eclipse.
Now, the competition is harder than before. Users can choose between good, open source IDEs, even pay a little to have IDE like IDEALJ.
NetBeans must reply to attacks from Eclipse to survive.
Recently, announcement was done that NetBeans is delivered with a new window system. And I think personally, that it's a success. NetBeans seems now to be faster than before, not as ugly than before, even with the Metal Look & Feel.
But I had a question in my head: Is it too late ?
I think that no. It's not too late.
NetBeans is really a good product
and has nice features that others don't yet have. Just some details that make the difference. That's why we continue to use it.
The major problem, is that you need to know keyboard shortcuts to use those functions.
Some very nice functions are only available via keyboard shortcuts, but never by mouse or in the menus.
How many people, when using a graphical IDE, are reading the keyboard shortcuts help section to know the features integrated in a product ? Not so many. And that's why NetBeans can be seen as a poor IDE. But, if you take time to learn it, you will discover all advantages of thoses features.
The big problem with NetBeans is the noise. Nobody speak about NetBeans.
But everyone talks about Eclipse.
At Javapolis, there were stands of Sun, Novell, Compuware, Bea, TeamStudio, hp.
Sun was promoting the Java Desktop,
Novell was promoting the exteNd
Compuware was promoting their MDA Driven IDE, OptimalJ.
Bea was promoting weblogic, TeamStudio was promoting his Java suite
But, do you know that all those companies develop products on top of the NetBeans platform or modules for NetBeans, and I am pretty sure that few of you knew it.
- Sun develop Java Studio and Java Studio Creator (Rave) on top of the NetBeans IDE
- Novell use the netbeans IDE for exteNd (read Sprout 9, the monthly newsletter of NetBeans
- Compuware developped OptimalJ on top of the netbeans IDE
- TeamStudio has modules for NetBeans
- Hp maintains the OpenVMS version of NetBeans
- Even BEA is developping a marketing tool by using NetBeans platform
And a lot of other companies are using netbeans modules, like the MDR module, used by a UML tool
And not one of those four companies, even Sun, at their stand, did even a little advertizing for NetBeans. Totally Incredible.
But do you know how exactly powerful is NetBeans ?
just look at the photoalbum demo to discover it then.
Also don't forget that behind the name NetBeans, you have two products: the platform and the IDE.
- the NetBeans platform can be used as base to build any application you want.
- the NetBeans IDE can be used as base to develop any IDE you want.
So when I see the pre-alpha release of NetBeans 3.6, and when I see the features that NB4.0 will have. I am confident that NetBeans is always in the race to be one of the best Java IDEs, if not the best one.
So, please, take time to look at the future NB3.6 release. Look at the new features. Try it by yourself !!!