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(4.2 == 5.0)

Posted by gsporar on September 2, 2005 at 4:02 PM PDT

For quite a while now if you downloaded a development build of the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) you probably noticed the version number on it: 4.2. It was in the download dialog. It was on the splash screen that displayed when you started the IDE, etc.

After considerable discussion (including on the mailing lists and even an online poll) the decision has been made that the version number for the next release will be 5.0.

What's up with that?

The bottom line is that there are significant new features in the upcoming release. Significant enough that they justify a change on the left of the decimal point. Some examples:

  • A new visual UI editor (Project Matisse)
  • Dramatically improved CVS support (in fact, a complete re-write)
  • Improved support for JBoss and Weblogic
  • Much better Struts and Java Server Faces support
  • New look and feel for code completion, with better performance!
  • The error stripe will move into the standard distribution
  • A new editor hints feature
  • Code templates
  • Lots of new refactorings
  • A completely re-done Options dialog
  • The Ant debugger moves into the standard distribution
  • A new palette for Java Server Pages and HTML elements

Check out this article (which, last time I checked, still said "4.2" :-) ) for more information on the new features. Also, as I mentioned when I described Q builds, there is a log available that is loaded with sample screen snapshots and brief descriptions of the upcoming features.

Another thing to keep in mind is that NetBeans is more than just an IDE. It is also a Platform for building rich client applications. And the list of enhancements in that area is extensive. Please take a look at some thoughts on that from my colleague Tim Boudreau.

As part of the NetBeans World Tour, Tim and I will be in Beijing on September 12th for NetBeans Day China. If you're in the neighborhood, do please stop in and see us. One of my demos will include a localized version of the Java BluePrint application I wrote about the other day: