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Down To Earth

Posted by editor on February 20, 2009 at 8:24 AM PST

NetBeans releases to get smaller, more frequent

Release early, release often. Many projects swear by this strategy, but is it as practical for big projects with thousands or millions of users as it is for the small and scrappy?

NetBeans seems set to prove it out, according to the announcement Message from the NetBeans Team: Why NetBeans 6.7?

For those of you who have been following the NetBeans release train, you may be puzzled by the version number switch in our upcoming milestone release, from NetBeans 7.0 to NetBeans 6.7.

To get innovation and quality improvements out to the community faster, and to have the NetBeans IDE be better aligned with the release schedules of other technologies that it supports, we have decided to concentrate on a series of smaller releases rather than the traditional two big releases per year.

The announcement goes on to say that the NetBeans numbering scheme will continue to use point releases for feature releases that maintain API compatibility, while whole number jumps will indicate major changes and possible API incompatibilities.

So, with this new 6.7 version tracking for June (conveniently in the JavaOne timeframe, of course), what can we look forward to?

NetBeans 6.7 is scheduled for release in June 2009. The main features are Maven and Kenai integration, and there are many smaller features that you can read about on the New and Noteworthy page. Java EE 6 support is planned for a future release. NetBeans 6.7 Milestone 2 is due out next week. We encourage you to download the release when it becomes available and to give us your feedback.

It's possible that the really important point that might get overlooked here is that NetBeans now supports so many other technologies, that it needs more frequent releases so that those other projects can enjoy tool support from NetBeans. In the end, that could be a big win for everyone.

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Notice: will be unavailable from 02/20/09 7pm PST to 02/21/09 7am PST due to a Planned Maintenance Outage. (CollabNet will be performing system-wide changes to maintain and upgrade common infrastructure components such as power, network, and storage).

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