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The top ten coolest features in NetBeans IDE 7.4

Geertjan Wielenga
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Geertjan Wielenga talks us through the latest NetBeans release, which now comes complete with enhanced HTML5 and JavaScript development features.

NetBeans IDE 7.4 is all about letting you work
with JDK 8 previews, enabling you to integrate HTML5 into Java EE
applications, providing tools for developing mobile applications
via Apache Cordova, and deploying applications to mobile
devices.

Lots of documents and
screencasts
have been published around this release of NetBeans
IDE, but let’s wade through all the new features and quickly focus
only on the ten that are most impressive.

1. JDK 8 Preview. Previews are
available of the upcoming JDK 8, so you’re able to register JDK 8
previews in the IDE, check for JDK 8 profile compliance, and
refactor your code to change from anonymous inner classes to
lambdas. 


2. HTML5 Integration with Java EE
7.
Java EE developers wanting to benefit from the rich and
flexible UIs made possible by HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, can now
integrate these very easily via tools and wizards directly into
their Maven or Ant based Java EE applications. Live web
preview of web pages is available in the embedded WebKit browser,
the Chrome browser with NetBeans plugin, as well as on mobile
devices, i.e., Chrome on Android and Mobile Safari on
iOS.


3. Apache Cordova. Creating
applications for iOS and Android doesn’t mean needing to know any
native languages. Develop your applications in HTML, JavaScript,
and CSS and then use the Cordova tools built into NetBeans IDE 7.4
to convert them to native packages, then deploy them directly to
the native emulator or to the native device. When deployed to the
native device, you can debug JavaScript and style CSS directly on
the device.


4. Android and iOS. Once an
application, whether it is created via Cordova or not, is ready to
be tried out on a mobile device, deploy it quickly and easily from
the IDE. New tools are included for deployment to Android and iOS
emulators and native devices.


5. Knockout, AngularJS, and
ExtJS.
JavaScript support in the IDE has been overhauled.
Support includes JavaScript framework-specific syntax coloring,
code completion, as well as other editing and refactoring tools for
the following JavaScript frameworks: jQuery, JSON, Knockout, Ext
Js, AngularJS, JsDoc, ExtDoc, and ScriptDoc. Knockout, AngularJS,
and ExtJS are supported for the first time.  


6. SASS and LESS. Editing
support for Sassy CSS and LESS CSS preprocessors is provided,
including syntactic and semantic coloring for language constructs,
indentation, reformatting, code folding, and file templates. Code
completion and refactoring tools are available for variables and
mixins.


7. Maven. NetBeans IDE is
famous for its natural and intuitive Maven support. The previous
release introduced the effective POM view, and some of the many
enhancements in NetBeans IDE 7.4 include reworked compile on save,
as well as a brand new Build Execution Overview dialog to easily
track the goals that have been executed.


8. Java Editor. The Java
Editor, always the centerpiece of NetBeans IDE, is significantly
more responsive than before. It sports a range of completely new
and creative features, such as enhanced code completion, Java code
metrics, and many new hints and refactorings.


9. Versioning. Out of the box,
NetBeans IDE supports Mercurial, Subversion, and Git. Significant
enhancements have been made in the support for all three tools,
including fine-tuned diffing and reintegration between
branches.


10. Task Manager. JIRA and
Bugzilla issues can now be tracked within the new Task Management
window. Create new issues within the IDE, work with them directly
as you code, and simplify the development flow by having your code
and your issues available to you within the same IDE.


More details can be found here:
http://wiki.netbeans.org/NewAndNoteworthyNB74

Author
Geertjan Wielenga

Geertjan Wielenga

All Posts by Geertjan Wielenga

Geertjan Wielenga is a principal product manager in Oracle for NetBeans and has been a member of the NetBeans Team since 2004
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