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NetBeans 7.3 embraces web with arrival of HTML5 support

Chris Mayer

The latest version of open source IDE adds in modern web development support, with renovated JavaScript, CSS support

Oracle have released the latest version of open source IDE, NetBeans 7.3, recognising the need to include tools for modern web development support within the package.

Primarily aimed at Java developers, the development environment already supported for other languages such as PHP, Groovy and C. However, the arrival of Project Easel in NetBeans 7.3 could be its most important addition for years, aiding the creation of HTML5 applications from scratch.

To forge greater links with the web, NetBeans 7.3 also includes a Chrome extension allowing window size to be quickly modified (for testing responsive designs) and debugging of live JavaScript from within the IDE, whilst HTML previews are handled by an internal WebKit browser. Code completion support for jQuery and CSS3 is also included.

JavaScript support has been radically overhauled, with a rewritten editor and debugger based on the Nashorn JavaScript project, the newest implementation on the JVM which is set to arrive in Java 8. It’s also possible to generate JavaScript client code from existing Java REST services using Backbone.js.

Elsewhere, profiling Java applications on ARM systems such as the Raspberry Pi is easier, falling in line with Oracle’s Java Embedded push. JavaFX users can now use the FXML format as well.

The web development features introduced into the popular IDE represent the converging development world we now live in. It’s no longer possible to avoid the likes of HTML5 and JavaScript in application development, and Oracle’s decision to embrace them was inevitable, and should be greatly received.

You can check out all that’s new within NetBeans 7.3. Also worth looking at is Geertjan Wielenga’s piece ‘From database to RESTful web service to HTML5 in 10 minutes’’, showing you how to get up and running. NetBeans 7.3 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

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