Sunday, February 05, 2006

NetBeans 5.0

I rarely get to use Java for anything anymore. My current employer is very focused on .NET and isn't interested in Java at all. I've only used Java on a few projects previously but have always liked it and make it a point to keep up with the Java community.

So whenever a new version of NetBeans comes out I always download it and go through a few tutorials. I'm really impressed with this latest version. Though Eclipse is much more popular than NetBeans, I've always preferred NetBeans because it is tied very tightly to Sun's vision of how Java should work. I feel that for Web development especially, NetBeans has the cleanest, most logical approach and the new one really locks that up. There is great support for all the most common open tools like JUnit and Ant and the Tomcat integration works great. If you are using JSPs with JSTL this is an very nice environment.

The support for J2ME development looks nice too. That's an area I got interested in while working on the NEC Mobile site a couple fo years ago. I never built any real world apps but had fun learning it. It's too bad that the J2ME toolkit isn't out for OS X since that's the computer I sync with my phone.

Since Eclipse was designed as a general IDE builder it has become very popular for other vendors to build IDEs on top of it. I think that is great and I know I will be using it more and more through projects like RadRails, LaszloIDE and Flex Builder. NetBeans pure Java focus makes it my favorite tool for real java coding though. Now if I could just find a gig that would let me use it! I'd love to be building Flash front ends to Java driven backends but that just doesn't seem to happen in the Dallas web development scene.


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