NetBeans 8.1. Beta Released

The beta version of NetBeans 8.1 is now available, the open-source IDE's community announced. This upgrade of the popular Java IDE will support developers working with Java SE 8, Java SE Embedded 8 and Java ME Embedded 8, and add a number of new tools and enhancements.

Topping the list of improvements in this release is a range of new tools for HTML5 and JavaScript development, as well as new support for three popular JavaScript frameworks: Node.js, KnockoutJS and AngularJS. This beta also boasts improved support for the Maven repository, the Java EE framework PrimeFaces, and the PHP and C/C++ languages.

Version 8.1 comes with some new features and upgrades that will be of particular interest to Java developers, including: redesigned NetBeans Profiler for simplified tuning and profiling tasks; performance enhancements in Java search tools; new features in code completion (IntelliSense); and a more expressive Navigator that shows overridden and implemented methods for quicker understanding the structure of Java classes. And for the first time, the IDE supports mixed Java/C++ development via new integration with Java Native Interface (JNI) and Java Native Access (JNA) technologies.

For Java EE developers, NetBeans 8.1 adds support for deployments in Oracle's WebLogic Server and the WildFly Web (JBoss) app server, versions 9 and 10.

NetBeans continues to be a popular Java IDE, but has grown beyond Java to support C/C++, Groovy, PHP, JavaScript, and the HTML5 and CSS Web development standards. NetBeans 8.0, released in 2014, added support for enhanced code completion in AngularJS and KnockoutJS; integrated the Karma test runner for JavaScript and the Grunt task runner; provided new Web preview and Chrome Developer Tools integration; and supported developing on-device hybrid HTML5 applications for the iOS and Android platforms. It also introduced support for PrimeFaces and added support for development for Java SE Embedded 8.

"For a while now, we've been seeing an environment in which Java developers are being challenged, not only with understanding server-side Java, but with putting together these responsive designs in the client-side environments of JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS," John Brock, principal product manager at Oracle, told ADTmag in an earlier interview. "Java developers aren't just writing Java code anymore."

The NetBeans 8.1 beta release is available now for download in several languages, including English, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Russian and Simplified Chinese.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].