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NetBeans 8.2 Release Last Before Apache Handoff

NetBeans 8.2 became generally available last week, marking the last release under Oracle's stewardship. Big O's proposal to hand off the open source development environment, tooling platform and application framework to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has been accepted. Next stop: the Apache Incubator Project.

The ASF Incubator Project is the official entry path for projects and code bases whose supporters want them to become part of the ASF. It's where those projects are vetted to make sure they comply with the ASF legal standards and their support communities adhere to the ASF's guiding principles.

This release of what the community is already calling Apache NetBeans comes with a number of fixes and enhancements. Topping the list is an improved Java profiler, which includes new SQL Queries profiling modes, which enable profiling calls from Java processes to databases using a JDBC connection. The profiler displays a live list of executed SQL queries with times and execution counts, including the invocation paths, Oracle's Jiri Sedlacek explained in a blog post. Filtering based on statement type, command type, and related tables is available, and the collected data can be saved to a snapshot for offline analysis.

All SQL queries are displayed, regardless of the target database, Sedlacek wrote, and the profiler now enables coloring of results based on user-defined filters. "This is especially useful for the SQL call trees, but works in all profiler views," she wrote. The defined filters can be also easily added to results filters or instrumentation filters.

The list of key features in the NetBeans IDE 8.2 release also includes:

  • ECMAScript 6 support
  • NodeJS enhancements
  • Oracle JET support enhancements
  • PHP7 support
  • Docker support
  • New editor multicaret features
  • New pinnable watches feature
  • C/C++ enhancements

NetBeans continues to be a popular Java IDE (1.5 million active users, according to the community), but it has grown beyond Java to support C/C++, Groovy, PHP, JavaScript, and the HTML5 and CSS Web development standards. The NetBeans Incubator Wiki explains the argument for moving the IDE to the ASF:

Although NetBeans is already open source, moving it to a neutral place like Apache, with its strong governance model, is expected to help get more contributions from various organizations. For example, large companies are using NetBeans as an application framework to build internal or commercial applications and are much more likely to contribute to it once it moves to neutral Apache ground. At the same time, though Oracle will relinquish its control over NetBeans, individual contributors from Oracle are expected to continue contributing to NetBeans after it has been contributed to Apache, together with individual contributors from other organizations, as well as self-employed individual contributors.

The wiki also provides the very long list of Initial Committers to the project.

NetBeans has been dual licensed (CDDL + GPL v2 with Classpath Exception), but will be migrated shortly to the current Apache license.

Posted by John K. Waters on October 10, 2016