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Apache NetBeans 10.0 Release Adds Support for JDK 11, JUnit 5 and PHP

The Apache Software Foundation's (ASF) release of NetBeans 10.0 (incubating) at the end of December launched the venerable Java (now polyglot) IDE into 2019 with a slew of enhancements, including support for JDK 11, the addition of a JUnit 5 library and new PHP features.

The list of JDK 11 enhancements in this release includes:

  • update of nbjavac module
  • removal of Java EE and CORBA modules from the JDK
  • deprecation of Nashorn JavaScript engine
  • var support for implicitly typed lambda expressions

This release also adds JUnit 5.3.1, the latest generation of the JUnit testing framework for Java, as a new library. JUnit 5 is now the default version of the framework for Maven projects without existing tests. JUnit 5 @Testable annotation is also supported, as is the default JUnit 5 test template.

NetBeans 10.0 also adds new features for PHP developers, including support for PHP 7.0 through 7.3, PHPStan and Twig, as well as new editing and debugging enhancements.

This release also includes a number of OpenJDK support features, including:

  • Automatically detect JTReg from OpenJDK configuration
  • Register the expanded JDK as a Java Platform
  • And various improvements to make the OpenJDK project "work better."

This release is the second under the aegis of the ASF, which assumed the stewardship of NetBeans in October 2016. Apache NetBeans 9.0 wasn't released until July of last year, because of the heavy lifting involved in migrating the 20-plus-year-old development environment to the ASF, which provides support for an enormous range of technologies. That first release took as long as it did in no small part because so many files needed to be audited before they could be donated to Apache, explained Geertjan Wielenga, Oracle product manager and developer advocate for open source projects, at the time. Consequently, the decision was made to donate NetBeans in pieces. Because NetBeans is modular, an incremental donation was relatively easy to architect, he added.

Also, that first release had to wait for the approval of the Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC), a group of community members charged with helping a nascent ASF project, called a "podling," learn how to govern itself. According to the ASF, a PPMC works like a regular PMC, but reports to the Incubator PMC instead of the ASF Board. Initially, this group includes the podling's mentors and initial committers. The PPMC is directly responsible for the oversight of the podling, and it also decides who to add as a PPMC member.

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.

Posted by John K. Waters on February 12, 2019