Apache NetBeans (Incubating) 9.0 Beta Released

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced the beta release of the still incubating version of Apache NetBeans 9.0. This release comprises all the modules in the Apache NetBeans Git repository, which together constitute the NetBeans Platform, along with all the modules that provide the Java SE-related features of Apache NetBeans.

"In short, Apache NetBeans 9.0 Beta (incubating) is a full IDE for Java SE development," wrote Geertjan Wielenga, current NetBeans product manager, in a blog post.

This release supports the Java Platform Module System (JPMS), better known as Jigsaw, and includes the JavaShell, PHP support, the Java Profiler, the Java Swing GUI widget tool, and the JavaFX RIA tool.

The primary focus of this release is IP clearance. "Its functionality has not been tested," Wielenga explained, "the NetCAT (NetBeans Community Acceptance Testing) process will begin now that Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 Beta has been released…. When NetCAT completes, we will vote on the final release of Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0."

The ASF Incubator is the official entry path for projects and code bases whose supporters want them to become part of the ASF. This is the process through which 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.

"While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code," the ASF Web site explains, "it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF."

Oracle handed off the popular open-source application development environment, tooling platform, and application framework to the ASF in 2016, following the October release of NetBeans 8.2, the last version under its stewardship.

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 explained 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.

Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 Beta can be downloaded from the ASF Web site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com 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].