Java News from Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sun's posted the sixth milestone of NetBeans 6.0, its pure Java IDE for various platforms. Changes include:

Speaking of NetBeans, I tried version 5.5 a few days ago while working on a project that required it. On the one hand requiring a specific IDE to work on a project is bad form, and reason enough to avoid the Matisse GUI Builder. Comments like this one are a major code smell:

	 * WARNING: Do NOT modify this code. The content of this method is
	 * always regenerated by the Form Editor.

On the positive side, though, for the first time I feel like NetBeans is ready for prime time. I did not notice any obvious bugs or user interface errors. In fact, comparing UI to UI, NetBeans is now way ahead of Eclipse. The claim that SWT provides a more native looking interface than Swing is demonstrably false. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that the NetBeans team has a significant portion of Mac users, and the Eclipse team has none (or so close to none that I can't tell the difference).

UI fidelity alone isn't enough to make me switch, but it makes it a lot easier. I need to try the latest Eclipse milestone, but if it hasn't fixed the bug that's been keeping me on 3.1, I may indeed switch.