For the newest release of NetBeans, Oracle has equipped the open-source IDE (integrated development environment) to continuously run a static analysis tool, which could point out possible coding errors to developers as they write their programs.
NetBeans 7.2, released Tuesday, also includes performance improvements and support for the latest languages and associated technologies.
For this release, NetBeans includes FindBugs, a static analysis tool for Java programs. Static analysis inspects program code for possible errors or defects, reporting errors and suggesting possible fixes to the developer. A popular debugger, FindBugs has been downloaded more than 2 million times, its creators estimate. Developers will be able to scan their applications to identify coding problems, getting the results directly within the IDE. FindBugs has long been offered as a plug-in, but this is the first version of NetBeans to include the software as part of its core package, according to Oracle.
The NetBeans keepers have also improved the responsiveness of the program by reconfiguring how it handles I/O operations and background project scanning. No longer do heavy I/O operations delay responses to users, and the start-up process is, according to Oracle, smoother and quicker. Start-ups are 10 percent faster and overall performance has been hastened by as much as 60 percent, the company said.
This version also supports the early access release of JavaFX, the Java-based RIA (Rich Internet Application) framework. It also has been updated to run or support the latest versions of other technologies, including C++11, CSS 3, PHP 5.4, Maven 3.0.4 and Groovy 1.8.6.
NetBeans is one of two Java IDEs that Oracle maintains. The company offers this software, which it acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems, for the general Java developer. The IDE also supports programming in PHP and C/C++. The company's other Java IDE, JDeveloper, is intended more for organizations that use Java in production environments with other Oracle software.
NetBeans is available at no cost and runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, Linux and Oracle Solaris.