Hacking on GraphHopper - a Java road routing engine. Peter has posted 62 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

NetBeans 6.7 Finally Released

  • submit to reddit

Since today the final version of NetBeans 6.7 can be downloaded here. And do not forget to look here for a feature overview. If you tried the release candidates of 6.7 you will welcome all the new features! Great work! Where can we donate?

The first impressions of this release for me as a NetBeans user are:

  • seems to use less memory
  • imported the settings of 6.5 with no problems
  • you can now simply install plugins of a previous installation. this is especially useful if the plugin is not available from the update center.
  • you can view maven dependencies graphically (like eclipse already had). See below. And: there is a new button “Build with dependencies” in the right-click-on-project-menu.
  • interrupting maven execution is now possible
  • now test cases execute a lot faster for mavenized projects
  • executing one test via CTRL+F6 instead SHIFT+F6, so that you can execute the corresponding test even if only the java class file is open. (CTRL+SHIFT+F6 for debug test file)
  • all tests (java, ruby, …) happen in the same tab and several search tabs are possible now
  • if you open a resource with ALT+SHIFT+O a case insensitive string now works please see comments
  • Synchronize Editor With Views -> “The project explorer will then snap to the file currently being edited” (taken from here)
  • some small issues remains:
    • cannot open the source file if you click on the failed test output (and only if you execute the tests of one project)
    • if you miss a static import e.g. import static org.junit.Assert.*; the auto fixing does not add this.

Unit tests


Maven dependencies


But the cool thing here is that clicking e.g. on spring core shows you all the possible paths to it and grays out all the unimportant


From http://karussell.wordpress.com
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Peter Karussell.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Piotr Kochanski replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 7:31am

Comparing features of just released Eclipse Gallileo and NetBeans 6.7 it seems that NetBeans evolves much faster and provides richer functionality out of the box. To my big surprise I start using NB more and more often, although I am a long time user of Eclipse and I have horrible experiences with old versions of NetBeans (not to mention Forte for Java).

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 7:35am

I downloaded the 6.7 and installed it on Ubuntu without issues (it would be nice to get a .deb finally instead of that ugly shell script, but that's a different story).

Despite the long running issues with font rendering (which is still quite noticeably different from the native platform), I have to say I am very impressed with the phenomenal startup time and the overall responsiveness so far.

Good job NB team. You give Swing a good name.


Amit Kumar replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 9:59am

First congrats to NB team for good work. I am also a long time Eclipse user but always keeping my hand dirty in NB too.

This product is shaping up well and i have to admit that the time i spent with NB is growing very fast. The best thing i love about NB is that you can add remove framework support in your project easily like you create a spring project and then add GWT framework and then hibernate framework support etc... Eclipse has nothing sort of out of the box and you have to use maven or do it yourself to get that.

But the biggest problem with NB is that is not productive.. the build cycle is just slow.. that's it. It's all ANT based and just to run single test it compile all of your project. Why can't they simply take that file compile it's dependency and simply execute it.. where does this ANT comes into the picture.. i just don't understand that.

We are using GWt in our current project and just to run a test case NB by default try to compile GWT as well which is very time consuming. Apart from that .. it's hard to trust compile build and deploy process.. I always have to do clean and build.. it always take out my attention from application issues and development. Glashfish is also very slow in restarting process. Given the current release if Netbeans can also speed up compile-build-deploy process; i don't think i will ever go back to Eclipse. Thank you.

Dominique De Vito replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 11:57am in response to: Piotr Kochanski

"it seems that NetBeans evolves much faster [than Eclipse] and provides richer functionality out of the box."

It was somewhat predictable.

Eclipse is big on core features, for example, the Java editor.

But while most innovations sit now outside those core features for Eclipse (ok, it's an approximation), and as 80% of developers need mainly those core features, then NetBeans comes closer and closer to Eclipse.

The other point is that IMHO NetBeans NEEDS a background automatic compilation process, just like in Eclipse !

Running ANT process is a mind flow break, and then, a productivity break.




Peter Karussell replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 2:26pm

> NetBeans NEEDS a background automatic compilation process     

compile on save was introduces in NetBeans 6.5 I think ...

> But the biggest problem with NB is that is not productive.. the build cycle is just slow.. that's it. 

Thats not true. Maybe this is true for the GWT plugin. This is definitely not true for a normal Java or Maven project.

Alex(JAlexoid) ... replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 2:57pm in response to: Dominique De Vito

No offence, but you should get checked for AADD, if you are having a problem with Ant compile.

But in all seriousness I was waiting for other testing frameworks to be supported... I mean, not everyone wants to use jUnit, no matter how "fabulous" it is.

Jess Holle replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 8:58pm in response to: Amit Kumar

it's hard to trust compile build and deploy process..

Really?  That's a big reason to use NetBeans -- you can have it use the same Ant scripts that you use in your build environment for everything from compilation to deployment.  Eclipse wants to do at least parts of this on its own -- leading to issues like lazy programmers tweaking project properties instead of Ant scripts and wondering why integration builds break.

Mohamed El-beltagy replied on Sat, 2009/07/04 - 2:27am

- Netbeans.. What's Netbeans??
- It's that IDE that is taking those huge steps with lots of improvements in each step.
- Really?? That's a great thing then. I will try to use it right away.
- Wait. Don't you want to know what the new features is in the latest version?
- Yes, please, tell me.
- It's trying to catch-up with other IDE's and still trying..!!!

I do admit that Netbeans team are doing great job for each release. They do lots of improvements in short time. I'll give them that. But look at it this way. I am a new developer looking for the best IDE to use.

Truly, if I am new, I will choose Eclipse. Why?? Here's a quick answer:
   1. A new feature in NB 6.7 is (if you open a resource with ALT+SHIFT+O a case insensitive string now works)..!!! That's been in Eclipse since when.. forever?!?! (And the latest version of Eclipse by the way is what? 3.5)
   2. Eclipse works with the workspace concept. Each with its own settings. Different system folders. Yes. It is a big deal especially if you are working on different projects for different clients at the same time.(I know that NB works with project groups. But still, same settings for the entire NB per machine. I know about per project settings, but that's makes it worst in this case).
   3. You will tell me that NB is bundled with out-of-the-box integration with Glassfish? That's great. So does Eclipse. Yes you need to download a plug-in for that. But so what? Besides, if NB is not integrating with Glassfish out of the box, then who should? NB is Sun's and so is Glassfish.
   4. The Glassfish support from NB is much better than Eclipse. Sure it does. But again, both are Sun's.
   5. The list can go on easily.

Look, I have not really used Netbeans in anything. Almost anything for any reason except for trying it out.
I tried version 5.0 (the first time I tried NB) and it took me 5 minutes exactly to close it and uninstall it after just starting it for the first time. The reason? I had to write with case sensitive the classes names in the editor..!! Why that was a very bad thing? If I have to write the classes' names in case sensitive, I would use Notepad instead. Of course, I would use Ant for compiling. Much much much much faster.
I then tried the next version (5.5). Big improvements. True. But, back then, too slow compared to Eclipse. Just the start-up time was a hell. And yet, could not find anything that was really worth the switch.
Then tried version 6.5, or version 7.0, not sure, bundled with OpenESB. That was amazing. Really. I have to give a huge salute to the team for the drag-n-drop support of the plug-ins for creating openESB components. But again, and it really hurts me to say that, if OpenESB wasn't Sun's, would such great plug-ins exist?

The point is, NB is having a great team trying so hard to catch up with other IDEs. And to say the truth, they are doing very well till now. But let's just face it. If you are not using the IDE for products other than Sun's, I think NB is not the best choice at all.

If you think I am wrong, please let me know. Consider me as new pie that is still trying to find the best IDE to use and stick with. Convince me :)

Martin Spasovski replied on Tue, 2009/07/07 - 2:34am in response to: Mohamed El-beltagy

Mohamed, first of all, I'd like to say that posts like yours alienate new people from sites/forums. Don't bash NetBeans if you don't like it.

Second, NetBeans 7.0 is not released, it's not even in the roadmap .

Third, it's not trying to catch-up. Every IDE is developing towards it's path. As you can see every IDE is somewhat specialised in a distinct area, though they tend to cover all areas.

And yes, if something is bundled with out of the box integration with something else, why then do you need to download a plugin for that? :D


Give a shot at NetBeans, make a test/sample project, maybe you'll like it :) 

Alex(JAlexoid) ... replied on Tue, 2009/07/07 - 5:17am in response to: Mohamed El-beltagy

Truly, if I am new, I will choose Eclipse.

 That is where you are dead wrong.

I work a lot with students in universities, that are new to Java(and programming in general). Nothing, I mean really nothing, beats Netbeans on Java side. Average startup time for those fresh developers is about 1 day with Netbeans and 2 weeks in Eclipse! And thse numbers are based on reality, not hypothesis.

I have lead 3 "contests" for IT students(each with over 300 applicants), 100% of the winners were the ones that used Netbeans. Enven though we coached the ones that decided to use Eclipse.

I was actually amazed, because I was on your side for a long time.

I use Eclipse for daily development, but definitely I use it because of a very few Java editor features.

Mohamed El-beltagy replied on Wed, 2009/07/08 - 3:25am

@moondowner: - I would like to thank you very much for pointing out the NB roadmap. And sorry for the type-mistake of NB 7.0.

But I'd like to make some few points clear:

1- I'm not bashing NB. Believe me, if I'm; I would not be writing a single word of what I wrote. i.e., I wouldn't be wasting my/your/any one's time. The only reason why I posted my post before is because I want NB to be better. The reason? It's Sun's and I do support Sun all the way. 

2-  What I meant by 'catching up' is not about the destination or what you do or support.

Every IDE is developing towards it's path.

I can't agree more. But at the same time, there are basic features in every IDE that must be supported. Do you think NB supports them? Unfortunately, I don't.

Simplest proof: case insensitivity that is newly supported in version 6.7 (open a resource with ALT+SHIFT+O). I am talking about these kind of features. The common ones that saves lots of time and efforts, mentally and physically. If these 'common' features are not supported; what would you think of the IDE?

  You know? Imagine that you are starting a new project and you need to choose which IDE to use. And take into consideration that you don't have a (technology/architecture/product used) constraint that will make you tied to a specific IDE. Now what will you do? Unless you don't have a favorite IDE or the company is using a specific IDE; you will do some research, specifically, sort of comparison. You found one of the IDE's lake some 'common' features, few that you can count on fingers. With no personal preferences that is based on the GUI; you will definitely use the more rich IDE that saves you more mental and physical effort, which means saves time, which means saves money. Wouldn't you?

Hope you got my point. And if you want a simple example. Look at what Alex said:

I use it because of a very few Java editor features.

Yes it is very few, in Alex's case, but one the projcet's life time, try to have a rough estimate of how much time you are saving and even try to know how much effort you are not making.

And moondowner, one last note about the road map. This is not a future-roadmap. This is history-roadmap. So for sure it won't have version 7.0 (at least for now). :) If it's about future, that means NB is done... :) (just kidding).


@Alex: Thak you very much for the clarifications of the contests related thing.

@moondowner and @Alex: Thank you for your replies and clarifications for some few points. But I do hope that you got mine as well. And, I promise you that I will try NB 6.7 soon with no biased preferences. I will give it a shot. There's nothing to lose.. :) But until then, I am sticking to Eclipse ;)


One last thing, all, I do believe in the following:

Nothing is perfect and there is nothing such as 'the-best'. It's for every situation that we have 'the-best-fit'.

But for me, Eclipse has been the-best-fit so far. But again, as I mentioned before, if I would use OpenESB, I would with no hesitation use Netbeans. Cause it fits-best in this case.

But I will be missing those common features though.. :):P

Peter Karussell replied on Mon, 2010/03/29 - 2:17am

> Simplest proof: case insensitivity that is newly supported in version 6.7 (open a resource with ALT+SHIFT+O).

My fault: a friend of mine points it out that this should have worked a lot earlier than 6.7. I don't know why it does not work for me. But I guess my uncommon window manager (window maker) was the problem here (as so often :-() 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.