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Sun Releases 2nd NetBeans 4.0 Beta

Developers of the NetBeans released the second beta iteration version 4.0 software last week, squashing more than 900 bugs found in the first beta release.

The release, according to officials at Sun Microsystems , means a public version of the integrated development environment (IDE) will be available to Windows and Linux users Dec. 17.

NetBeans 4.0 is a highly anticipated update for the developers who use the platform to create and edit their software applications. There are a number of improvements on tap for the new release, notably support for Java 2, Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0, codenamed "Tiger" and featuring language improvements like metadata, generic type and autoboxing of primitive types.

In fact, Sun is banking on the popularity of J2SE 5.0, which emerged from beta testing (which had more than a half-million beta testers) last week. NetBeans 4.0 beta 2 is offered as a bundled package with the 5.0 J2SE Development Kit (JDK) on its download page, although they can be downloaded separately here and here, respectively.

Of the more than 900 bugs found in the first beta, 65 were performance fixes to increase the speed and reliability of the tool, which faces stiff competition from the highly-popular Eclipse Platform, an open, extensible IDE that's got the lion's share of support within the Java development community. Eclipse and Sun have been trying for some time to unite the two IDEs -- so far unsuccessfully.

Sun officials said they are confident to meet the self-imposed deadlines in releasing NetBeans 4.0 Final to the world. The following is their roadmap:

  • End of October - high resistance mode
  • Mid November - release candidate build testing
  • End of November - customer acceptance survey launching
  • Dec. 17 - first customer ship (FCS), or final, release
  • Mid-December - J2EE module collection.