What’s new in Apache’s NetBeans IDE for Java 9

What’s new in Apache's NetBeans IDE for Java

The Apache Software Foundation has released a beta of its NetBeans Version 9.0 IDE, with support for the Java Module System introduced with Java 9 last year. Modules comprised the premier capability in JDK 9, which was released in September 2017.

The open source IDE’s new features include:

  • ModulePath mode to enable the use of modules, in addition to supporting the longstanding classpath option for the runtime to search for classes and resource files.
  • The ability for a standard NetBeans project can serve as a Java Development Kit 9 module via a module-info.java file in the default package.
  • Support in modules for the full Edit-Compile-Debug-and-Profile cycle.
  • The ability to show module dependencies in the IDE.
  • A console-like UI  for the Java Shell (JShell) REPL (read-eval-print-loop) tool, which can be supported with the user project configuration.
  • Added actions in the Java profiler to expand and collapse nodes in tree table results.
  • Resizable popups in the profiler, to make it easier to handle long class or method names.
  • PHP 7.1 support, including class constant visibility, multicatch exception handling, and nullable types.
  • For PHP 7.0 development, a context-sensitive lexer.
  • Also for PHP, editor hints for void return types and incorrect nonabstract methods.
  • Code-folding for arrays .
  • The C/C++ debugger for native dbx debugging.
  • Support in the C/C++ editor for the Clang-format formatting tool.
  • Also for C/C++ development, an experimental version of Clank-based diagnostics, which show the error path of a problem.

NetBeans 9.0 also adds a new project, Java Modular Project, for developing several JDK 9 modules in one Ant-based project. With it, Java modular app projects can be packaged into a JLink image for distribution of the application and required modules.