Oracle updates NetBeans for HTML5

The new version of the IDE features code completion for HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS to make programming for mobile and Web apps easier

With the release of version 7.3 of NetBeans, Oracle has updated the IDE (integrated developer environment) so Java developers can more easily build rich HTML5-based user interfaces for their mobile and Web applications.

NetBeans 7.3 "allows developers to use the same IDE [to compose in] HTML5 that they would use for building back-end services that their Web and mobile applications would connect to," said Bill Pataky, Oracle vice president of product management of tools and frameworks.

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Increasingly, enterprise Java developers are using browsers as the primary interface for their applications, so it was a natural choice to expand the support for Web 2.0 technologies, Pataky said.

The new version of the IDE, released Thursday, contains a number of new features to aid in writing HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code. The IDE offers a full set of code completion capabilities for these technologies, allowing the IDE to intuitively suggest the remainder of a line of code that the developer is typing in.

The IDE also makes debugging Web interfaces easier. Oracle now offers a plug-in for the Google Chrome browser that can render a Web page as it is being composed by the developer in the IDE. This feature uses the WebKit remote debugging protocol.

NetBeans 7.3 also comes with an entirely new JavaScript editor and debugger, one based on Oracle's new Nashorn JavaScript engine. The IDE can offer code completion for the jQuery JavaScript library, and it can generate JavaScript code based on supplied Java REST (Representational State Transfer) requests.

Beyond Web programming, NetBeans IDE 7.3 comes with a number of other improvements as well. JavaFX projects can now work with JavaFX's FXML layout file format. And a new stand-alone JPQL (Java Persistence Query Language) editor allows developers to test JPQL queries directly from the IDE. Developers have more access to the clipboard history and Breadcrumbs based navigation has been improved as well.

NetBeans IDE is an open source IDE for Java, PHP and C/C++ languages. It is available for the Windows, Apple Macintosh, Oracle Solaris and Linux platforms.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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