Sun, Microsoft boost IDEs

NetBeans is upgraded to include retooling for PHP and an early access version of NetBeans for Python, while Visual Studio adds jQuery capabilities

In separate moves this week, Sun and Microsoft both proceeded with previously stated plans to boost their software development environments

Version 6.5 of the NetBeans open source IDE was released by Sun and the NetBeans community, while Microsoft has added jQuery IntelliSense support to Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express.

Accessible for download, NetBeans 6.5 features increased support for Web and Java software development, according to Sun and the NetBeans community. It includes localized versions for simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Also being offered is an early access version of NetBeans for Pythin applications, featuring an editor, debugger, and Python runtimes.

Version 6.5 features tooling for PHP, such as syntax highlighting and code completion. A JavaScript editor is included as well.

“Integration across multiple languages simplifies development. The NetBeans IDE 6.5 allows you to stay within one tool and move easily from PHP to JavaScript and back," said Ian Murdock, Sun vice president of developer and community marketing at Sun, in a statement released by the company.

Other capabilities include enhanced support for Spring, Hibernate, JavaServer Pages, and Java Persistence API. Support for Groovy and Grails also is offered in the editor. Ruby enhancements are offered within the editor and debugger.

Multithreaded debugging for Java technologies is featured as well.

Sun in December will offer a training and certification for NetBeans by way of its Certification Specialist for NetBeans IDE effort.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is offering JavaScript IntelliSense support via Service Pack 1, which can be downloaded. JQuery is a JavaScript library.

Users also must install the VS 2008 Patch KB58502 patch to support "-vsdoc.js" Intellisense files and download the jQuery-vsdoc.js file.

"Visual Studio 2008 SP1 adds richer JavaScript IntelliSense support to Visual Studio, and adds code completion support for a broad range of JavaScript libraries," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in the Microsoft Developer Division, in his blog.

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