Support for PHP follows a path of expanding NetBeans to work with more languages than Java, said Greg Sporar, Sun technology evangelist for NetBeans. C, C++, and Ruby support have been added in previous releases.
"It's not just a Java IDE anymore. It hasn't been for a long time," Sporar said. The general release of the PHP IDE is planned for this fall.
"We also have added some nice features for people doing Web services development in Java," via new REST (Representational State Transfer) support, Sporar said. Developers can access REST-style APIs, such as those offered by Google and Yahoo.
Also featured in version 6.1 are faster startup and code completion, a new Ruby platform manager and support for IBM's Rational ClearCase version control system.
NetBeans improvements also are being revealed at CommunityOne, a precursor to the JavaOne conference.