Python backing eyed for NetBeans

Scripting language capabilities of the open-source IDE continue to expand

In a not-so-surprising revelation, Sun plans to support the Python and Jython scripting languages in future releases of the open-source NetBeans IDE, which has been expanding beyond its Java origins lately.

Python vs. PHP: Choosing your next project's language

Sun already has added support for JavaScript, Ruby, and JRuby to NetBeans as well as C and C++. Blogs published Tuesday reveal plans to add the additional languages. PHP support also has been in development.

"Python is not new to Sun -- with a long history of use, including with the new Image Packaging System (IPS) utilized in OpenSolaris OS," said Kuldip Olderoi, group manager for developer tools marketing at Sun, in a blog. No timeline has been set yet for inclusion of Python and Jython capabilities in NetBeans.

Jython is a version of Python written in Java.

"With our recent history of engagement with the Ruby/JRuby and Rails communities, we look forward in increasing our participation in the Python communities," Olderoi said.

A NetBeans project called NBPython already has been in development to add Python support, said Ted Leung, dynamic languages and tools architect at Sun.

"One of the obvious things that Sun could do in the Python world is to make Python a supported language in the NetBeans IDE. NetBeans has really nice support for Ruby and JavaScript, so why should Python be left out," Leung said in a blog entry. He was hired by Sun to work on Python and Jython.

The company also is launching the Python Developer Center and will feature Python and Jython in upcoming Sun Tech Days events, Olderoi said.

An early release candidate for the planned NetBeans 6.5 IDE features PHP capabilities. A PHP editor in NetBeans 6.5 supports features like code completion and syntax highlighting as well as mark occurrences, refactoring, and code templates. Other capabilities supported by the editor include documentation pop-up, code navigation, editor warnings, and a task list.

The general release of NetBeans 6.5 is planned for October 2.

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