Oracle preps NetBeans for a mobile Web future

Now NetBeans programmers can work on HTML5 code from directly within their Java and PHP projects

The new Netbeans 7.4 comes with enhanced support for developing mobile applications

The new Netbeans 7.4 comes with enhanced support for developing mobile applications

Although originally built to develop enterprise Java apps, the NetBeans IDE (integrated development environment) is increasingly being rigged to help developers use the lighter weight HTML5 and JavaScript Web languages as well.

With the next edition of NetBeans, version 7.4, Oracle has outfitted the IDE with new tools to help build iOS and Android Web applications that use HTML5 and JavaScript, in addition to updating its core feature set for Java Enterprise Edition development as well.

NetBeans IDE is Oracle's no-cost open source IDE for primarily designed for Java, though it includes robust support for the PHP and C/C++ languages as well. It is available for the Windows, Apple Macintosh, Oracle Solaris and Linux platforms.

Oracle started building HTML5 support into NetBeans 7.3, and 7.4 continues this work. This version allows developers to build HTML5 functionality directly in their Java and PHP applications, rather than working on the HTML5 code as a separate part of the project.

NetBeans 7.4 also provides emulators that can show developers what their HTML5 applications would look like and how they would operate in iOS and Android-based browsers.

JavaScript support has been improved quite a bit as well. The editor now recognizes the JavaScript AngularJS, Knockout and ExtJS frameworks. JavaScript code completion has been improved, as has the IDE's understanding of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

Web developers can now also use Sassy CSS and LESS preprocessor files in NetBeans, which saves time in building complex CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for applications.

For the Java developers, NetBeans now recognizes the new Profiles and Lamba functionality that is being built into the upcoming release of Java 8.

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

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