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What’s new in Apache’s NetBeans IDE for Java 9

The Apache Software Foundation has released a release candidate of its NetBeans Version 9.0 IDE, with support for the Java Module System introduced with Java 9 last year. Modules comprised the premier capability in JDK 9, which was released in September 2017.

The open source IDE’s new features include:

  • ModulePath mode to enable the use of modules, in addition to supporting the longstanding classpath option for the runtime to search for classes and resource files.
  • The ability for a standard NetBeans project can serve as a Java Development Kit 9 module via a module-info.java file in the default package.
  • Support in modules for the full Edit-Compile-Debug-and-Profile cycle.
  • The ability to show module dependencies in the IDE.
  • A console-like UI  for the Java Shell (JShell) REPL (read-eval-print-loop) tool, which can be supported with the user project configuration.
  • Added actions in the Java profiler to expand and collapse nodes in tree table results.
  • Resizable popups in the profiler, to make it easier to handle long class or method names.
  • PHP 7.1 support, including class constant visibility, multicatch exception handling, and nullable types.
  • For PHP 7.0 development, a context-sensitive lexer.
  • Also for PHP, editor hints for void return types and incorrect nonabstract methods.
  • Code-folding for arrays .
  • The C/C++ debugger for native dbx debugging.
  • Support in the C/C++ editor for the Clang-format formatting tool.
  • Also for C/C++ development, an experimental version of Clank-based diagnostics, which show the error path of a problem.

NetBeans 9.0 also adds a new project, Java Modular Project, for developing several JDK 9 modules in one Ant-based project. With it, Java modular app projects can be packaged into a JLink image for distribution of the application and required modules.

Where to download the NetBeans Version 9.0 release candidate

You can download the NetBeans IDE 9.0 release candidate from the Appache mirror site.

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