Happy 10th Birthday NetBeans!

NetBeans Sin 1998Sun and the NetBeans community kick off a week-long celebration of 10 years of NetBeans. Since 1998, NetBeans has grown from a student project into an award-winning open source IDE with an active and diverse following of software developers, students, instructors, and partners. In addition to highlighting key milestones and individuals, this week, community members can participate in the NetBeans Decathlon- ten interactive activities around the NetBeans project where users can enter for a chance to win prizes!

A Brief History of NetBeans

Originally called Xelfi as a student project, the goal was to write a Delphi-like Java IDE using Java technology itself. Attracting students and recent graduates in the Czech Republic, a company was formed to take the project from the academic world to the commercial one. The original business plan called for the development of network-enabled JavaBeans components. Jarda Tulach, who designed the IDE's basic architecture, came up with the name NetBeans to describe what they would do. The IDE would provide the best tooling for these components, and thus, the name NetBeans was coined.  Incidentally, when the specification for Enterprise Java Beans came out, it made more sense to work with the standard for such components than to compete with it - but the name stuck.

In the 1999, the effort gained interest from commercial vendors, including Sun Microsystems who eventually purchased the company, renamed the commercial tool to Forte for Java and open sourced the IDE as NetBeans. Turning out to be one of the first of many Sun sponsored open source projects, netbeans.org was launched in 2000.

NetBeans Today

Initially developed as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java language development 10 years ago, the upcoming release of NetBeans IDE 6.5 incorporates next-generation tooling for PHP, Ruby on Rails, Groovy on Grails, C/C++, and AJAX development as well. Boasting well more than 7 million downloads annually and hundreds of partners, NetBeans is now a large, vibrant, community.

Take a retrospective tour, do the NetBeans Decathlon, and help us look forward to another decade of developer innovation!  For more information, please visit the NetBeans Birthday Site.

Happy Birthday NetBeans!

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