NetBeans 7.0 plans uncovered - NetBeans to become an online IDE

Guest Author

I shouldn't be blogging about this, because we were saving the big announcement for this year's Java One, but the information has already leaked: I've seen several NetBeans developers blogging about it - so there's no point in hiding it anymore. The next major release of NetBeans which is planned for 2009 will be a complete rewrite - NetBeans is going to be provided as an online service and it's source code will be rewritten in a new programming language. But before I tell you which language it is, read the reasoning first.

Java is a great language but unfortunately it is not flexible enough for the new online web 2.0 world with widgets, mashups, RSS and semantic web - it can't handle the dynamic nature of new web 2.0 applications. Developers no longer want to download and install desktop applications - they are ALWAYS online and all their popular applications are integrated into the ONLY application they need - the web browser. Thus it makes perfect sense to provide an IDE in the web browser. To accomplish this task, there's only one language which works really well inside of the web browser - and can be used both on the server and on the client. Yes, NetBeans 7.0 will be rewritten in JavaScript! (Although we still plan to run the JavaScript engine on top of the JVM using the built-in Rhino engine).

NetBeans has always been about innovation. We believe that by using JavaScript, NetBeans can be more dynamic than ever. Parts of the IDE will run on the server and parts in the web browser - and Sun will provide NetBeans as an online service. For the price that you are used to: FREE. Of course Sun will still provide top-notch commercial support of the online product and we'll be rolling out different service plans shortly after the 7.0 release. We are still discussing whether to continue providing the sources of NetBeans (look how well have all the Google applications been accepted in the open source community without actually providing any source code). We're looking for feedback from the community - does the community actually care about source code of NetBeans or is the FREE price tag that everyone cares about?

We are also investigating the possibilities of running ads in the online version of NetBeans. By that we could make significant money on NetBeans - we could do even more NetBeans days globally with much better finger food. What the heck, we could even transport beer directly from Czech republic so that developers could taste some real beer during NetBeans days!

I've never been more excited about the future of NetBeans - we all know that the future is online in the web browser and NetBeans is extremely well positioned to take the online IDE market by storm!

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Comments ( 28 )
  • chris Monday, March 31, 2008

    I hear its also only going to be written in a single translatable human language, sanskrit with google translator converting all the text to regional language on the fly.

  • guest Monday, March 31, 2008

    And to develop this new NetBeans Web 2.0 Application, Eclipse will be used of course.

  • Saptarshi Monday, March 31, 2008

    Happy April Fools Day!!

  • drew Monday, March 31, 2008

    This is pretty sad news. I think the basic assumption that ALL developers are ALWAYS online is just not true. For example in a classified work environment the networks are generally not permitted to access the internet. So the new NetBeans service approach will deny any use within the defence arenas. Also there is still a lot of developement happening within a standalone environment, how will NetBeans be useful within this context ? I think this is a much needed boost to Eclipse and may take away any momentum NetBeans has recently generated.

  • giesen Monday, March 31, 2008

    I almost had a heart attack! You got me. Good one.

    Hats off to the NetBeans team for awesome work!

  • Tushar Joshi Monday, March 31, 2008

    Hi Roumen,

    Reading something about a tool we are passionate about is dis-heartening. But I know today is April Fools Day the 1st Of April so I won't bother much about this post.

    Your post is successful in its purpose though.

    with regards

    Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

  • Weijun Monday, March 31, 2008

    It's online, but you can also use it offline. The latest (or next gen) Java Plugin includes an offline headless module that supports web apps and java applets at the same time, and it's must faster and more reliable than Google Gears.

    The only drawback of the new NetBeans is that in order to offline building a Java app, you need to have a JDK installed on your local machine.

  • Keith Monday, March 31, 2008

    OMFG Pleeeeeeeez tell me this is an April Fool's Day joke!

    Please, oh please!

    I'm so sick of all this Web (!) crap!


  • Liam Monday, March 31, 2008

    This is the wrong direction. Surely making Netbeans a plugin for Visual Studio is the only sensible solution.

  • Rob Abbe Monday, March 31, 2008

    Good one!

  • mktan Monday, March 31, 2008

    I like THIS NEWS! Happy April Fools Day

  • mauricio Monday, March 31, 2008

    Brilliant! As always :)

  • nvarun Monday, March 31, 2008


    Happy April Fools Day! Going by your post, it really shocked me!

    Please clarify, whether its reality or not, as I haven't seen anyone blogging about 7.0 yet!

    If its true, then sure NetBeans would surely rule the Web...

  • Ramon.Ramos Monday, March 31, 2008


  • Tom Monday, March 31, 2008

    Probably nicest April blog post today ;-) Very serious... :-)

  • Adam Bien Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    I don't think it is entirely true - I found some SWT / JFace code as well....


    adam bien

  • guest Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    I love netbeans!!! LOVE IT! SMOOOOOCH! Eclipse can go to hell.

  • stenlee Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    You got me too :) .... perfect post ;)

  • panosk7@hotmail.com Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    Hehe Roumen... For a moment you had me... But then I thought "no way".

  • NZ Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    I agree with Saptarshi, very stupid PLAN

    $#!T !

  • Wade Chandler Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Heh heh, I don't know what was more funny. The post or that some people completely took it serious :-D

  • Adriano LoGreco Thursday, April 3, 2008

    I have looked forward to the day where I could code in Netbeans from my cell phone .. I look forward to this!

    Happy April 1 Roumen =)

  • Leonardo Eloy Thursday, April 3, 2008

    NOT funny at all... :D

  • Srikanth Tuesday, April 8, 2008

    I don't mind having NetBeans online as long as i can use if offline as well.

    I have no problem if NetBeans makes more money through online ads. I don't want to see source code and fix problems on my own. So FREE product is all that i want.

    So, please make sure 7.0 is available for standalone PCs as well.

  • avbravo Tuesday, April 8, 2008
  • Robert Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    One important reason NOT to use NetBeans ...

    50% of my development is done offline, in the train.

  • Ryan de Laplante Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    It looks like Eclipse is getting serious about making at least the platform available for webapps:


    I wouldn't want an IDE in a web browser and can't see the point. That is "answering the question that nobody asked".

    However, making the platform available for web apps is an interesting idea. It would be kind of like GWT on steroids. I'm not sure how much of the platform would apply though.

  • Chila Monday, March 23, 2009

    It's a great idea except for the ADS part. So what you're basically saying is that a Netbeans user should be able to concentrate on it's already complex code while there's some anoying add flashing on top of the code???????????????????????????

    You've got to be out of your mind.

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