Roman has posted 5 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

NetBeans 7.0 Plans Uncovered: NetBeans to Become an Online IDE

  • submit to reddit

I shouldn't be writing about this, because we were saving it as the big announcement for this year's JavaOne, 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 the 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!

finger-food.jpeg3.38 KB
Average: 4.3 (7 votes)
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Roman Strobl.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Geertjan Wielenga replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 12:34am

Hurray for better finger food!

Rick Ross replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 1:06am

Smart plan! The choice to use Javascript for the rewrite is visionary, and an ad-supported NetBeans could be a great way to hedge your bets in case someone launches a hostile takeover attempt on Sun and doesn't want to stay in the tools business. You guys could just fork the code, flip on the Google ads and keep running just like normal! You might even be able to afford to have some extra beer and finger food delivered to the office if you're not having to contribute to the huge overhead of all those California layabouts you support!

Be careful, though, I'm pretty sure that SCO patented the online IDE way back when, and you know how tough they can be in an IP litigation. Just my $0.02.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 1:43am

Cool! Running on JavaScript means it will be possible to use NetBeans on the iPhone. Imagine this: running NB on the iPhone for developing applications for Android. The number of combinations is incredible.

Kristian Rink replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 1:43am

Interesting as just somewhere else I had to learn that obviously NB7.0 will be based upon JFace/SWT rather than Swing for performance reasons. Having to choose between an "online JavaScript" and an "offline SWT" version, I am sure to know which one I'd choose. But maybe I just should stay away from any serious news sites on April 1st... :)


John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 1:59am

You are kidding right?, heheh. :-)


Welcome to April 1st. 


PS. Maybe netbeans using webstart could be good or port it to JavaFX or Flex3. 

Imran M Yousuf replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 2:26am

Some poor developers like myself might always not have internet and being able to work using a desktop application is a blessing. Though I am in favor of online NetBeans, but it would be extremely sad to not see NetBeans on Desktop. In fact this could lead me and others (like in my position and people I know) not using it at all.

I would request to have both online and desktop version of NetBeans available or at least make NetBeans installable in Web Browser locally. 

Zviki Cohen replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 5:21am

I actually believed it for 2 minutes... good one. 

Rainer Eschen replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 5:24am

Any beta implementation out there? I wanna combine this with the new Gmail Custom Time processor.

Vinodh Lakshmin... replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 5:58am

I actually believed it for a second. :)

Geertjan Wielenga replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 6:03am

Personally, I believed it until the finger food was mentioned. :-)

David Heffelfinger replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 6:19am

You had me going for a minute, then I noticed the date...

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 7:18am

Well, if it renders fonts better on Linux than NB 6.1 does, then I am all for it! *grin*

Umberto Zappia replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 7:46am

Roman I can tell you got me!!!!

Michael L replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 9:29am

Ha ha! Excellent April Fools joke! Actually, you had me all the way until I started reading the commentary. . . . Er, should I be admitting that?

Onur Ersen replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 9:34am

It looks like quite a convincing idea even it's an april's fool or not.

Maybe somebody else took some action after reading this before netbeans team does :)

Jose Luis Monte... replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 8:16pm

At the beginning there was light...then someone's mind became the nest of darkness

This was a 4 steps process:

a) disbelief

b) shock

c) madness

d) ...then I realized I have been fooled!


Carlos García replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 10:18am

You REALLY got me. I'm still not used to this April Fools day, in Spain is December the 28th.



Rainer Eschen replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 10:23am

SpringSource Announces Acquisition by Microsoft

and other ideas for this day ;-) 

Col B replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 10:49am

Thanks Roman, this has had be chuckling all day :)

Zhubin Salehi replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 12:44pm

Haha this is April 1st!

Axel Rauschmayer replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 6:05pm

Yes. Eclipse E4 had it coming! Excellent April fool's.

Robert Crocker replied on Tue, 2008/04/01 - 10:26pm

I use Net Beans and it has it's issues but what the heck.

I love it.

If someone had asked me what it was written in I would have said JAVA, so

I guess that's how much I know about this stuff..


I think JAVA is the logical choice for this kind of tool.   To be honest, I'm not even interested in

what it's written in now.



MJdL replied on Wed, 2008/04/02 - 2:48pm

No, Netbeans should really be rewritten in Morse Code, and the whole thing monetized by leasing the keying pads!

Tim Boudreau replied on Wed, 2008/04/02 - 7:38pm in response to: MJdL

C'mon, morse code is too fast.  Do it with pigeons - just train some to fly double the distance behind one another if the one (not) in front of them represents a 0.

Özmen Adibelli replied on Mon, 2008/04/07 - 12:44pm

Good vision for future and also web browser based IDE means, developers can work on even cell phones!

But I must add this, Netbeans team should pay attention for using memory! Netbeans 6.1 beta is a good improvement about this issue. 

Vincent Cantin replied on Wed, 2008/08/13 - 6:24am

Guys, you just got me.

I am about to leave my company to start my own product based on Netbeans Platform, and suddently I see that the platform will be ported to Javascript ... gg !!!

 You really scared me, because today (article reading time) is clearly a lot of time AFTER the 1st of april :-)


Suat ATAN replied on Sat, 2009/10/03 - 4:01pm

It's decreasingly slowly that we can do it in the desktop. Unfortunately (or lucklily) the developing was end of such as process. If developing process will being effect by the web 2.0 storm, until the ten years we will not need the operating systems, perhaps desktops too.

Slim Ouertani replied on Wed, 2011/04/20 - 11:32am

Netbeans 7 is here !

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.