Monday, April 16, 2007

Update to my review of Java IDEs

My review of three leading enterprise Java IDEs appeared in later March in InfoWorld. I've received some nice comments on the piece and a few corrections. Most of the corrections come from Sun in my coverage of NetBeans 5.5. Here are the principal items:

  • I complained that NetBeans does not use anti-aliased fonts. I overlooked a switch that can turn on these fonts in Java 5. On Java 6, they're on by default, if your system is set with font smoothing on. (It's hard to figure why NetBeans does not default to these fonts on Java 5, as do Eclipse, IntelliJ, and most of the other IDEs.)
  • I recommended that potential users look at NetBeans 6.0 beta, because it adds many of the features that I complain are missing. Sun gently points out that the current version of 6.0 is not quite in beta yet, but should be in beta within the next few months. For the latest version and roadmap, go to
  • After extensive discussions, Sun convinced me that they have greater support for Java 6 than I originally gave them credit for. I originally wrote they provided 'minimal' coverage. In retrospect, I would say 'good' support for Java 6.
  • Finally, Sun was kind enough to point out that I give them too much credit in saying that they have deployment support for JavaDB. In fact, they provide only start/stop control from within NetBeans.
If there are further corrections, I'll update this post.

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