In just six months, as it has gone from Version 3.x to Version 4.1, the software has been downloaded 1 million times, he told ZDNet, because "NetBeans makes developing mobile apps just brain-dead simple. We can get people building an application in 10 minutes." It does this through a visual development environment for mobility and support for web applications and services as well as J2ME and J2EE.
The U.S. is well behind other countries, even Brazil, in developing mobile applications, Cramer said, and simple tools like NetBeans can help us catch up. Most Americans know how far ahead Japanese applications are, but Brazilians can file their taxes and track medical outbreaks on their phones, he said.
"One big problem we have is the device fragmentation problem," he added. "All the phones have different things you have to do, different APIs. We have an extension you can use with J2ME so you can write device specific codes with one code base. And with the Visual Editing in 4.1 it’s just amazingly easy."
Support for J2EE 1.4, a major focus of the release, also means NetBeans can target enterprises, where it badly trails Eclipse.
You can learn a lot more on Sunday, June 26, which Sun has designated as NetBeans Development Day, right before JavaOne. "All the big names in our various development spaces will be there. And we’ll go into some real meat, what’s coming up next and how to write modules. The first 300 who show up get the NetBeans Field Guide." (That's a $30 value, yours free.)
Personally I'm often ashamed at how I can turn on my cellphone and instantly become a Third World Man. If NetBeans can change that I'm all for it. What do you think of the new release? Let us know in TalkBack.