Sun updates NetBeans with PHP support

Version 6.5 of the open-source NetBeans IDE has support for the PHP scripting language and a preview of Python support.
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor
Sun Microsystems on Wednesday introduced a version of the open-source NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE), with expanded support for web and Java software development.

The highlights of NetBeans IDE 6.5 are the addition of support for the PHP scripting language and a preview version of support for Python. Sun has been expanding the range of programming languages supported in the NetBeans IDE this year, adding Ruby on Rails in May's release of the NetBeans IDE 6.1.

NetBeans is one of the most widely used open-source IDEs, its chief competitor being the Eclipse IDE, backed by IBM and others. Eclipse has also been expanding its support for dynamic programming languages in recent months.

The availability of multiple programming languages within the IDE is important since mixed-language programming is becoming the norm, according to Sun. With the new IDE programmers can, for instance, move from PHP to JavaScript and back while using the same tool, Sun said.

"Integration across multiple languages simplifies development. It's all about making developers more productive," Ian Murdock, Sun's vice president of developer and community marketing, said in a statement.

PHP tooling includes syntax highlighting, code completion, code generators, debugging, database wizards and FTP support, Sun said.

Other features include an editor for JavaScript development and expanded support for frameworks such as Spring, Hibernate, Java Server Pages and the Java Persistence API. The new version introduces multithreaded debugging for Java technologies, support for Groovy and Grails in the editor, and better support for the Ruby scripting language.

The preview of Python support includes an editor, a debugger and several Python run times, Sun said.

The new IDE also adds three new localized interface languages: simplified Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.

The IDE is free and is available for download from the NetBeans website.

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