Apache NetBeans (Incubating)

Thursday September 06, 2018

Audio of Virtual Apache NetBeans Meeting 3

The third of a series of informal virtual meetups took place today, focused specifically on why/how/when to move netbeans.org to Apache.

The audio of the meeting is available here and takes about 53 minutes:


Screenshot of what we saw of each other, partly:

Related links:

Wednesday September 05, 2018

Apache NetBeans Guest Blog: Edward M. Kagan

I'm a big fan of NetBeans, and a team-lead of 2pm.tech crew, a group of independent developers from Russia. For about the last five years, we have been using NetBeans in all of our projects, from "hardcore C embedded systems" to "Grails web-apps", and as a result we've also been hacking NetBeans a little.

As of 2018, there are now 11 developers in the team. Currently, half of us work with Grails apps, despite the poor Grails support in NetBeans at the moment. We're continuing to work with NetBeans due to it simplicity, small footprint, and design. If the NetBeans community would dig up the Groovy/Grails support, lots of developers will switch to NetBeans I think, and also I'll be very happy, too. :-)

One of coolest things we've created lately is the Crew Look & Feel plugin, which we hadn't released to the public yet and now we think the time has come. It's not too complicated, but a nice little add-in to have, maybe it'll be useful for other users too. Here it is on the Plugin Portal:


Click to enlarge the images below, to get a feel for the new plugin that provides our look and feel:



NetBeans is my favorite IDE and Apache is one of my technological icons. So, I'm very happy for NetBeans to be migrating to Apache. Apache does not always give you a sweet design, though it does always provide nice UNIX-like tools, and I love it. I hope Apache will make NetBeans not only better, but the best IDE for all Java-based technologies. :-)

Thursday August 30, 2018

[PHP] Conditional breakpoints and new Twig features

Hi all. Today, we will show you some new features which will be available in the next NetBeans version, maybe (NetBeans 10? NOTE: we cannot promise anything about release contents at the moment).

First of all, if you would like to try new features, please build NetBeans yourself.

git clone git@github.com:apache/incubator-netbeans.git
cd incubator-netbeans
ant -Dcluster.config=full
(or ant -Dcluster.config=php)

You can find the start-up files in the nbbuild/netbeans/bin directory if the build succeeds. So please run it.

Debugger: Conditional breakpoints

You can stop the debugger if the context matches your condition. i.e. If the condition is true, the debugger stops on the breakpoint, otherwise, it does not stop there.

I assume that you have already done the settings for debugging. (please see: HowToConfigureXDebug) If xdebug doesn't work, please ask someone via Apache NetBeans mailing lists. (Please don't ask here.)

Just in my case(Ubuntu 18.04):

sudo apt install php-xdebug
sudo vim /etc/php/7.2/mods-available/xdebug.ini

# Change to the following

Let's try running with a sample code(index.php):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
    $array = ["foo", "bar", "baz", "qux"];
    foreach ($array as $value) {
        echo $value;

Step 1: Enable a breakpoint

You can enable it when you click a line number.


Step 2: Show the Breakpoint Properties dialog

To show it, please right-click the breakpoint, then please click Breakpoint > Properties.



Step 3: Input a condition

Please check "Condition" and input your condition to the combo box, then click the OK button.


Step 4: Run Debug Project

Please click Debug > Debug Project or the icon on the toolbar.

In this case, the debugger stops on the breakpont if $value is "baz".


Twig: Code completion for delimiters, brackets, and quotes

Twig editor supports code completion for delimeters({{ and {%), brackets([, (, and {), and quotes(" and '). This feature is enabled by default. If you would like to disable, please uncheck the options (Tools > Options > Editor > Code Completion > Language: Twig File).



Twig: Palette support

You can show the palette window. Please click Window > IDE Tools > Palette.


That's all for today. As always, please test it. If you find some issues or enhancements, please report them to JIRA (Components: php - Debugger, php - Twig). Thanks.

Tuesday August 21, 2018

Audio of Virtual Apache NetBeans Meeting 2

The second of a series of informal virtual meetups took place today.

The audio of the meeting is available here and takes about 45 minutes:


Sign up to the next virtual meetups here:


Thursday August 16, 2018

NetBeans Status at InfoQ

Today an article was published on InfoQ describing the current state and progress of Apache NetBeans.

Click to read the start of it here:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 11.24.28.png

Go here to read it all:


Tuesday August 07, 2018

Audio of Virtual Apache NetBeans Meeting 1

The first of a series of informal virtual meetups took place today.

The audio of the meeting is available here and takes about an hour:


Sunday July 29, 2018

[ANNOUNCE] Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 Released

The Apache NetBeans team is proud to announce the release of Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0.

Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 constitutes all the modules in the Apache NetBeans Git repo, which together provide the NetBeans Platform (i.e., the underlying application framework), as well as all the modules that provide the Java SE-related features of Apache NetBeans. In short, Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 is a full IDE for Java SE development.

Read more on our download page:


New & Noteworthy features of the 9.0 Release:


See the below for the donation status of features that have not been donated or included in Apache builds yet, i.e., are not part of Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0, e.g., features for working with Java EE, JavaScript, PHP, C/C++, and more:


Also see:

What's Happened to My Favorite NetBeans Plugins?

Work is being done on bringing netbeans.org to Apache. In the meantime, refer to the below for all details related to Apache NetBeans:


Disclaimer: Apache NetBeans is an effort undergoing incubation at The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), sponsored by the Apache Incubator. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF.

Sunday July 22, 2018

What's "nb-javac" in Apache NetBeans?

Not long after you start up Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 on top of JDK 8, after accepting the license agreement and handling import settings, you're confronted with this dialog:

What does that mean? And why, when you start up Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 on top of JDK 9 or above, do you see the following, instead:

Note: The above appears in a balloon popup in the bottom right the first time you start up Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 on JDK 9 or above. If you miss out on seeing or responding to the message, go to Window | IDE Tools | Notifications anytime afterwards and you'll have another opportunity to install it:

Let's start by looking at the question, what is "nb-javac"? Well, "nb-javac", which is a patched version of "javac", i.e., the Java compiler, has long been part of NetBeans, providing a highly tuned Java compiler specifically for the Java editor in NetBeans, and wasn't part of the donation of NetBeans to Apache since, of course, the Java compiler (or a fork thereof) cannot be part of the donation. That's because Oracle is not donating Java to Apache, instead, it is donating NetBeans. The Java compiler belongs to the JDK which is licensed to Oracle.

Separate from Oracle's obvious understandable unwillingness to donate a Java compiler fork to Apache, or anyone else, Apache would have a problem with a fork of the Java compiler being distributed from Apache since the Java compiler is LGPL licensed.

In short, neither Oracle nor Apache want the Java compiler to be part of NetBeans in Apache. Yet, NetBeans gains a lot from the patched Java compiler, as explained below:


Also see this reference for details on the situation:


However, using model APIs added in JDK 9, Apache NetBeans can make use of the Java compiler directly from the JDK, as explained here:


So, as can be seen, from Apache NetBeans running on JDK 9 and onwards, you have a choice: either use the Java compiler from the JDK, which means you're not benefiting from a number of enhancements especially added for NetBeans over many years in the patched Java compiler, or you need to explicitly add the patched Java compiler, since it is provided by Oracle and its licensing is such that you need to take responsibility for installing it yourself. On the other hand, if you're using Apache NetBeans with JDK 8, the choice is simpler, i.e., you need to install nb-javac, otherwise you will not be able to use Java in Apache NetBeans.

It's not an ideal situation. On the other hand, if someone has a better solution, please feel free to propose that solution and also consider providing a pull request too!

Friday July 20, 2018

What's Happened to My Favorite NetBeans Plugins?

So, you start up Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 and... you find that when you go to the New Project wizard, or when you try to open your projects, that there's no support for your JavaScript, PHP, Groovy, enterprise Java (i.e., Java EE or, as it is known now, Jakarta EE), and C/C++ projects.

What's the reason for that and what can be done?

Well, Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 is specifically focused on Java SE only. Why? Because NetBeans is extremely large (it will be by far the largest project in Apache, once everything has been donated), which is because it has existed for over 20 years and provides support for a very wide range of technologies. Since so many files all needed to be audited before they could be donated to Apache, the decision was made to donate NetBeans in pieces, i.e., not everything at the same time because that would have taken much too long.

And since NetBeans is modular, doing an incremental donation was not difficult to architect. The first donation focused specifically on the underlying core, i.e., the NetBeans Platform (e.g., the module system, window system, menubar, etc etc) and, to enable the result of the first donation to be usable for general users and not just NetBeans Platform developers, the various Java SE features were included too, e.g., Java project templates, Java editor, and new Java features such as support for Jigsaw, JLink, and JShell.

The above is what Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 consists of. In the meantime, the second donation has been completed, i.e., Oracle has audited and donated all the modules for features providing support for JavaScript, PHP, Groovy, and enterprise Java (i.e., Java EE or, as it is known now, Jakarta EE). These features are on a separate branch in the Apache NetBeans Git repo. They will be integrated, i.e., relicensed to Apache, after Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 is released. After that, the next set of modules that is being audited prior to donation are related to C/C++.

So, does that mean that all the features that are not integrated into Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 cannot be used? No, it does not. Go to Tools | Plugins in Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 and, in the Settings tab, register the NetBeans IDE 8.2 update center:


Then go to the Available Plugins tab and you'll see all the plugins for NetBeans IDE 8.2., and search for the word "Kit", which will give you bundles of modules, for higher-level features such as C/C++, JavaScript, Groovy, PHP, and enterprise Java (i.e., Java EE or, as it is known now, Jakarta EE).

Though note that none of these features have been tested with Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0, they should work, in most cases. If not, don't panic. Just sign up to the Apache NetBeans mailing lists, as explained at netbeans.apache.org, and start a new thread where you'll highlight some problem you've encountered, after which someone will help you or you'll be advised to create a new issue in Apache NetBeans Issuezilla.

Where is all this documented, how can anyone know what will be donated in which order, etc? Easy, go here, to the end of this page:


Tuesday July 10, 2018

Tentative Schedule for Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 Release

We're currently running two processes, both of which it would be great if everyone would participate in -- and in fact it's really important that everyone does these two things:

  1. Vote in the PPMC thread:


    Doing the above means more than putting a +1, it means downloading the sources, building them, looking at keys, etc, as described above.

  2. Fill out the Community Acceptance survey, which is focused on the functionality (versus the sources, which is what the PPMC thread is about), which takes about 5 minutes:


    The Community Acceptance Survey runs until Sunday the 22nd of July. Issues found in the meantime will hopefully not be critical and not require a new voting candidate, but we'll need to see how things go and nothing can be guaranteed here of course -- i.e., someone could find a blocker of some kind during the community acceptance survey process.

Hopefully, nothing going wrong and everything going well, we'll then be at a point to start the IPMC vote thread on the 23rd and, if everything goes well, release Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 at the beginning of August.

After that we'll work on the 2nd donation, relicensing it, moving it into master etc.

Tuesday July 03, 2018

Apache NetBeans and Java EE Productivity in Burkina Faso

Last Saturday (June 30, 2018) I was invited to COFAN (Conférence au Faso sur le Numérique) to present tips for building enterprise Java applications. COFAN is a conference divided into multiple sessions on a variety of technologies. It was started last year and the second tour has been taking place since May and it is sponsored by the government of Burkina Faso.

I was given the opportunity to talk about enterprise Java in general and to show how NetBeans can be a great tool to develop strong and professional Java enterprise applications.

A room filled with an attentive audience was very enthusiastic. They were also satisfied by the answers to their questions, while some decided to continue using NetBeans, with others promising to start working with it for the first time!

Pictures of the event are below:

Dg89kZAW0AMSZYu.jpg room.jpg 36383483_10210031611501425_6227302090679517184_n.jpg

Tuesday June 26, 2018

1.5 M Lines Of Oracle Code Now in Apache NetBeans Git

Hurray! The 2nd Oracle donation of NetBeans to the Apache Software Foundation, constituting 1.5M lines of code, providing tools for enterprise Java, JavaScript, PHP, Groovy, and more, has now landed on a branch of Apache NetBeans Git:

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 17.53.37.png

Go here to see the new branch containing the 2nd donation: https://github.com/apache/incubator-netbeans/tree/2ndDonation

Friday June 22, 2018

NetBeans Status at FossBack '18

The session outlining 10 tips for large corporate projects moving to Apache, with NetBeans as an illustrative example, presented at FossBack '18, is now available on YouTube:

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 22.04.50.png

Click above or, alternatively, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnznard9Nls

The full report on the session and NetBeans attendance is here: https://blogs.apache.org/netbeans/entry/apache-netbeans-at-foss-backstage

Thursday June 21, 2018

1.5M Lines of NetBeans Code from Oracle to Apache

Great news: the process of completing the 2nd donation is now done and Oracle has made available a ZIP file constituting the 2nd donation. Oracle donated around 4,000,000 lines of code in the 1st donation last year and has now completed the 2nd donation constituting around 1,500,000 lines of code. This donation constitutes the modules of NetBeans dealing with enterprise Java, JavaScript, PHP, Groovy, as well as miscellaneous features applicable to Mobile and Web development.

We will continue to wrap up the final release of Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0, which will be focused on Java SE only. After that, or at least separate from that process, we will start relicensing the new code, i.e., from the 2nd donation, once it is in Apache NetBeans Git. Right now, it is a ZIP file, it needs to be moved to Apache NetBeans Git, and we need to do that in the right way, and figure out what the right way is.

This is a significant step forward in the transition of NetBeans from Oracle to Apache.

Thursday June 14, 2018

Apache NetBeans at FOSS Backstage 2018

Yesterday I attended FOSS Backstage in Berlin. FOSS Backstage is a "conference on everything governance, collaboration, legal & economics within the scope of FOSS". I went there to present my session, based on the Apache NetBeans experiences of the past two years or so, entitled 10 Tips for Moving Large Corporate Projects to Apache. I also went because I knew that several people from the Apache Software Foundation who have been instrumental in the transition of NetBeans to Apache would also be there and I thought it was time to put some faces to the many new names that we've been confronted with during the transition process!

The event began for me with a wonderful speakers dinner, where I met three of the absolute key Apache people involved in the Apache NetBeans project — Emmanuel Lecharny, Bertrand Delacretaz, and Mark Struberg. Here we are, literally about 5 minutes after meeting, discussing the current status of the transition process (click the image below to increase size):

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 10.23.36.png

Bertrand and Mark are two of the Apache NetBeans mentors, while Emmanuel was a mentor during the beginning phase of the transition. Both Bertrand and Emmanuel were involved really in the pre-start phase of the donation, with many thanks to Emmanuel Hugonnet who introduced us, after a very nice and long conversation some years ago in Athens!

During the event, I also met several others who I have seen on Apache mailing lists — Justin McLean, Shane Curcuru, and Jim Jagielski. Really amazing to meet all these names in person — and not to forget, I also met Mark Thomas, who is the Apache VP for Brand Management, i.e., who we need to work with for the brand/domain donation, and Malcolm Bain, a lawyer specialising in ICT law, based in Barcelona, with a special focus on Open Source Projects. I also spoke with Kevin A. McGrail, who is Apache VP Fundraising, who later sent me this very nice and welcome message: "Did I hear you correct and you wanted to talk about how I can help NetBeans with sponsorship?" Yes, you did, Kevin!

What really struck me is how positive everyone at Apache is about the Apache NetBeans project. Everyone mentioned how great and active the Apache NetBeans community is, i.e., active mailing lists, several discussion threads, voting in new PPMC members, and of course also doing releases already, with everyone positive and committed to the project. I realized, especially as I was doing my presentation, when I was talking about the history of NetBeans, that the reason why Apache NetBeans is going so well in many respects is because we've been working on our community from the very beginning. I.e., even while NetBeans was part of commercial entities (i.e., Sun and Oracle), we had an army of volunteers all over the world, organized in structures such as NetCAT (i.e., volunteer testers), and the NetBeans Dream Team (i.e., volunteer evangelists), while we've also been organizing NetBeans Days all over the world for several years, i.e., we've come to Apache with a ready-made community, whereas for the majority of other projects coming to Apache the reason that they're coming to Apache is because they don't yet have a community and are looking to Apache to provide the infrastructure for doing so.

Also, really crucially, we've spent years educating developers everywhere about the NetBeans APIs, the NetBeans source structure, etc. That's been massively impactful now that we're in Apache, since those who are most active right now are those that have been involved with NetBeans for around 20 years or so. In short, there are definitely advantages to being a large corporate project in terms of transitioning to Apache — just like NetBeans, you may take a long time to get all your code across (because the donating company needs to spend time auditing and cleaning the code etc), though on the other hand you'll potentially be bringing a massive amount of existing knowledge and a vibrant community along with you.

In short, it was great to be at FOSS Backstage and I am sure more and more Apache NetBeans community members will be submitting sessions to similar Apache events around the world and sharing their experiences, too.



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