Move over, Java. The NetBeans open source tools package is making room for popular scripting languages.
Previously, the IDE has centred on Java and C++ development.
"We wanted to make sure it provided support for multiple languages," said Jeet Kaul, vice president of Java products and programs at Sun.
Developers doing Web development are interested in mixing languages to get an application up and running quickly, according to Sun. Afterward, they can leverage Java to add more robust capabilities, the company said.
"It's going to rock the [Ruby on] Rails community when they finish it. It's incredible," said George Cook, director and developer at Chrysalis Web Design, of the Ruby support.
"Fast, intelligent code completion, really good support for debugging, code highlighting, syntax help, gem support, rake tasks, migrations, testing -- it's all in there and really first-class," said Cook.
The editor infrastructure of NetBeans 6.0 also features quick execution of functions such as syntax highlighting and code completion. An enhanced GUI builder, known as Project Matisse, also is included.
Also new in is the ability to move a window out of a frame across monitors, for developers who use multiple monitors. A local history feature in the IDE enables a developer to revert back to a coding status before changes were saved. Developers can run code and decide if the change is suitable and then go back to where they were before adding that code, if they choose.
A configurable Web-based installer in NetBeans 6.0 allows developers to install just the features they want.
The general release of NetBeans 6.0 is planned for the end of 2007.