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The Apache NetBeans team has announced the latest release of the Java IDE Apache NetBeans 9.0 (incubating). This release focuses on two main objectives, the IP clearance of the Oracle code donation and Java 9 and 10 Support. It also adds other new features, such as support for local variable type inference and the Jigsaw module system, a new Java Modular Application project type, and Java Shell support.

The ASF Incubator is the official entry path for projects and codebases that want to become a part of the ASF. This is the process through which those projects are screened to make sure they comply with the ASF legal standards and their support communities adhere to the ASF’s guiding principles. The primary focus of this release is IP clearance of the code Oracle donated to the ASF.

Local Variable Type Inference support

Apache NetBeans (incubating) 9.0 adds support for Java 10 with new hints, error handlers, and refactorings for transforming to the new JDK 10 var type.

  • New hint to convert explicit variable type to var.
  • New hint to Convert var type back to explicit type.
  • Var is not supported in a compound variable declaration. This hint helps correct compilation error by splitting the declaration into separate statements.
  • New Error Hint for var Array declaration. This hint helps correct compilation errors by converting to an explicit type by inferring the type of data in an array.

Support for the Jigsaw model

Apache NetBeans 9.0 adds support for the Java Platform Module System (JPMS) which a central component of Project Jigsaw. NetBeans 9 adds ModulePath as a paradigm to NetBeans in addition to Classpath.

Project Jigsaw was established with the goal to improve the security and maintainability of Java SE Platform Implementations and the JDK. It was made with the purpose to make it easy for developers to construct and maintain libraries and large applications.

Java Modular Application project type

Apache Netbeans 9.0 also adds a new Java Modular project type, which enables the development of several JDK 9 modules in one NetBeans project.

The advantage of this type over other Java SE projects is that dependencies are managed by declaring the appropriate exports and requires, and all modules and the project are compiled at the same time.

Java Shell support

Apache Netbeans 9.0 also adds an integrated console-like UI to the Java Shell to leverage NetBeans editor capabilities. Java Shell introduces REPL (read-eval-print-loop) capabilities to Java and is included in JDK9 and defined in JEP 222.

NetBeans also extends the capabilities of the command line tool, allowing developers to execute the shell as an agent on the debugged or run application. The Snippets written in JShell can be redefined and tested, even against a running code.

Apache NetBeans 9.0 is available for download from your closest Apache mirror. For this release no installers are provided, you need to just download the binaries and unzip them.

More information about this release is available on the Apache NetBeans blog post.

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