NetBeans IDE seen a lot of changes during past three years, the evolutionary changes starts with NetBeans 5 and later on continued to NetBeans 5.5 when Sun Microsystems released more of its code base under the open source license.
The main reason behind the feature rich releases can be seen behind the unifiyng of Sun closed source line of IDEs engineering team with NetBeans engineering teams, and further expanding the team with new engineers and evangelists.
NetBeans 6 goal was improved editor, improved SOA support and improved Java EE support, while NetBeans version 6.5 is mostly targets editor enhancement, web applications and scripting language support. While you can deploy your application to GlassFish version 3 prelude in NetBeans 6.5, NetBeans 7 will be the first IDE with Java EE 6 support including JSF 2.0 and Web Beans
What of what you can expect from NetBeans 6.5 is as follow:
- Full PHP development support
- Full RoR development support (Ruby on Rails)
- Full Groovy and Grails development supports
- Improved J2ME application development
- Improved C++ application development (editor, project life cycle, etc)
- Improved SQL editor with good integration with MySQL
- Improved Editor, many small changes to make the over all code navigation easier, many changes to make the IDE GUI more accessible
- RESTful web services, Spring, and Hibernate support
- Improved profiler with remote profiling support
- AJAX support by providing debugging, library manager, built-in support for Yahoo UI, WoodStock, jQuery, dojo, scriptaculous, prototype
If you want to see more new features, which are numerous, you can tale a look at its well covered list of features with a lot of screen shots
You are eager to see how these features works? You were looking for an IDE with these broad range of features out of the box? you can wait until 20th of the November or you can try its Release candidate 2 right now, by using RC2 you can check the features and report any bug that you encounter to ensure that the final release is bug free.