What does the NetBeans community think of these enhancements? A key component of the NetBeans community is the NetCAT organization, which stands for "NetBeans Community Acceptance Testing" program, a group of volunteer beta testers from all over the world, actively involved in testing the IDE and interacting with NetBeans engineers. Some of them were asked what they consider to be the most useful and interesting new features in NetBeans IDE 7.4... and below are their responses!
Yannis-Pastis Glaros (Greece). The new "Run/Debug focused test method" support can be a life saver in some cases, for example, if you try to design tests on an already running older project that didn't have tests in its initial design. The new Task Management window, with JIRA and Bugzilla integration, really helps organize your work when you're working on many large projects at the same time. Finally, all PHP improvements are always welcomed, as my main focus is PHP. In that regard, perhaps the integration of HTML5 development tools in PHP applications is the most important.
Eric Barboni (France). The enhanced out of the box Maven support, together with improved support for NetBeans Platform Maven projects, with integrity checking, is very very useful. The marking of non-public packages is very helpful, too. I also like the enhanced possibilities of being able to further customize and finetune Maven project settings.
Constantin Drabo (Burkina Faso). Ext JS is now integrated, which is very cool! It will help me write nice applications based on the Sencha framework. In C/C++ projects, I can now compile single files from projects with existing code, while I'm able to use the same IDE to enjoy and discover application development for smartphones, which simultaneously lets me try them out via support for deployment to iOS and Android emulators and devices.
K Adithyan (India). I like the GUI builder, even more than before, which is the IDE's best feature in my opinion because it can be used as a training suite for teaching Java GUI building. I also like that development of plugins for NetBeans IDE is even easier than before. In fact, plugin development is very easy. The development of various types of plugins is very intuitive to understand. Very nice. As always, the project creation wizards are self explanatory and the distinct library manager, Java platform manager, and similar tools, are helpful and modular.
Laurent Forêt (France). One of the things I appreciate most is the stability of NetBeans IDE and the ability it has shown to be able to evolve in new directions. I've used NetBeans IDE in my daily work for about 10 years now. I've enjoyed the CVS/Ant integration in NetBeans IDE 3.X, the SVN/Ant integration in NetBeans IDE 4.X to 5.X, and now the Git/Maven support in NetBeans IDE 7.4. In 7.4, I also like the code completion suggestions in static import statements and I hope I will have the time to try the new Cordova and AngularJS support!