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Apache NetBeans 9.0 Approaching Final Approval

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has been working hard on its first release of the NetBeans IDE since Oracle contributed the popular software development environment to the ASF in October 2016. The community has finally given a thumbs up to Apache NetBeans 9.0. All that's left is the tabulation of a final vote by the project management committee (PMC), the compilation of the results of a community survey, and the final vote by the incubator managers.

The ASF has gathered the final vote by the Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) -- essentially, a group of community members charged with helping a nascent project, called a "podling," learn how to govern itself. According to the ASF, a PPMC works like a regular PMC, but reports to the Incubator PMC instead of the ASF Board. Initially, this group includes the podling's mentors and initial committers. The PPMC is directly responsible for the oversight of the podling, and it also decides who to add as a PPMC member. (Click here to read the related Apache NetBeans dev mail thread.)

The ASF is no longer accepting responses to the Apache NetBeans 9.0 Community Acceptance Survey, which focused on functionality. The results will be available, soon.

The ASF was set to begin the Apache NetBeans IPMC voting process on July 22, which enables members of the Apache Incubator to approve the release. It's all tentative at this point, but if all goes as planned, Apache NetBeans 9.0 will be released during the first weeks of August.

This first Apache NetBeans release is focused specifically on Java SE tooling. According to Geertjan Wielenga, Oracle product manager and developer advocate for open source projects, that's because NetBeans is so large; it will likely be the largest project under the aegis of the ASF once everything has been donated. This is a 20-plus-year-old project, he noted in a blog post, and it provides support for an enormous range of technologies. Because so many files needed to be audited before they could be donated to Apache, he said, the decision was made to donate NetBeans in pieces.

"And since NetBeans is modular," he explained, "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.) 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."

That first donation effectively constitutes Apache NetBeans 9.0. The second donation has been completed, which means Oracle has audited and donated all the modules for features providing support for JavaScript, PHP, Groovy, and Java EE. Those features are on a separate branch in the Apache NetBeans Git repo, and they will be integrated sometime after the 9.0 release. The next set of modules being audited prior to donation are related to C/C++, he said.

NetBeans continues to be a popular Java IDE (1.5 million active users, according to the community), but it has grown beyond Java to support C/C++, Groovy, PHP, JavaScript, and the HTML5 and CSS Web development standards.

Posted by John K. Waters on July 25, 2018