Press Release

For release in early May, 2008

NetBeans performance team is proud to announce the immediate availability of version 6.1 of award winning NetBeans IDE. Among other improvements, this version is a huge step forward in terms for scalability, stability and perceived speed as it contains many visible improvements in performance critical areas.

The NetBeans IDE version 6.0, released in December 2007, was a major improvement in the line of NetBeans releases due to breaking innovation in many areas, especially java source code editing and consolidation of most of independent NetBeans technologies including C/C++, Ruby, Visual Web Designer and others. The marketing slogan 'the only IDE you ever need' perfectly described the size of the progress made during that release.

While the focus of 6.0 was on consolidation and new features, the main 6.1's theme was performance. The release of NetBeans 6.0 IDE revealed certain problems in scalability, memory consumption and other performance areas, that resulted in formation of a dedicated performance team and making the performance improvements a priority goal for 6.1. We are proud to announce a successful reach of these goals:

User Friendly Startup Sequence

One of the most laud complains about NetBeans 6.0 was its incremental slowdown with its everyday use. For example after having tens of projects open, the startup time of the IDE could be magnified compared to startup immediately after download.

It is a pleasure to announce radical user oriented improvements in this area. The startup is now "user centric" and takes in account the user intentions instead of preferring the computer's own will. With the use of artificial intelligence expert system, the IDE is capable of recognizing user's need and as a result, it is about 40% faster to start the IDE with for example 30 projects, select one of them and immediately start to work with it in version 6.1 than it was possible in version 6.0.

Sustainable Continuous Usage

The stability of NetBeans 6.0 was not perfect with respect to continuous usage. Certain small bugs could, after a long use, accumulate its errors and have big implications on overall system stability and performance.

In order sustain continuous usage of the IDE the performance effort concentrated on fixing and eliminating those little errors and providing advanced automated verification tools that help the NetBeans project ensure that these improvements are everlasting. We are proud to have identified, analysed, fixed and exorcised over 50 of such little but big issues.

Focus on Common Tasks

Certain tasks in the NetBeans IDE 6.0 were used quite often, yet they were not quite optimized for performance. This used to hurt the ease of work flow and navigation in the IDE and made some of common tasks more painful than really necessary.

The performance team feels honored to confirm that many of such tasks, including navigation between editor windows, movement in explorer like panels, use of code completion in almost all types of languages, has been significantly sped up.

Set up for Growth

NetBeans IDE 6.1 is considered a "minor" release over NetBeans IDE 6.0, with a short release cycle, limited set of features, mostly focused on bug fixing. We are very glad to achieve the user visible performance improvements mentioned in this press release, however we are also fond of creating a great working environment for building up on success of 6.1.

All the performance improvements made for release 6.1 will continue to be valuable for future subsequent releases of NetBeans IDE. Each of the delivered features is fully covered by automatic verification infrastructure that daily verifies that no commit causes regressions. The invention and introduction of such a verification infrastructure into the daily development process is a great achievement of the point of view of quality of NetBeans IDE 6.1 and its future releases.

Excited Contributions

Most of the many achievements were not done by the performance team itself, but in cooperation with other teams. Those teams provided domain specific insight and detailed knowledge of particular parts of the NetBeans IDE, which allowed the scalability, perceived startup characteristics and responsiveness to be significantly improved with just a little contribution or coordination from the performance team itself.

All engineering teams working on NetBeans IDE 6.1 accepted performance improvements as an important goal and reacted actively when fixing reported issues, or even excited by the progress already made, searched for new problems and their fixes themselves. Without this thrilled cooperation, the improvements would never be so great.


Please accept our invitation to try our latest and greatest release of NetBeans IDE, release 6.1. Enjoy its fast features!

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