Netbeans is one of the more popular IDEs, and for good reasons. It’s extensibility makes it a valuable tool for developing in many languages. However being developed in Java it has long suffered from the same problems that any large Java application has: slow to startup, slow to operate, and seemingly random crashes.
Netbeans has been my favorite IDE for a while- from beginning with it in PHP, to Java (Even though I had a lot of recommendations to switch to Eclipse) to C/C++ when my college professor decided that Netbeans would be the officially supported IDE for our class. Syntax highlighting, easy refactoring, very helpful hints and debugging information, and automatically importing and implementing various code snippets are features that I look for in an IDE, and Netbeans hits them all. For all that Netbeans does good however it still suffered from the above issues for a long time.
The new version however might fix the majority of these problems. Netbeans 7.2 Release Candidate 1 is now available for download, and to be honest, I am quite impressed with some of the improvements. The base IDE now scans projects in the background, rather than in the same process as the IDE, which previously would lock up the IDE until it was finished. Depending on the size and number of projects the IDE had open, this could take a while. The scanning itself has also had an algorithm change, resulting in a much faster scan. While not directly improving it’s stability as a Java application, these improvements do serve to end processes quicker, resulting in a more stable, harder to erroneously interrupt program.
Some other new features have been implemented as well, including, but not limited to: FindBugs support and new hints for Java, Oracle Public Cloud and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk support for Java EE, PHP 5.4 support with remote synchronization and support for the C++ 11 standard with improved parsing and reduced memory consumption. The full list of new features, and the download link, is available here <http://netbeans.org/community/releases/72/>.