NetBeans 5.5 praised in comparative InfoWorld review

In a comparative InfoWorld review, Andrew Binstock gave NetBeans 5.5 a score of 7.4 (or “Good”) out of 10.

Evaluating NetBeans 5.5, along with Borland JBuilder and IBM Rational, Andrew kicked off his NetBeans 5.5 review by pointing out that it is the only completely open source product in his comparative review. He also highlights that it’s available at no cost and requires a little assembly. He goes on to describe the packs that come with NetBeans 5.5 and notes that the product has good tooling for services-based enterprise development and was the only product reviewed with full diagramming and modeling capabilities for BPEL. Additionally, Andrew praises NetBeans 5.5’s collaboration features and its GUI layout tool, which he claims is the “best” of its kind and the “choice for sites that do a lot of Swing-based interfaces.”

Andrew does ding the product’s lack of support for some products, as well as the fact that its use of Ant files allows it to support only a single runtime configuration. However, he counters these downfalls by mentioning that Sun is preparing version 6 of NetBeans, which fixes many of his complaints.

Overall, Andrew’s evaluation of NetBeans within the review was positive and on balance, despite the relative score.

To conclude, he very positively states that NetBeans 5.5 is “Not only is it free, but it is more responsive than the Eclipse-based products and easier to navigate, as it forgoes the “views” design embraced by Eclipse and simply uses windows. Also, NetBeans is frequently revved, enjoys a very active community, and benefits from a plug-in inventory second only to that of Eclipse.

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