Press Release

NetBeans IDE to Provide Support for Leading Educational Tool

Special edition of the NetBeans IDE to support projects created with BlueJ - a Leading development tool used for teaching Java

NEW YORK, NY March 9, 2006 -- Sun Microsystems, the creator and leading advocate of Java(TM) Technology, together with the NetBeans(TM) community and the University of Kent today announced a new version of NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE), the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition. This edition of NetBeans offers a seamless migration path for students transitioning from educational tools to a full-featured, professional IDE.

NetBeans 5.0 IDE, released in early February 2006, provides comprehensive support for building Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and (Java ME) applications and includes a variety of unique new features and significant enhancements such as the NetBeans GUI Builder (Project Matisse) that differentiates it from all other developer tools. With close to 9 million downloads of NetBeans, the standards-based approach of the NetBeans IDE offers developers a more intuitive interface with increased productivity.

BlueJ is a programming environment developed at the University of Kent, UK, and Deakin University, Australia aimed specifically at beginning programmers. It offers educational tools, such as visualization and interaction facilities that greatly aid the learning of object-oriented concepts. First released in 1999, BlueJ has become one of the most popular environments for programming education in introductory programming courses and is included in the curriculum at close to 500 universities and colleges around the world.

The NetBeans IDE/ BlueJ Edition enables a smooth migration path for students of all stages that are learning the Java Programming Language -- BlueJ covers the introductory phase of programming, while NetBeans offers powerful tools used by professional developers.

"There are many teachers who have struggled with the problem of moving students out of BlueJ into a larger environment for a long time. How to deal with this problem is one of the very frequent questions we get," said Michael Kolling, Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent and member of the BlueJ Team. "The NetBeans/BlueJ Edition will -- for the first time -- offer an obvious and clean way to move from one to the other. Students will immediately feel comfortable in this IDE and can start using professional tools gradually and in an organized manner. It will make a huge difference in a teaching situation."

"Sun has supported the development of BlueJ for some time," said Jeff Jackson, senior vice president of Java Development and Platform Engineering for Sun Microsystems, Inc. "This collaboration provides a great advance for the student learning the Java Programming language. When a student who knows BlueJ opens this version of NetBeans, there is nothing on the screen that is mysterious or incomprehensible. They will be able to get going straight away. And very quickly they will start to discover and use NetBeans' more powerful features."

BlueJ is a project at the Computing Laboratory, University of Kent, and Deakin University, Australia. It is part of the activities of the "Sun Center of Excellence in Object-Oriented Education" at the University of Kent.

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