NetBeans New Features [proposal]

version: 0.1, May 22, 2001

special thanks to for the xsl and ant scripts and for original ideas.

    This document proposes the format of New features plans and describes how they can be used.


May 22, 2001
The original proposal for review
May 28, 2001
 Updated after nbdev comments


  1. Overview
  2. Features per module
  3. XSL styles
  4. Generated html files
  5. Strenghts and Weaknesses

1. Overview

The reson of this proposal is to simplify the work with new features proposals in NetBeans. It will allow to write xsl files, which will generate the exact collection of features you need (e.g. only significant features for the whole release). An example can be the generation of "WhatIsNew.html" file at the end of release cycle.

The features will be collected per module in one features.xml file. Using xsl it is possible to generate html files for every module and also features for whole release. It will be possible to track the implementation progress during the implementation phase.

2. Features per module

  • The new features for upcoming releases are organized per module.
  • Each proposal is formated in xml.
  • The file is stored in the same place for every module: $module/www/plans/features.xml

2.1 Features.xml overview

The features.xml files contain requirements. Every requirement must have:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Target milestone (3.3, 3.4, etc.)
  • Priority ("Must have", "Should have", "Nice to have")

Optional (but recommended) part contains:

  • One or more responsible persons (with e-mails)
  • Links (e.g. links to Issuezilla enhancement, link to separate html file which describes the feature, ...)
  • Percentage of completion (this will allow everyone to track, how many features are already implemented)
  • Duration (the amount of the work - in days per developer)

2.2 Features.xml format

2.3 Other features 

  • The features which don't belong to any module are stored in nbbuild module in /www/plans/features.xml
  • An example is "New module proposal".

3. XSL styles

  • Using xsl and ant scripts it is possible to generate the output from features.xml files
  • The scripts are stored in nbbuild module in /plans directory
  • The scripts are not finished yet, but are already available at CVS.

4. Generated html files

  • Generated files are:
  • These documents are linked.
  • In the future these scripts should be run automatically, so generated pages should be always up-to-date.

5. Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths of this solution are:

  • The simple format of features.xml (the same effort as features.html)
  • Possibility to generate more then just a collection of features
  • Possibility tracking of implementation status
  • Allow future extension of xsl styles


  • Extra work with filling the content to the features.xml files.

Please send comments to or to directly to me: . Thanks.


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