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News: NetBeans BlueJ plugin available for NetBeans 6.5

Thanks to the continued efforts of the NetBeans team, the BlueJ plugin for NetBeans 6.5 is available now, as soon as NetBeans itself! The plugin is available in English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese.

Getting started with the NetBeans BlueJ plugin

  • If you haven't already got it, download NetBeans 6.5 from netbeans.org. The BlueJ plugin will work with any of the NetBeans download bundles, but for simplicity in teaching, we recommend the Java SE bundle.
  • Download and install the NetBeans Bluej plugin from the NetBeans Update Center, using the Available Plugins tab of the Tools/Plugins dialog.
  • Read tutorials and other resources.
  • Follow the Lab Notes to see how to make the transition from BlueJ.
  • Combine it with other NetBeans Educational Resources.
  • Offer your own material via this website for others to use.

About NetBeans support for BlueJ

The BlueJ and NetBeans teams are collaborating to create a smooth migration path for students learning the Java Programming Language from beginners' stages through to the use of professional development tools.

While BlueJ covers the introductory phase of learning to program, and NetBeans offers powerful tools for professional developers, the inevitable step from one into the other has been a difficult barrier for students - until now.

The collaboration of the NetBeans and BlueJ teams has resulted in the development of a plugin for NetBeans which offers a seamless migration path for students to support their migration from educational tools into a full-featured, professional IDE.

A screenshot is here.

The NetBeans BlueJ plugin is not aimed at replacing use of BlueJ in introductory courses, nor as a permanent addition to a user's NetBeans toolkit. BlueJ and NetBeans complement each other, and both have important roles to play in programming education.

The plugin enables NetBeans to work with BlueJ projects without converting them into NetBeans Java SE projects, so that students can start to make use of NetBeans more advanced features without sacrificing the features and familiarity of BlueJ. BlueJ projects can also be converted into NetBeans projects to allow access to NetBeans features which rely on that project structure.

James Gosling's comments

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