Thursday, March 20, 2008

Locating Netbeans IDE 6.1 Beta

Learning Java becomes easy when we have a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as the Java programming tool. There are many professional Java IDEs in the market like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA and Netbeans. Sun Microsystems supports Netbeans development and promotes Netbeans as a preferred Java IDE.

Let us look at the Netbeans IDE closely and see how to obtain Netbeans and install on the computer. I will start with a practical approach to search for the Netbeans IDE download. I do not know the actual path for Netbeans download so I will use Google search engine to locate the download URL. From a recent news post I know that the Netbeans team has released a new beta version of the IDE and its name is Netbeans 6.1 beta. So by basic instincts I will open Google search page and type "Netbeans 6.1 beta" as my search criteria.

Wow! I got the first link as the link for downloading Netbeans IDE 6.1 beta. This is the beauty of information technology. All people blog about the news and the news spread very quickly all over the internet through blogs, twitter, newsletters, articles, screencasts and many search engines index those pages readily. This makes our job of locating the links peace of cake.

After visiting the web site pointed by Google search page we can see the Netbeans download page. There are many editions of the Netbeans IDE 6.1 beta. There is a lot of choice. What to choose now? I will choose the minimum possible edition for this example. Java SE edition of Netbeans IDE 6.1 beta is 24 MB in size and seems a reasonable option for download. This will enable me to write my first Hello World program in Netbeans. The download page also promises that when I need other parts of the Netbeans IDE I can always download them as Netbeans modules from the update site.

There is one more important thing to note. All the editions of Netbeans IDE are free. They provide two different licenses for this IDE as mentioned on the download page.

My download started when I clicked the Download button from the Java SE column. The browser showed a page explaining me that the download has started and soon I will see a Save As dialog box to save the download on my computer. This page also provides link for direct download. Sometimes if there is a problem in automatic download starting then we can click this direct link and start the download again.

While my browser was downloading the Netbeans IDE I noticed that the web page also contains two more links. Release Notes and Installation Instructions. Release note is a very important document to read vital last minute information about the released software. Installation instruction help us install the software on our computer and in checking the compatibility of our hardware and software with the released software.

There it was the good looking Netbeans IDE 6.1 beta windows installer icon on my Desktop. Through windows common sense I already know how to install this software. As it is seen as a EXE file it will start just by double clicking on it. So I double clicked it and expected that the program will start the installation right away.

Netbeans Installer started as expected. And now there will be a sequence of dialog boxes asking me preferences and showing me information about the being installed software.

I can see the installer tool some time to prepare itself and to keep me convinced that it has not stuck in between kept me showing a progress bar with information about what is going on. These installer people know well that users like me are impatient and will get worried if we feel that the program is doing nothing .

Finally it started talking with me. The welcome dialog box told me that the Netbeans IDE installation is about to consume 112.6 MB space on my hard disk. Given the current default sizes of the hard disks starting from 80 GB I have no problem installing a 112 MB software on my C: drive. I clicked the Next button.

The license page told me that the Netbeans IDE is under Dual License including GPL v2 license and I know from my past knowledge that this license will provide me rights to use Netbeans IDE without paying anything to anyone. So the logical choice was to accept the license terms by checking the I accept check box at the bottom of the dialog box.

Netbeans installer showed me confirmation dialog that it will now install the IDE on my computer and will consume 112 MB by installing the Java SE pack. I said Next.

The next dialog showed me the default locations where the Netbeans IDE will be installed. It is always a good choice not to change these default folders if we are doing this first time and if we do not need any customizations. The default folders always work.

Lastly there was a summary dialog box giving me information about all the choices I made in this installation wizard and presented an install button. Obviously I was getting impatient to see the face of Netbeans IDE so I quickly clicked the Install button . The installer then installed the IDE on my computer and finally I could see the Netbeans IDE 6.1 Beta launcher icon or shortcut on my desktop. This shortcut kept on the desktop proves that the installer has done its job quite well and I am ready to start my Netbeans IDE.

So to see the Netbeans IDE I double clicked the shortcut on the desktop names Netbeans IDE 6.1 Beta and there was the splash screen of Netbeans IDE on my desktop telling me that Netbeans IDE will start shortly and there was a progress bar on this splash screen also to tell me it is doing some work in the background and I shall wait for the initialization process to complete.

Netbeans Team has developed beautiful green splash screen . It makes me feel fresh. After some initialization process the Netbeans IDE started and I could see the main window of the IDE on my desktop.

Just to confirm I have the right version of the Netbeans IDE installed on my computer I clicked the Help Menu and About option. This showed me the About dialog box of Netbeans IDE and there was the version number I expected Netbeans IDE 6.1 Beta.

Now I am ready to write my Hello World program in this IDE. There is a startup page shown to me in the main window and there are many links to help me. I can see Quick Start Tutorial, Whats New and Take a tour options and all of them seem exciting to me. I must visit all these links first before I start writing my Java programs on this IDE.

I wish you liked my journey of locating the Netbeans IDE 6.1 Beta download page, Installing it and getting ready to write my Java programs in Netbeans IDE. Do visit again to check my progress with Netbeans IDE. I will keep writing about my experience and views about this IDE here.

with regards

No comments:

Post a Comment