Just recently, two of the IDEs which I use on a daily basis have released early preview distributions of future products. No doubt, JavaOne had a lot to do with the timing of these releases. I've used both of the new releases, but I cannot say that I will be using either of them full time as yet.
JDeveloper 11g - Quick Review
The technical preview for JDeveloper 11g was released recently. I decided to download it and take a look at it's capabilities this week. I must admit that I was blown away by the new layout of the IDE altogether. It is well thought out with added search boxes located throughout to assist in finding code. The application menu now displays only one application at a time by default...the other applications are listed in a pull-down menu. The overall look and feel is more visually appealing. I use the database connections features quite often and it is slick. Each database connection now has added options such as access to different types and database links. Another nice feature of the database connection editors is the SQL editor which opens by default when you connect to a database.
However, the JDeveloper 11g technical preview does have some faults. Unfortunately, the faults will limit my exposure to the IDE until the bugs have been repaired. For instance, the database connections expansion tree is way too sensitive. It is hard to select a database package and/or body for editing. By default, when you select a database package or package body then it opens in a read-only mode. You must select a variable, function, or procedure definition in order to edit the package. This is too cumbersome for my liking. I hope that these changes can be made for the next release because I can definitely see the potential in this IDE.
Netbeans 6.0 M9 - Quick Review
The Milestone 9 release of Netbeans 6.0 has an abundance of new features to tout. I have only performed some basic editing and development tasks thus far. Therefore, I do not feel that I can give an informative review of this release. However, with my limited exposure this IDE milestone release is outstanding. I have not run into any bugs thus far. The editor reacts nicely and the new look and feel is great. Built-in profiler is a welcome feature as well.
The only disappointing feature of M9 that I have found so far is that it does not come fully equipped with Tomcat AS. You must download and install Tomcat separately if you wish to use that application server. M9 comes with Glassfish by default (which is nice), but I think many people are still using Tomcat and may not like the removal.
It has been a great month for the Java community! Check out the IDEs when you have a chance because both of them are worthy of a look or two.