Appendix D. Future Plans
No software project is ever “finished”—and this is as true of NetBeans as any. While backward compatibility with older ways of doing things is almost always maintained, new ways evolve that are more efficient or easier. Old ways of doing things turn out to have limitations, new solutions are created, and the old ones deprecated and eventually removed. This is part of the lifecycle of any software project.
NetBeans has had a long time to evolve. Since its first incarnation in 1996 as a monolithic IDE, to its somewhat modular sibling NetBeans 2.0, to today’s modern, modular architecture, a lot of thought has gone into what worked and what didn’t. And in some cases, requirements simply changed. When NetBeans was originally designed, no one was expecting the huge proliferation of modules now available.
As with currents in history or culture, it is often possible to predict future directions, and that is what we will try to do in this appendix.
This appendix attempts to give an overview of expected major changes, not every detailed change between releases. The Upgrade Guide available as part of the Open APIs reference documentation is the best place to find specifics on changes made since the last release.
Probably the thing that is most predictable as NetBeans evolves is that more and more functionality is moving toward being declared using XML. That is to say, rather than incur the overhead of loading large numbers of classes on startup, ...