There was one Java-related update of note in NetBeans 7.3, however: Java EE users can now automatically generate a REST client, given some existing client source code to analyze.
This new feature is reminiscent of the days when service-oriented architectures roamed freely in the enterprise, and when WSDL wasn’t a bad word. John Brock, principal product manager at Oracle, said that this capability is aimed at giving Java EE developers a simple way to get started when building a Web-based front end for their existing Java EE applications.
Thus, NetBeans 7.3 can output a Backbone.js-based UI for your Java EE service, provided you’ve already written a client for it to inspect.
Brock said the NetBeans team had noticed that Java developers who had written client-side applications for their back-end systems were “having to understand how to make it pretty with HTML5 and CSS3 when they were done. What we wanted to be able to do within the IDE itself was allow developers to interact more intelligently and efficiently with HTML5 and CSS3.”
In addition, the tie-ins to Chrome and the built-in WebKit browser allow for a streamlined “prettying-up” process for the application. Editing CSS to move borders and objects around results in immediate updates within the browser. Editing and saving an HTML file will automatically refresh the browser window, giving developers immediate feedback on their choices.
Further, the included WebKit-based browser can be resized to the screen size of the developer’s choosing. Locking the browser to the screen size of an iPhone can quickly show you what aspects of a Web interface are too large to be usable on mobile.
This ties into the immediate feedback loop of the CSS3 and HTML5 editing capabilities in NetBeans 7.3, said Brock, as developers can quickly resize elements of a Web client, and resulting changes can be saved as media-query data, allowing new views to be quickly segmented off by device size. He said developers can quickly and automatically generate the code needed to present a Web page specifically sized for mobile and tablet devices.