What's New in NetBeans Platform 7.1?

An overview of changes relating to NetBeans Platform 7.1, which is the Swing framework that underpins applications such as NetBeans IDE.

Note: Click here for the previous release of this document.

The most important new features & enhancements provided in the 7.1 release are as follows:

  1. Window System API.

    • Roles. Multiple window layouts are supported. The TopComponent registration annotation has been enhanced to include a new "roles" attribute, so that each TopComponent can optionally be assigned to one or more roles. It is possible to programmatically switch between different roles and then the window layout is automatically updated to support the newly selected role.


    • Enriched Group Behavior.
      • TopComponents in "View" modes can now be undocked moved, minimized/maximized together.
      • TopComponents in "View" modes can now be dropped into "Editor" modes and vice versa.
      • There is a new mode, named "topSlidingSide" for docking TopComponents in a minimized state in the upper side of the application.
    • Window Layout Designer. In the New File dialog, there is now a Window Layout designer:

      It starts up a new instance of your application, then shows all the modes defined in your application, and lets you reposition and rename existing modes while also letting you create new ones. When you close the designer, you can save changed and new mode definition files into your module, and they will automatically be registered in the module's layer file.

      The new "Redefine" button in the Window wizard lets you do the same:

  2. MultiView Windows API.
    • MultiView Registration Annotation. The new annotation @MultiViewElement.Registration registers a MultiViewElement for a MIME type.
    • File Type Wizard With MultiView Component. In the New File Type dialog, there is a new "Use MultiView" checkbox. When the checkbox is checked, the wizard generates a JPanel that implements MultiViewElement and registers it in the DataObject, using the new annotation above:

  3. File System API.
    • FileUtil.getConfigObject. In addition to FileUtil.getConfigRoot and FileUtil.getConfigFile, there is now also FileUtil.getConfigObject. It returns an object from the filesystem via the object's full path, together with its type, such as to an Action or to your own type, for example:

      Feed feed = FileUtil.getConfigObject("RssFeeds/sample.instance", Feed.class);

      Action myAction = FileUtil.getConfigObject("Actions/MyFolder/MyAction.instance", Action.class);

      Note: In NetBeans Platform 7.2, the above will be superseded by Actions.forID("MyFolder", "MyAction").

    • New Layer Wizard. The New Module Project wizard does not let you define a layer.xml file for your module anymore. Instead, there is a new template in the New File dialog for creating a layer file:

      The template creates an empty layer file and registers it in the manifest.

  4. Datasystems API.
    • Template Registration Annotation. Registers a template in the filesystem. May be placed on a class (with a default constructor) or static method (with no arguments) to register an WizardDescriptor.InstantiatingIterator for a custom template or on a package to register a plain-file template with no custom behavior.


  5. UI Utilities API.
    • SaveCookie. The SaveCookie interface is replaced by the Savable interface, with a default implementation provided by AbstractSavable. However, SaveCookie can still be used exactly as before.


  6. Explorer & Property Sheet API.
    • Corrected PropertyPanel Component. Prior to 7.1, it was not possible to drag and drop a PropertyPanel from the Palette into a container in the Matisse GUI Builder. That bug has been fixed and now, once you have registered the PropertyPanel in the palette, you can drag and drop it.

For a list of all the changes, see http://bits.netbeans.org/7.1/javadoc/apichanges.html

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Platform was started in November 2009, is owned by Antonin Nebuzelsky, and has 149 members.
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