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NetBeans never boasted of a good editor as compared to IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse, but things took a complete turn when NetBeans 6.0 came out. And now that NetBeans has conquered Java developers with the shining new editor, NetBeans is going gung-ho for Groovy, Scala, Erlang and what not. Though I totally agree to Groovy and Scala becoming first class citizens in the NetBeans world, I personally feel that NetBeans needs to do something about nicely editing a 10 year old thing – XML.

Why, you might ask. Well, whatever web frameworks I have dealt with, Struts, Struts2, Spring MVC, JSF, require reasonable amount of configuration in XML. Hell, even many non web applications seem to use Spring and it’s XML configuration files. Though the deal is now seeming in favor of POJOs with annotations, I don’t think developer authored XML is dead, by any means.

In a series of upcoming posts, I plan to compare the XML editing landscape in Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA and NetBeans. IMO, NetBeans has the weakest XML editor story, but I plan to make a wishlist out of this, hopefully someone will come along and take XML editing in NetBeans to new heights.
 

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