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Product Reviews & Previews

NetBeans 6.5 Goes Live

At this point in the evolution of the NetBeans integrated development environment, it's hard to call it a Java IDE. With its support for a growing list of languages, the still-popular dev-tool suite might more aptly be named "Every Flavor Beans." Unlike the candy from the Harry Potter novels, however, this package holds nothing but the sweet stuff.

First Look: Komodo IDE 5.0

Last month, ActiveState released Komodo IDE 5.0, the company's latest integrated development environment (IDE). Komodo supports multiple programming and markup languages, including HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Java, Python, C++ and more. It does not support some .NET languages at present, such as ASP/ASP.NET, C# and VB.NET.

Merb: Rails Alternative Takes Modular Approach

Engine Yard has just released the community version of a new Web framework for building Ruby applications. Dubbed Merb, the open source framework written in Ruby is "super-light and super-fast," according to the company, which is positioning it as an alternative to Rails.

Integrated Collaborative Environment Leverages Web 2.0

Here's a bit of trivia for your next high-tech happy hour: A "nog" (in addition to being a Christmas favorite) is a wooden block built into a masonry wall so that joinery structure can be nailed to it. For the founders of Piscataway, N.J.-based startup Bluenog this obscure bit of carpentry nomenclature was the perfect metaphor for an integrated software suite that includes a content management system (CMS), rich portal features and business intelligence (BI) capabilities.

You Say You Want a Runtime Revolution?

The founders of Scottish dev tool maker Runtime Revolution (RR) might be accused of engaging in a bit of high-tech hyperbole with the claim that their latest product offering is "the world's easiest programming tool." But the Edinburgh-based company is pulling out all the stops to throw a spotlight on the usability of its just-released Revolution 3.0.

First Look: Adobe Creative Suite 4

Adobe debuted Creative Suite 4 Tuesday, with all-new versions of its major development, design, publishing, and video/motion graphics applications, along with new and modified pricing and licensing schemes for both K-12 and post-secondary education. We have a inside look at the new features in each of the core applications, along with preliminary findings based on a pre-release of the Creative Suite 4 Master Collection.

A Cheapskate's Guide to Free Security Software

Free is an attractive price. Read which packages were deemed "most useful" by a handful of experts.

First Look: Zimbra Web-Based E-Mail for the Desktop

Zimbra, a Yahoo-owned company, last week released a beta of the open source Zimbra Desktop solution, which is meant to be an alternative to more traditional e-mail/groupware applications such as Microsoft Outlook.

Facebook and Collegiality: A Serendipitous Social Niche

Facebook is a way to greet a colleague as if she or he is on your own campus: a wave at a distance, a hello at the corner burrito place, a honk as you both leave the campus parking lot. Informal collegiality has been extended over the miles.

Live Mesh: An 'Open Platform' for Developers

Amit Mital, general manager of Microsoft's Live Mesh group, had a message for developers attending the Web 2.0 Expo April 22-25 in San Francisco: Think open platform.