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Sun Microsystems is reaching out to scripters and developers on rivals' IDEs with enterprise tools and a migration program for its latest version of NetBeans.

NetBeans 6.0, released Wednesday, targets Ruby and Ruby on Rails fans squarely with tools for code refactoring, debugging and deployment. JavaScript and C/C++ users also get improved visual tools for building web applications, web services and mobile applications using UML models, an enhanced code editor, and Swing GUI builder and Swing Application Framework and Beans binding technology.

Also wrapped in are the previously separate NetBeans Visual Web and Enterprise Packs. Sun had subscribed to the view these packs should be kept separate so that NetBeans could run in specific domains - such as enterprise or mobile - without packing in features developers don't want.

But Sun appears to have at least partially reversed this thinking to scoop up developers building online and - dare we say it - Web 2.0 applications using scripting, JavaScript and C/C++. Sun said NetBeans 6.0 would make developing in these languages more productive and efficient.

Accompanying NetBeans 6.0 is a program encouraging users of Sun's NetBeans-based Java Studio Enterprise and Sun Java Studio Creator to migrate to NetBeans. ®

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