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Sun Microsystems has released its latest version of NetBeans, adding expanded support for dynamic languages.

Version 6.5 of the web-legume-themed Integrated Development Environment (IDE) adds support for PHP, additional languages, and JavaScript and Ajax editing. PHP support's been in the works since spring following the addition of Ruby on Rails with NetBeans 6.1.

NetBean's PHP users get tooling like syntax highlighting, code completion, code generators, debugging, database wizards and FTP support.

Other new features in NetBeans 6.5 include an editor for JavaScript development, multithreaded debugging for Java technologies, support for Groovy and Grails in the editor, and Ruby enhancements in the editor, debugger and Rake.

A complete listing and tour of highlights can be found on the Netbeans website.

Features aside, 6.5 includes fully localized versions of simplified Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.

The NetBean community is also releasing an early access version for Python applications. The IDE includes an editor, debugger, and choice of Python runtimes.

NetBeans 6.5 for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris can be harvested here.

Also on the open-source PHP programming front, meanwhile, Zend Technologies announced its backing Adobe Systems' Action Message Format (AMF). Zend did so while announcing Zend Framework 1.7.

Version 1.7 boasts significant speed enhancements, with claimed improvements to load times between 25 and 50 per cent.

The new general release adds a native DB2 adapter to access DB2/400 data on the IBM i platform, updates Dojo toolkit support, and a component for the JQuery AJAX library.

"We're particularly proud that in Zend Framework 1.7 the community contributions make up well over half of the new and improved components, including a component for the JQuery AJAX JavaScript Library," said Andi Gutmans, chief technology officer and co-founder of Zend.

The complete list of new toys in Zend Framework 1.7 and the latest code is available over yonder. ®

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