The University of Kent and Sun Microsystems are collaborating to create a smooth migration path for students learning the Java Programming Language from beginners' stages through to the use of professional development tools.
Sun Microsystems has, for some time, also supported the development of BlueJ, a programming environment developed at the University of Kent, UK, and Deakin University, Australia. BlueJ is an environment specifically aimed at beginning programmers. It offers educational tools, such as visualisation and interaction facilities that greatly aid the learning of object-oriented concepts. First released in 1999, BlueJ has become one of the most popular environments for programming education in introductory programming courses at universities and colleges.
While BlueJ covers the introductory phase of learning to program, and
NetBeans offers powerful tools for professional developers, the
inevitable step from one into the other has been a difficult barrier
for students - until now.
The collaboration of the NetBeans and BlueJ teams has resulted in the development of a new version of NetBeans: NetBeans IDE BlueJ Edition. This tool offers a seamless migration path for students that supports the switch from educational tools into a full-featured, professional IDE.