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Sun, University of Kent Make it Easy for Students to Learn the Java Programming Language


Collaboration offers seamless migration from BlueJ Educational Tools to full-featured professional NetBeans IDE development tools

SANTA CLARA, Calif. September 19, 2006 Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, together with the NetBeans community and the University of Kent today announced the general availability of a new version of the open source NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE), the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition. This freely available edition of NetBeans offers a seamless migration path for students transitioning from educational tools to a full-featured, professional IDE.

BlueJ is a programming environment developed at the University of Kent, UK, and Deakin University, Australia aimed specifically at beginning programmers. It offers educational tools, such as visualization 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 and is included in the curriculum in more than 600 universities and colleges around the world.

NetBeans IDE, with more than 10 million downloads, offers developers a standards based approach for building Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) applications for increased productivity.

“I have been waiting for the NetBeans/BlueJ edition to come out since I saw how fantastic the Beta was to use,” says Jason Morin, Math and Computer Science Instructor, Overland High School, Cherry Creek School District, Aurora, Colo. “NetBeans/BlueJ is now used in my Advanced Placement Computer Science class. I tried Eclipse but it is a nightmare for teachers to manage and Eclipse is difficult to grasp for students who are new to programming. I wanted and needed a ’transition’ to a professional IDE tool, and that is exactly what the NetBeans/BlueJ edition provides.”

“We are thrilled that the release of NetBeans/BlueJ Edition coincides with the beginning of a new school year,” said Laurie Tolson, vice president of Java Development and Platform Engineering for Sun Microsystems, Inc. “While BlueJ allows teachers to instruct students on object oriented development -- now the standard introductory phase of learning to program -- the NetBeans/BlueJ edition provides a logical next step enabling students to extend their applications beyond simple models while learning to use a professional development environment.”

BlueJ is a project at the Computing Laboratory, University of Kent, and Deakin University, Australia. It is part of the activities of the “Sun Center of Excellence in Object-Oriented Education” at the University of Kent.

For more information: on the Net: and NetBeans/BlueJ edition:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- “The Network Is The Computer” -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world’s most important markets. Sun’s philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo. Java, NetBeans, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.


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