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Visual Web Pack with Visual Editor support for web page design

Starting from NetBeans 6.8, the Visual Web module is no longer available. No further development is planned. Those who want to use the Visual Web pack can use NetBeans 6.7.1 or earlier versions and get the Visual Web module from the Beta Update center.

Visual Web Documentation for NetBeans IDE are now archived and can be downloaded as part of the NetBeans IDE 6.5 Documentation Archive. The zip file of the archive can be downloaded from

JSP has been superceded by Facelets for Java Server Faces web
development.  In JSF 2.0 Facelets are the default view technlogy,
although JSP can still be used.
Trying to support a visual designer for web apps becomes a monumental
task because there are so many browsers, so many versions of each
browser in use, and so many different OS's that those browsers run under.
In addition the browsers in the field are updated on an almost weekly basis.
Add to that the fact that JavaScript is implemented slightly differently
on all of the above, and you end up with a big bucket of worms.
It just became unsupportable with the limited resources that the
NetBeans team has.
One of the nice things about Facelets is that the files are standard
XHTML files.  So, if you have a visual layout tool that works for HTML
you can use it as the prototyper for Facelets.   Then just modify the
tags to the <h: or <p:, or <ice: versions and adjust from there.
With Facelets and CSS you can modify the layout of your page without
recompiling the program.
Just modify your stye sheet and hit the "reload" button on the browser
to see what the change does.
One of the problems with visual tools is that CSS has become the primary
layout technology for HTML.  If you've used DreamWeaver with CSS, you
know that is much more difficult to use than in the old drag and drop
days, and the layouts don't work with all browsers anyway.
With code completion and other tools built into the NetBeans editor for
XHTML, CSS, PrimeFaces, IceFaces, etc. it ends up being easier to use
the editor than anything else, so far.
I usually use userAgenUtils ( to find
out which browser and OS the app is running on, then load a stylesheet
that works for that combination.  You can pick your target browsers
first and add fixes as necessary to support additional browser/OS combos
If you are in a corporate environment where you can dictate the browser
and OS to use, your life is a little easier.
If you have to support the general public, you just have to be aware of
things like Safari on iOS (iPhone, iPad) don't allow file uploads, and
most users of the iPad don't know that you can scroll a scroll box on
the page with 2 fingers (one finger scrolls the whole page).
Those things are a problem even if you have a working visual layout tool.
And Internet Explorer is just a freaking disaster.  It's getting better,
though.  You still have to decide which versions you will support.  
Internet Explorer 9 is much better, but it doesn't work on XP.
The 32 and 64 bit versions of Explorer are different and you have to
account for that.
The browsers are getting better and more standardized as time goes on
though, so there's hope.