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Support for RESTful Web services, JBoss Seam and Java refactorings and code inspections are among the new features in IntelliJ IDEA 8, JetBrains' Java IDE for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows that began shipping today. If you're not familiar, JetBrains' raison d'ĂȘtre is to make an integrated development environment that keeps developers productive and integrates tightly with other open source development tools such as Ant, JUnit and Subversion.

Among the new productivity features in IntelliJ IDEA 8 according to a list of what's new is an ability to jump from a class to its test case; see which Subversion changes have already been integrated into a certain branch; trace where a parameter value comes from through a chain of method calls; change a field parameter from an array to a list and update usages automatically; and extract a code fragment with multiple output values into a method object.

That's just a partial list of major new features not present in version 7. The company also promises faster startup and overall performance thanks to a "reworked engine,", and the ability to revert committed changes, see which tests cover a particular line of code, and specify different encoding for files in different directories.

Available now, IntelliJ IDEA 8 versions range from free for free non-commercial use to personal (US$249) and commercial ($599). Upgrade prices and a 30-day free trial version also are available at the JetBrains download page. There's a new version of the IDEA plug-in developer kit too. "Older versions of some third-party plug-ins may be incompatible with IntelliJ IDEA 8.0 preventing it from starting up," read the plug-in SDK download page. You'll also need a JDK 1.5 build of IntelliJ IDEA to build Mac OS X compatible plug-ins on Windows or Linux.

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