NetBeans asked to update, to which I acceded. Then, NetBeans spectacularly failed to restart. Modules were missing, and after a couple of cycles, not even the splash screen appeared after starting the app. These semi-automatic updates can be a royal pain. Rather than troubleshooting – which requires trial and error – I took the brute force approach.
I dragged the app to the trash, reinstalled the Java SE version (8.0.2) and went to Geertjan’s blog to find the Python stuff. A very pleasant surprise is that Geertjan has gone to the effort of making a screencast to show how to install the Python plugins under the latest version of NetBeans (8.0.2). It’s a little different to the old routine, but no more trouble. Seems as though the Python plugins are now hosted by Oracle. Which is not as good as Oracle supporting them, but it’s a great step forward.
Many thanks are due to Geertjan Wielenga (and doubtless other members of the community) for his unstinting efforts to make Python development a going concern on Netbeans.