New NetBeans Are Ergonomics

The change was propagated into NetBeans' IDE builds before XMas however it seems that most of the people will notice it in next milestone of NetBeans IDE 7.0. The Full IDE build contains new cluster with the ergonomics functionality. What it means? The new term here is ergonomics IDE that provides you just what you need when you need it. The idea come up from Jirka Rechtacek's - Consumer IDE prototype and session at JavaOne last year.

"The NetBeans IDE grows with new functionality every release and soon it will be like a swiss knife. It will do everything everyone can ever need. On the other hand most of the time we are using knifes and even swiss knifes to cut - the same way most of us use the NetBeans IDE. We use it for Java, PHP or C/C++ most of the time and if we need some other functionality, it is good to have it around and available. It just shall not make the knife too big and heavy.

Since the introduction of NetBeans Big IDE - the only IDE you ever need - we are facing various problems resulting from the IDE size. "
- Jarda Tulach's description of the ergonomics IDE.

Problem statement: Most of the NetBeans IDE users download the full distribution of IDE. It contains everything from C++ to Ruby. Nobody needs all the functionality but it's loaded into the memory when the IDE is started.

Solution: enable the functionality only when it's needed

Our performance team decided to implement this approach in the ergonomics cluster. When you start the full IDE with fresh userdir then the IDE is empty. There is only the main functionality.


IDE without any functionality


They defined several entry points that enables a functionality to you. The entry points are New Project wizard ,Attach Debugger ,Open Project dialog ,VCS Checkout.


Open project


The IDE doesn't recognize the type of the project. It knows only that is a NB project. When you open a project it will activate the necessary functionality for you as you can see on next picture.


Activate Java Functionality




Hints:
  1. If you don't want the ergonomics functionality
    • comment out the ergonomics cluster in [nb_install_dir]/etc/netbeans.clusters file
    • use the same approach to verify that a bug is caused by the ergonomics feature
  2. Report issues - either to ide/ergonomics in Issuezilla or to any component with ERGONOMICS keyword.
Comments:

Sounds like a good idea--one question: why are Profile and Debug menus still available in the base platform?

Thanks
Patrick

Posted by Patrick Wright on January 15, 2009 at 12:24 PM CET #

@Patrick : there is a difference between the empty ergonomics NB IDE and the platform. Empty IDE is full NetBeans IDE where no functionality has been activated yet. However platform is base for any apps built up on the NetBeans RCP - platform.netbeans.org. One of applications build on NetBeans platform is the NetBeans IDE.

Posted by Lukas Hasik on January 16, 2009 at 02:04 AM CET #

Hi Lukas--sorry, I mis-stated my question. I'm aware of the RCP platform--what I was asking is, in the screenshot above labelled "DE without any functionality", why are there Debug and Profile menus present? Shouldn't these also be included/started on demand?

Thanks
Patrick

Posted by Patrick Wright on January 16, 2009 at 02:22 AM CET #

The Attach Debugger (and later even Profile) are entry points to a functionality. When you go to Debug > Attach Debugger menu the IDE will ask you if you want to enable the functionality. Is it more clear?<br>
Maybe it's better to try put your hands on it with the latest builds - http://bits.netbeans.org/dev/nightly/

Posted by Lukas Hasik on January 16, 2009 at 02:31 AM CET #

Great feature ! In fact, my first activity after installing Netbeans is disabling all the modules that I don't need :)

Posted by Donny on January 24, 2009 at 01:24 AM CET #

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