Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Java Scrapbook for NetBeans IDE

In a couple of NetBeans discussions and issues, users are asking for a Java scrapbook feature:

http://forums.netbeans.org/ptopic51181.html

https://netbeans.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=191488

I took Jesse Glick's Scrapbook feature, mentioned at the end of the issue above, included Java code templates, coloring, and other features, and have made it available as a plugin in the Plugin Portal:

http://plugins.netbeans.org/plugin/50195/?show=true

After you install it in NetBeans IDE 7.3.1 or above, create a new Java project (Java SE, or EE, or whatever, so long as the project has a Java classpath). The feature lets you keep track of sample code snippets, which are stored in a scrapbook file in the 'private' folder of your NetBeans project and when you run them, after right-clicking in the editor, they are executed against the project's classpath.  

So, you first need to create a Java project, since the classpath from the project is used when you run the snippet:

Then the editor opens and you can use quite a few of the Java editing features, but not code completion, to write some snippets:

By default, i.e., if  you select nothing in the editor, when you right-click and choose "Run Snippet" everything in the editor is run. However, if you have something selected, e.g., the whole of line 7 above, then only that line will be run. In other words, you can run blocks of code.

Similar plugins, though they don't let you run code:

http://plugins.netbeans.org/plugin/5811/tabbed-scratchpad

http://plugins.netbeans.org/plugin/5349/scratch-pad

Interested to know how useful this feature is considered to be! Ultimately, maybe something to include in NetBeans IDE? 

About

Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.

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