Filing Issues: The Simplest Way To Influence NetBeans IDE
By Geertjan on Aug 02, 2011
One of the best things about delivering NetBeans Platform courses is the direct interaction you have with developers using NetBeans IDE. Each and every time I'm delivering a course several of the conversations I end up in go like this:
NetBeans User: NetBeans IDE is really cool, I've become really very productive very quickly.
NetBeans User: However, there's always a few things that are not optimal, of course.
Me: Oh? Such as what?
NetBeans User: Well, the world isn't perfect, so there'll always be a few things that other IDEs have that NetBeans IDE doesn't.
Me: Such as what? Can you give a concrete example?
NetBeans User: Well... in Eclipse... whenever I type a return statement that conflicts with the method signature... the IDE tells me there's a conflict and helps to resolve that conflict too. NetBeans IDE doesn't do that.
Me: Oh, really? That's interesting. Why don't we file a bug in NetBeans Issuezilla? NetBeans IDE isn't cast in stone, after all, and if there's anything missing, you simply need to file an issue and then we can track that issue. Without someone filing the issue, you can be pretty sure that it will never get fixed.
NetBeans User: Well... OK... I'm assuming issues in Issuezilla are ignored or that there aren't actually people on the other side of Issuezilla or that something as small as what I'm missing isn't going to be taken seriously... so I've never actually filed an issue...
Me: Well, just take a few minutes and just do so... you might be very pleasantly surprised. Moreover, the people on the other side of NetBeans Issuezilla are extremely keen to know your issues and fix your problems to make NetBeans IDE the best IDE in the Java world.
The particular implementation of the generic template, i.e., the implementation above, was executed a few weeks ago during a NetBeans Platform course in Aachen. Here is the issue that the NetBeans User above, Jens Hofschröer, filed.
And today I updated my checkout of the NetBeans sources, built them, and... take a look. Here's a method I typed:
Then, later on, I type a return statement and now the IDE (1) informs me there's a conflict between the method signature and the return type and (2) offers to fix the conflict for me:
And, guaranteed 100%, the above would not be in the upcoming 7.1 release if it weren't for the fact that Jens Hofschröer had taken a few minutes to file an issue.
The moral of the story is clear. If you're missing some feature, no matter how small it is (especially if it is something small and extremely helpful like the above), just go to NetBeans Issuezilla and file an issue.
And, if you're getting no response at all, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this particular blog entry (make sure to include the issue number) and I will personally see what I can do to expedite your particular suggestion for improvement of NetBeans IDE.