Forget XML! Use a NetBeans IDE Visual Editor instead...

From NetBeans IDE 4.1 onwards, the IDE includes visual editors for customizing various deployment descriptors. At least one of them, the web.xml Visual Editor, will be extended in the next release -- there'll be a References section where you can visually edit a web.xml file's environment entries, resource references, resource environment references, EJB references, and message destination references. This is how the new section looks in a recent development build (click the enlarge):

That's pretty cool, I think. There's something else -- slightly hidden, I guess -- if you select a header in a Visual Editor (in the screenshot of the web.xml Visual Editor above the Resource References header is selected) and you then press F1 (or the tiny round question mark in the top right of the editor), a Help topic that is specific to the header in question is displayed. So, when you press F1 while the Resource References header is selected, you'll get a fairly extensive description about resource references -- not just about how to create them in the IDE, but also what they're used for and how they relate to other elements in the web.xml file. Note, though, that the Help topics for the References section are currently a work in progress...


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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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