Temporary in NetBeans Land?
By Geertjan on Feb 18, 2007
On the 'con' side, however... there are some accurate assessments. See them here. However, if these are all his problems, then NetBeans IDE 6.0 Milestone 6 is going to put a smile on his face.
Firstly, let's look at his issue with error reporting:
It always takes a while to notice coding errors. I sometimes stop in the middle of typing, waiting for the errors to show and the small light bulb appear. Eclipse is much better in that respect. Also the quick fixes in Netbeans are not as good as in Eclipse.
I think this comment is inaccurate, in that it doesn't paint the full painful picture. Not only do the errors take a long time to show up, they also take a long time to go away! After fixing an error, I frequently need to either (1) ignore the remaining error marks or (2) do a "Clean and Build" to refresh the state of the error markings. So, things are worse than is stated in that blog entry. And that's just the start of it. I've been frustrated on a number of other levels in the editor in NetBeans IDE 5.5. Then... I tried NetBeans IDE 6.0 Milestone 6. Read this document and see why I am no longer concerned anymore about the issues I had with the editor before. They'll all be dealt with in 6.0. Most noticeably, aside from all the colors and highlights and so on, the speed of coding is vastly improved. I can code faster, see code completion earlier, and surround code much more easily. And when you press "Ctrl-R", each occurrence of the identifier under the cursor is highlighted and you can change them all instantly, in place, as shown here:
Your fingers need never leave the keyboard again!
Hints, also known as "quick fixes", have been beefed up as well. The one I particularly like is the hint that tells you when import statements are no longer used, by coloring the unused ones in grey, and then even offers to remove them for you, as shown here:
Secondly, here's another comment from that blog entry:
I’m mostly doing plugin projects and they behave different from Java projects. I can’t find a way to add more source directories.
Well, here's something really cool that I discovered today. In NetBeans 6 Milestone 6, you can drag and drop files from outside the IDE straight into either the editor or explorer views. This is pretty awesome. Literally, just go to your filesystem, (i.e., outside of NetBeans IDE) and simply start dragging. Once you get to the editor, you'll see the cursor change and you'll be able to drop the file and then the content is displayed in the editor. If you continue dragging, the file can be dropped in the Projects window, Files window, or Favorites window.
"That's nice, but it would be even better if you could drag an entire folder like that. That's when I'll raise an eyebrow. Not before." Glad you said that, my sceptical friend. Because that functionality is there too. Simply drag an entire folder and drop it wherever you like. For example, drag an entire folder of source files into the Source Package folder... and you have a new package in your application, as I did here with the "org" folder in my filesystem:
Woohoo. Better it doesn't get.
For the other issues mentioned in Temporary in Netbeans land, I totally agree with the gripe about the Library Wrapper Module Project. And many others would agree with my agreement and are arguing for having this aspect fixed. The other points mentioned in that blog entry, about CVS integration and JUnit tests... I don't know about the CVS problem, makes sense and I think that should be fixed, but I'm sure the JUnit test concern is solveable, because JUnit tests run fine in NetBeans module projects.
So, here's hoping that Temporary in Netbeans land will be a longer stay. Whether the stay is longer or not, it is clear that the majority of concerns raised are now part of the past, thanks to all the fantastic work done for NetBeans IDE 6.0.