Geertjan's Blog

  • July 25, 2005

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

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
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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