Small Experiment about File Path in the Editor Tab

I have played with the displaying file path or a part of the file path in the editor tab. I have created a small patch for CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other files that use CSL editor (HTML is not the case). I don't want to commit the patch to the repository, because it's a just experiment and the appropriate solution should cover all files and should be done in the editor infrastructure. The reason why I did this is to see the result and find out as much consequences as possible and also to hear your opinion.

If you want to try it, you should follow these instructions:

  1. Download NetBeans RC2 in zip form (in the Platform combo box select OS Indenpendent Zip item).
  2. Unzip the file somewhre in a ${unzip_dir} folder
  3. Download this org-netbeans-modules-csl-api.jar and replace the original one in ${unzip_dir}/netbeans/ide12/modules/ folder.
  4. In a command line go to in ${unzip_dir}/netbeans/bin folder
  5. Run NetBeans with this command on a Linux machine:
    ./ --userdir /path/to/a/folder -J-Dcsl.editor.folder.level=2
    or on a Windows machine
    netbeans.exe --userdir d:\\path\\to\\a\\folder -J-Dcsl.editor.folder.level=2

In the picture bellow you can see the RC2 build which displays two levels of folders for the mentioned files in the editor tab.

The --userdir option is explain here. It's my recommendation to use it:). The more important option here is the second one (-J-Dcsl.editor.folder.level) that influence the way how the path is displayed in the editor tab.

The number (in my case 2) saying how many levels of parent folders of the file is displayed in the editor tab. If you set this option to -1, then full absolute path is displayed. In case that you set it to 0 or you don't set the option at all, the behavior is the default one - no additional information is displayed in the editor tab.

You can place also the option as a another default option into the netbeans.conf file in ${unzip_dir}/netbeans/etc/ folder.


thank you for trying to fix this issue, but display in tab waste space (we have less tabs visible then). Display in title bar is still best solution

Posted by Brian on December 08, 2009 at 07:57 AM CET #

Brian, this is one of the possible solution and I agree with you, it has some negatives like to see less tabs. For the title bar solution you can write a comment here: . We have to "just" convince engineers who is responsible for it.

Posted by Petr Pisl on December 08, 2009 at 08:05 AM CET #

And what about in status bar?

Posted by Marek Smolík on December 08, 2009 at 08:19 AM CET #

In status bar, can not be displayed the path for all time. There has to be displayed also another information. IMHO the path of currently edited file is quite common.

Posted by Petr Pisl on December 08, 2009 at 09:13 AM CET #

I agree that the tab bar doesn't have enough space to hold all these tabs with full file names.

Therefore I suggest to allow users to view it as a multi-line tab bar instead. This might add to usability.

Perhaps it may also help if I note, that other editors display the full file path in the window title only and leave the tab names to just the file names without the path.

Posted by Tom on December 08, 2009 at 10:11 AM CET #

There is a need to find a way to display the full path of the file being edited. I have wanted this feature for some time. This morning I edited the original of a file, while believing I was working on the copy. How do I approach the engineer to request the change? Is it a situation where we need to develop a popular mass.

Posted by William Rouse on December 08, 2009 at 12:59 PM CET #

Yes title is best and I think that easy way. But for example exist another way how to show full class path, for example InteliJ Idea:

All items are clickable and you can choose another class or package, the the same way as path in Windows Vista/7 open/save dialogs.

Posted by Tomas on December 14, 2009 at 10:28 PM CET #

I think I have a better idea than squeezing it all into the tab area

I also like Tomas' idea but I think it could look nicer. Maybe more like the address bars in Windows 7 or the Path Bar in OS X Finder or the path bar in PathFinder

Posted by thinsoldier on January 13, 2010 at 01:00 PM CET #

Hi, I think will be very useful to have a shortcut key to Upload the file that is open in the editor.

Posted by Funs blog on January 24, 2010 at 11:48 PM CET #


not sure if that's still worked on, but i have a different idea. Make the tabs colorful.

Basically it's the same as the Firefox-Addon "colorful tabs", where the tabs for open websites have a different background color and if you have more sites from the same web address open, they all share the sme color.

Maybe something like this can be implemented that files from one project get a background and files from a different project another color. Would be helpful for a first glance, which open file belongs to which project.

Thx for listening

Posted by Thomas on April 14, 2010 at 06:44 AM CEST #

Basically it's the same as the Firefox-Addon "colorful tabs", where the tabs for open websites have a different background color and if you have more sites from the same web address open, they all share the sme color.

Posted by earth4energy on August 28, 2010 at 07:37 AM CEST #


Posted by A.PRANEETH KUMAR on October 10, 2010 at 03:04 AM CEST #

Do you have a version of the .jar file that will work with netbeans 6.9 or 7.0? I tried adding it in 6.9.1 but it seems to have disabled some keyboard functionality.

Posted by Craig on July 18, 2011 at 09:32 AM CEST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed

This blogs is written by NetBeans developers who contribute to the PHP support mainly.


« July 2016