An Oracle blog about NetBeans for PHP

Lazy file download

Hi all, this will be a blog post about another minor feature that can mean a huge usability improvement for all of you who are using our (S)FTP support and have really big projects on your remote server. We would like to inform you that files in the Download dialog are now fetched "lazily".

What does it mean exactly? If one uses Download action on Source Files node (or any of its subfolders), only top level directories and files are downloaded. If any of these folders is expanded, its subfolders and files are downloaded as can be seen on the following screenshot ("lazy" download is marked by green circles)

Lazy file download

That's all for today, as always, please test it and report all the issues or enhancements you find in NetBeans BugZilla (component php, subcomponent FTP Support).

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Comments ( 9 )
  • guest Sunday, September 11, 2011

    This is a horrible feature, lazy on the application side for performance, but frustrating to the developer working on that project as half of his code is missing when he tries to possibly run his app on his local system as he updates these files.

  • Tomas Mysik Monday, September 12, 2011


    Sorry, I don't get your comment - can you clarify what you mean exactly? BTW all the selected folders are, of course, downloaded with all their children. The benefit of this feature is that - when you are goign to download some files - you don't need to wait until all the file paths are downloaded, the download window is displayed _as soon as possible_.

  • guest Monday, October 3, 2011

    I think this is a very needed feature. If i wanna change something on a existing Typo3-Projekt, i don't want wait three hours until the whole T3-Projekt is downloaded. Thanks

  • aeno Monday, October 10, 2011

    This is a very nice feature. But one related thing I miss in NetBeans are remote projects that are not locally saved.

    i just want to set up the remote connection and immediately start browsing the directory. once doubleclicked, a file opens in the editor and will be directly saved to the remote end.

    this feature would come in handy when I just need to change small part of an old project, that doesn't need to reside on my local machine.

    when I have some more time I'd like to write a plugin for that ;-)

  • ps Friday, October 21, 2011

    On lots of projects I found all kind of files useless for development (images, temp files, cache, .svn, .etc).

    It would be a nice feature to be able to download only *.php, *.js etc files.

  • Tomas Mysik Friday, October 21, 2011

    @ps: Yes, this is planned.

  • Melon Thursday, November 24, 2011

    I imagine lazy downloading can be handy for some people but I don't imagine myself needing to use that.

    I agree with aeno that editing files remotely is what is most needed, to me this is one of the basic features. I often lauch jEdit when I need to edit something remotely because Netbeans doesn't allow me to do that.

    Also, another important ftp feature would be uploading only changed files to the server (deploying). Either files changed since the last commit or files that were changed between two user selected revisions. Version control systems have the ability to extract changed files so it shouldn't be difficult. Now I have to use external tools to do this.

    What I'm getting at is that while lazy loading is nice there are other much more important ftp features for programmers. I love Netbeans and I appreciate all the effort put to it but I think that FTP support is the weakest part of the program.

  • James Dunmore Monday, January 9, 2012

    @aeno has it spot on.

    I want to work on my remote dev server, I don't want to download locally at all (okay, I understand there is an element of temporary files in this, but like Zend Studio, and other IDE's I want to just work on remote file system). At the moment, I have to use an sftp OS tool to mount the remote system as a drive and access it that way.

  • guest Monday, January 23, 2012

    This is a GREAT GREAT GREAT and very welcomed feature! It takes a million years to fetch big projects, so if a minor fix needed to a big project not open yet, I generally preferred using another editor. Now it's fixed.

    Of course it would be even better to edit remote files (so that each file opened would be the most up to date version, and not a stale one saved on the local machine 5000 years ago).

    In any case, this is a great improvement.

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