An Oracle blog about NetBeans for PHP

Planning features for NetBeans next

We are now planning features for NetBeans 6.9, which will be probably the next version of our IDE. There are tons of things, which  can be done in editors and other areas that are needed for the web development. From the PHP developer point of view we plan mainly improvements in the PHP editor and create a support for Zend Framework and also Cake PHP framework.  

My goal now is to evaluate possible features that can help in the web developer workflow.  I would like to ask you, what could help you to make your web developer life easier. Forget on editor features, debugger or a framework support. These are different areas. 

 I'm mainly interested in features like an integration NetBeans with Firefox - Firebug. For example I use Firebug for "tuning" css and html, because it allows to change the code directly in Firefox and see the result instantly. Unfortunately there is no way how to save these changes back to the sources. If there will be a plugin, which can communicate with NetBeans, then there is bigger chance to save these changes. Sure it can not work in 100% cases, but still can be useful. 

Also I have heard a requirement about refreshing a page in Firefox on save in NetBeans. I'm not sure how much people want this, because in this case there should be a mapping between the URL and the file. Or sometimes our users complain that always new tab is open, when they run project or a file. With such integration it would be possible that NetBeans will be able to work only with one tab in Firefox. Or integrate few features from YSlow directly in NetBeans.  

Another thing is compressing CSS and JavaScript files for production site.  Do you compress CSS and JavaScript files? If yes, how NetBeans could help you with this task?

I don't want to express here everything what is in my head. It would be better to here it from you. What will be useful for you?  Please, mentioned the things, which can significantly simplify the workflow and save your time.

Thanks for your time. 

Join the discussion

Comments ( 61 )
  • ionik Wednesday, November 25, 2009


    I m interested by the compressed of js and css but i use svn for publication so i don't think it s util for me.

    But good idea , a preview for rendering web page it a beautiful idea too ;)


  • Pet Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    "Also I have heard a requirement about refreshing a page in Firefox on save in NetBeans."

    Agree, this would be usefull, having Firefox running on second monitor.

    "only with one tab in Firefox. Or integrate few features from YSlow directly in NetBeans."

    this one is interesting, but what exactly can be done?

    "Another thing is compressing CSS and JavaScript files for production site. Do you compress CSS and JavaScript files? If yes, how NetBeans could help you with this task?"

    Yes, this would be nice feature. Google offers their technology for compressing.

  • James Dunmore Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    I'd be interested in some WSDL features for code generation; both ways - i.e. creating a WSDL file form a class, and creating a class that consumes a WSDL file; although that might be a bit too "IDE" feature and not the out of the box comments you listed.

    Very much looking forward to Zend Framework support.

    Support for Selenium would be great too - built into netbeans (like selenium is built into firefox plugin) and be able to launch and control selenium (to different browsers?!) all from netbeans would be brilliant.

  • ignacio Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    I'd love to see Zend Framework support, I don't know why symfony took its place.

  • Trawka Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Two simple improvements:

    - in HTML editor classes and ids completion (based on project css files)

    - another thing in HTML and CSS - images browser, for example in img tag.

  • Tom Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    JS-compression: what's the point in having another obfuscator/compressor as there are so many around already?

    "For example I use Firebug for "tuning" css and html, because it allows to change the code directly in Firefox and see the result instantly. Unfortunately there is no way how to save these changes back to the sources"

    You are right! This will only work for static CSS files and static HTML files. In fact: this might be a nice addition to Firebug to enable it to save files, where the URL starts with "file://". Firefox users will possibly crown you king for that. But I don't think it is linked to editing PHP files in Netbeans IDE.

    "Also I have heard a requirement about refreshing a page in Firefox on save in NetBeans. I'm not sure how much people want this, because in this case there should be a mapping between the URL and the file."

    Exactly! Usually there is no such mapping. It's a lot of work for little gain. I suggest to drop the idea.

    @James Selenium support is already there. Just check the plug-in repository. However: perhaps Selenium support should be reviewed! The default class name is in Portuguese (?), it doesn't follow the styling rules plus it has a missing unreported dependency to Log4J and presents users with an error message after installation.

    You have to read the Wiki to find out you manually need to install Pear, PHPUnit and Selenium first - it won't do that for you or warn you if you forgot to do so.

    Also: once you set up the Selenium test directory you cannot change the directory anymore. If you selected the wrong directory, you need to create a new project.

  • Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    You may want to talk with Kai Seidler [1]. He and his XAMPP friends have a lot of experience with AMP.


  • Martijn Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Improved XDebug integration would be nice... doesn't really work well at the moment.

  • Stuart Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Regarding the issue of compression. Already it is easy enough to find compressed versions of Javacript libraries. However, something built-in to Netbeans that could compress CSS would be useful to me (example: http://bit.ly/804oB). One thing I often find is that after working on a very large project with a number of developers/designers our various CSS files can get quite large so finding CSS selectors that are not being used would be helpful.

    Additionally, something that could strip out various types of comments would be good (I have my own script that does this but having it built-in would be nice.)

    Also I always want something to let me test/generate Regular Expressions.

    Improve the Nebeans CSS and HTML palletes (they are limited... really Dreamweaver handles this quite well.)


    1. compress CSS

    2. find unused CSS selectors (finding CSS selectors based on selected dom elements would also be nice)

    3. strip comments

    4. regular expression tester/generator

    5. Improved CSS and HTML palletes (see Dreamweaver)

  • Mike Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    I would like to see support for git. Almost all of my projects have moved to git.

    I'd also like to have the code completion come up automatically, not triggered by a key combo.

    Various stability and memory improvements as well for mac - it still doesn't feel as solid as I'd like.

  • Tom Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    @Mike "I'd also like to have the code completion come up automatically, not triggered by a key combo."

    I strongly support this idea! Thumbs up for that.

    BTW: better Smarty support would be great! The existing Smarty editor doesn't work very well. It reports many valid constructs as errors and doesn't highlight the code as expected. Also I would like to be able to add my own modifiers and functions to the auto-completion window.

    "create a support for Zend Framework and also Cake PHP framework."

    Since I don't use those, I currently don't care. I'm running on Yana Framework since several years now.

    Currently I have to write my XML and Smarty files in PSPad all the time, since NetBeans has no working highlighting or code-completion for Smarty and no code-templates for my XML files.

    However: support for Yana could be easily integrated.

    All you need is just a hand full of auto-complete templates for XML files and Smarty.

    I could write those templates and send them to you, if you like.

    This should quite instantly bring the Yana support, which is available in PSPad and ConTEXT, to NetBeans. It's easy to do and would improve my coding experience a lot.

    I also got a list of all currently available Smarty functions and modifiers, including parameters, suitable for code-completion. This list includes standard Smarty functionality and optionally Yana's Smarty extensions alike.

    If you feel like this may help you out with the Smarty editor - just drop me a line and I will send it to you.

    BTW: I also got a PHP script that collects all the current class and function definitions from the PHP manual and generates a fresh file for code-completion any time you want with no need for updating the IDE.

    Again: if you feel that this might be something you want for NetBeans - just drop me a line and I will give it to you.

    (Might need a bit of work though to port it to NetBeans as it was written for ConTEXT and PSPad in the first place.)

    Currently I run this script in a cron-job during our nightly builds. So I always got the latest PHP function list including all the latest PHP extensions.

  • guest Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Full GIT support is needed and SMARTY support, at least syntax highlighting (with configurable delimiters of course). Both are more important as all mentioned above

  • Iván Montes Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Instead of bundling a js/css "compressor" I think it'll be much better to integrate nicely with Ant and Phing, besides PHPUnit.

    Another nice addition would be the support for Phar archives, which would certainly help to make it more popular. PHP really needs to move to phar files, specially now with PHP 5.3 and the bigger framework moving to real namespaces.

    The debug start button should have an option to disable the opening of the browser. Often times I'm already at the correct URL in the browser and just need to tell Netbeans to listen for debugging connections.

    One more thing quite important is to improve xdebug integration. I feel really envious every time I see a Java developer debug in Eclipse (haven't seen them with Netbeans). Most times in web development we might use var_dump() and similar to "debug" but every once in a while having a really powerful debugger makes the difference between fixing a bug in 5 minutes or wasting the whole day with it.

  • Sergio Wednesday, November 25, 2009






    New ideas for the IDE Netbeans PHP

    1) when we make the Debug from FireFox, you must enable it by POST, next page, or all pages.

    Since currently only allows a debug of all the pages you are sailing.

    The idea is to make it function = that the extension of ZEND

    2) Having an option that could be optimized website.

    Which is responsible for optimizing all pages that are on site to remove comments, javascript, css, html, php, compact or compress the code in fewer lines to lower the weight of the.

    3) A complete environment which is already integrated with Apache, PHP, MySQL, Xdebug, all in one package more complete.

    4) Power Wizard-create a profile with a template project, which has the directory structure of how each programmer to have on future projects. and that this project template can be backup for future installations.

    5) Integrate the browser to the Zend Studio IDE and is

    Greetings and this is my ides for the amount for the future Netbeans PHP.


    Nuevas ideas para la IDE

    1) cuando hacemos el Debug desde FireFox, tiene que permitir hacerlo por POST, Pagina siguiente, o todas la pagina.

    Ya que en la actualidad solo permite hacer un debug de todas la paginas que vamos navegando.

    La idea es hacerla que funciones = que la extensión de ZEND

    2) Que tenga una opción que podria ser optimizar website.

    El cual se encarga de optimizar todas la pagina que están en el sitio quitando comentario, javascript, css, html, php, compactar o comprimir el código en menos lineas para bajar el peso de los archivos.

    3) Un entorno completo donde ya este integrado con Apache, PHP, MySQL, XDebug, todo en un solo paquete mas completo.

    4) Poder crear por asistente un perfil con un template de proyecto, donde tiene las estructura de los directorio como trabaja cada programador, para tener en los futuros proyecto. y que esto template de proyectos se puede backup para futuras instalaciones.

    5) Integra el navegado a la IDE como tiene ZEND Studio

    Saludos y esa son mi ides por el monto para el futuro de Netbeans PHP.

  • Sergio Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Support for HTML5

    Smarty Support for 3

    WYSIWYG preview features.

    Integra FrameWork DooPHP, CodeIgniter, TinyMVC, Yii.

    ORM Generation Wizard class.


    Soporte para HTML5

    Soporte para Smarty 3

    Funciones de vista previa WYSIWYG.

    Integra FrameWork DooPHP, Codeigniter, TinyMVC, Yii

    Asistente para generar class ORM.

  • CodigoPHP Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Generating class PHP, CRUD Application from a Database

  • Ido Green Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    0.Debugger + profiler - put xDebug and Facebook open source profiler (http://developers.facebook.com/xhprof/) that give you the options to get memory and not just cpu stats as integral part of netbean for php.

    This is by far to most imprtant feature that no other open source IDE offer php developers.

    1. If you could do something that will take the functionalty of findBug (from java) and will do some bug/security analysis to the php code in netbean it will be great. I know it's not a 'pure' IDE role but still - very important tool that the ide can offer its users.

    2. As you said - take firebug/firephp and bind them to the ide so when u run sites from netbean you can do more things with these tools. For example: save resutls and measure times between executions.

    Thanks for asking us (=developers :)

    Good luck.


  • Hans Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    My top 5 wishes for the next version

    1) Improve performance

    2) Improve scanning performance

    3) Solve the scanning hell once and for ever

    4) Make classpath scanning faster

    5) The scanning should be a lot faster

  • Skyblaze Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    It can be nice also Yii framework support

  • Kristian Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    A fix for the scanning issue would be nice. Hans, have you tried the Scan-on-Deman plugin? Without it NetBeans would be unusable for me.

    I would like to see more focus on making the core editing features more reliable. I'm using the latest dev-version and I am currently experiencing problems the code templates. Sometimes the work sometimes they don't. General code completion (ctrl+space) seems to work a lot better now though.

    I would also like to have an option to quickly change file-encoding, and a way to see if NetBeans is treating af file like UTF8, ANSI or other.

    But I guess these issues all belong in the "general editor features" category and not really what Petr was asking us about :-)

  • Markus Wolff Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Hmm, regarding the Javascript compression, what I'd really love to see is full integration for the Dojo Toolkit.

    With full integration I mean primarily three things:

    \* Have all Dijit and Dojox widgets available in the palette (I can emulate this now via drag-and-drop from the editor, but I won't have a nice settings dialog).

    \* Have code completion for custom Dojo tag attributes

    \* Integrate custom build generation: Either manually choose the packages you want in the build, or have Netbeans analyze which packages are used in the project and then recommend a package list to include. When done, compile a custom build by clicking a button. Oh, the sweetness ;-)

  • Juan Felipe Alvarez Saldarriaga Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Doctrine support please :).

  • Marcos Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    1) Improve performance

    2) Improve scanning performance

    3) Solve the scanning hell once and for ever

    4) Make classpath scanning faster

    5) The scanning should be a lot faster

    NetBeans is a memory hog now! Please fix that!

  • guest Wednesday, November 25, 2009


  • goofy Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Js/css compression: you have some symfony plugins to do that in the "framework side".

    It would be cool to have a new projects tab more symfony oriented in place of files. Something to navigate more quickly between sform, model, module, plugins something like the navigator class but on all the project.

    Another idea: a log viewer with different format like mysql apache symfony …

    And the possibility to have syntax coloration on php in json or json in php and an optionnal possibility to choose yourself your editor like in eclipse (hope it's not a dirty word ;) )

    Include favorites in project, Doctrine query auto completion like for SQL, keymap profile for DVORAK (bépo) users …

    Make an C++ Qt4.5 port … ok ok I'm joking ;)

    Sorry for my english everything is the fault of google translation ;) …

  • Chris Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    One really basic IDE feature is just to be able to right click on a file (or its tab) and select "Open the Containing Folder" of that file!

  • Jeff Dickey Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Fifth (re-re-re-second) the call for better performance. Especially memory usage.

    Rather than support ZF or Yii or Kohana (what I use) or JoeBobsUltimateFramework™ as a standalone feature, how about doing some thinking about what is needed to support ANY PHP framework, publish the spec, and throw a couple of reference implementattions (for the midsize one, I'd guess) into the tin with 6.9? You folks using ZF, I know what level of commitment you've \*had\* to have made to really use it - but can you really see \*any\* third-party supplier of a FREE TOOL investing the resources to support ZF \*properly\*?

    Finally, look at what the other IDEs and editors out there do that get positive feedback on their forums. I keep trying NetBeans and a few other editors every so often, but I keep going back to ActiveState's Komodo. Give me enough reason not to, and then figure out how to turn me from a reasonably-satisfied \*user\* into a satisfied repeat \*customer\*. Your shareholders will \*love\* that.

    Bling like CSS compression should be way, \*WAY\* down your list.

  • guest Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Display full path in title menu. May be optional. I don't understand why it is not implemented. I know there is a hint, but you must move mouse and it is not productive. I just want to quick look at title bar and know what I'm editing right know. index.php is not really informative!!!

  • Mariano López Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    If you want to improve performance just return to Visual Web Pack, with or without woodstock components.

  • Peter Lindqvist Thursday, November 26, 2009

    To me as a backend developer the most important features to be implemented are:



    zend framework


    I'd also like to have:

    file-encoding that can work with mixed encodings in a project (i have to use external editors all the time, thank god for notepad++)

    better profiling and debugging support

    better/smoother performance

  • Denyerec Thursday, November 26, 2009

    - Seeing as how everyone's suggesting their favorite frameworks, how about support for FLOW3 and Fluid ( http://flow3.typo3.org/ )

    - Vastly improved performance

    - CSS colourpicker is trivial but a huge timesaver, TopStyle Pro does it perfectly, allowing autocomplete of recently used colour codes followed by all colourcodes in the document, followed by a "Choose colour" option that throws up a colourpicker that interacts with anything onscreen.

    - Using dark theme with white foreground text renders the "Find instances" pane unreadable due to white-on-beige writing. Again trivial but annoying.

    - "Copy file to network on save". You can have a file automatically FTP'd up on save, but you can't just copy it to another location on your hard disk. When working I will often have to dev from a local folder (SVN checkout) and then copy files over to the webroot to test in the browser. Being able to specify a "local mirror" which will be updated with any changed files on run/save would be very useful. (And no, I can't just move my web root, it's a shared environment...)

    - Conditional breakpoints

    And the big one...

    Full featureset for opened file based on file extension. What do I mean by this? Currently it seems that to get code completion, etc etc, you have to create a project , add the file to it and then open the file. This means I can't use netbeans to make simple modifications to standalone scripts without first creating a project, etc. I use notepad++ if I'm making single or small-scale edits simply because there's no sense creating projects for those thing. If Netbeans could do more when you simply open a single PHP file in it (IE create a simple, memory-based project rather than files on disk, or even temp files with default settings) that would be a huge help.

  • Benjamin Thursday, November 26, 2009

    1. Create a new Class against an existing Interface and create all necesarry methods, like the Getter and Setter Creating Option

    2. Customising the creating of the Getter and Setter Methods

  • torkil Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Zen Coding for HTML and CSS would be awesome. I have found and tested the plugin that is available for Netbeans on OS X, but it was lacking in functionality compared to what Zen Coding CAN do for you.

    Having Zen Coding distributed with Netbeans, and not as a plugin you have to wrestle into Netbeans yourself, would be preferred.

  • gawan Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Hi Petr,

    1. Last days I found "Zen Coding: A Speedy Way To Write HTML/CSS Code" (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/21/zen-coding-a-new-way-to-write-html-code/ - look at screencast). This is excellent idea how to improve HTML coding. Full support for netbeans would be great idea.

    2. Everybody has their excellent, super, great framework ;) It is impossible to made support for all framework. But better could be help PHP developers develop support by self. If you made some tool or "Meta Framework" for PHP developers it would be great. PHP developer will only define some special properties for his framework e.g.:

    - relation between controller and template

    - how looks variable in template

    - list of possible template functions etc.

  • Tom Thursday, November 26, 2009

    @gawan I believe NetBeans already has most of the things needed to make just about any framework work.

    - global include paths

    - code-templates for auto-completion

    Of course as a developer I would love to easily define new file types, write and add my own code-highlighter and functions for code-completion (see editors like PSPad, ConTEXT and others). I haven't done it, because the current way of doing it is crap. (same thing in Eclipse)

    While other code-editors have a generic highlighter that takes just about any syntax file and highlights any user-defined content to whatever the developer wants, NetBeans and Eclipse both don't really have a convenient way to do the same thing.

    However: while I do believe this is highly important, it might not be in the scope of development for the upcoming PHP features of NetBeans, since it's not a PHP feature at all.

    Instead I suggest to merge the code-templates into the auto-completion dialog (instead of always having to type the whole shortcut and push <tab>, which is not convenient).

    This way anybody could add user-defined functions in just about any syntax to the auto-completion dialog and mimic the look and feel of having "real" functions.

    Also the Smarty highlighter might really help people out, since it's the most popular of all available template engines. Even most frameworks rely on Smarty, so this would also please developers of frameworks and writers of Smarty extensions alike.

  • guest Thursday, November 26, 2009

    A Sync-Button in the IDE to sync Projects Web-Directory with the content of the Server would be simple and great!

    When i add a ten files or more to the Source, Netbeans won't copy them to the target. Sure i can copy them by hand or create an ant-file with a copy Target on that, but a simple Sync-Button would be great.

  • S&eacute;bastien Charrier Thursday, November 26, 2009


    Thanks for your great work and for asking us what we need.

    As a CakePHP developper (as all developpers in my company), here is what we need :

    - autocompletion based on Cakephp convetions ($uses, $components, etc ....)

    - SimpleTest unit testing framework support

    - Support of CakePHP console mode


  • sundeveloper sundeveloper Thursday, November 26, 2009

    I'm new as a cakephp developer, i'm using Netbeans IDE for java development and for working with php too, There are a lot of thigs that you can improve in netbeans for supporting cakephp framework, somethig useful like JSF in java, some advanced features to build interfaces with html and css kind of dreamweaver, but useful like netbeans style. As a beginner in cakephp dev, I think you can improve support for conventions, and console tasks even in a visual style like java web development in netbeans.

  • Levente Holl&oacute; Friday, November 27, 2009


    - That would be great if Netbeans could find the unused includes (include(), require()) like in Java.

    - I would love to use Prado framework support in Netbeans. This is really good framework, this has a big community. One year ago, you started to implement this support (http://forums.netbeans.org/topic1202.html) Please, please continue!!!

    - I would like to see a better WSDL support, creating a WSDL form a PHP class, and creating a PHP class from a WSDL file. There are several WSDL generators in the web, like these:


  • PHX Saturday, November 28, 2009

    And what about Nette framework?

  • FY Monday, November 30, 2009

    I'd love to see the IDE load faster, it takes very long to load initially. I'm currently constantly leaving the IDE open for loading other files.

    Also.. what happened to code completion of functions in >= Netbeans 6.7.x ?

    What about allowing users to set Netbeans as the default editor for php, js, html, htm, ... in Windows?

    Copying a filename in the context menu of a file?

    Support for components like in VS + ASP.NET? The components for Netbeans + Java developing are also pretty advanced. Why isn't there anything like that within the Netbeans IDE for PHP? There is basic support for HTML tables.. but this is too basic! :)

    When there is an instance/object of a class.. and the class itself is defined at the bottom of a file.. The code completion for methods within the instance/object doesn't work. I get 'No suggestions..'.


    $myObj = new phpObj();

    $myObj->.. <-- there are no suggestions for methods here..

    class phpObj { method1, 2, 3 .. }

    That's it for now :p

  • Chris Monday, November 30, 2009

    Just a clarification on my early suggestion that you responded to:

    "One really basic IDE feature is just to be able to right click on a file (or its tab) and select 'Open the Containing Folder' of that file!"

    You provided a great valid answer but I wasn't specific enough. I meant being able to open the folder in Explorer (I'm a Windows 7 user). This was really useful in other IDE's I've used so that you don't have to always keep explorer open to do something with the actual file system, or hop to the folder above the code files etc.

  • Alexandre santos Monday, November 30, 2009

    In this moment, i think netbeans is the best ide for php and with these changes will be even better! I stay happy for this.

    Zend Framework and Cake are the most usable frameworks for php.

    parabéns pelo excelente trabalho!

  • Clark Monday, November 30, 2009

    Great to see your interest in feedback. I've been amazed how many people in the PHP community are starting to use Netbeans over Eclipse.

    I don't find much use in css and js compression, as I think this is ideally handled by the server and not the ide (on projects of any size at least).

    I would love to see Zend Framework support. Code completion does a good job already but any tighter level of integration would be a plus.

    I would also back any performance improvements as others have mentioned.

    Clearly some people might prefer having built in functions pop up automatically, it might be a nice option. Please make it an option though, since I'm sure it would hurt performance.

    One thing that I've often wished for was tighter integration with the native file system. Like it would be great if you could right click on a file and have the option of "Open In Finder" (I use a mac).

    Bringing in more refactoring and code generation options would be nice too. I use Java too and really enjoy the code generation for getters and setters, etc.

    Finally it would be REALLY nice to be able to control-click on a method and have it pop up the php doc information (I think javascript does this).

    Hopefully these aren't in 6.8, I haven't used it much just yet.

  • Tatane Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    I used Zend Studio for years and I recently tried Netbeans, I shall not return to Zend!

    The only things I need actually and that was great in Zend are :

    - ftp browser without creating a project and download a local copy of files, just to edit quickly some files on differents ftp ... I tried the only plugin for Netbeans I found, but it's not really functionnal

    - a "duplicate file" action on a right-click to a file in the projet explorer

    - a "root files filter" for download action on a root of a project. If I need to download only a .htaccess file on the root for example, I have to wait that the download script finish to filter only files I need, and if you have a lot of folders and subfolders this could take a while ...

    But really, the most important thing for me is the FTP explorer :)

    Thx a lot


  • James Dempster Wednesday, December 2, 2009
  • thinsoldier Thursday, December 3, 2009

    I'm still trying to convince my boss to give the idea of an IDE a try so my needs are much simpler.

    We use OS X.

    I want the ability to drag a file from Netbeans projects/files window out into the rest of OS X and have it behave like a normal file. (Eclipse can do this)

    The most common usage for this is to drag a file from the editor over to my ftp window to upload the file to the live server. Or to drag it to a network drive to back it up or to drag it to an e-mail window to attach it.


    I want the ability to drag a text file from the desktop to the netbeans icon and have it open without needing to set up a project.

    We have almost 100 old sites going back 10 years that don't need full netbeans projects set up for them. We just need to be able to make quick edits and take advantage of netbeans auto-complete for basic html/javascript/php.

    Maybe the file could create an optional temporary project when you drop it on netbeans icon based on the folder the file is in?


    I want the find and replace text boxes in the Replace window to allow multiple lines. I also want the abiliit to search for line returns or replace things with line returns. I want regular expressions to work across multiple-lines.

    What if I want to find all occurences of 4 blank lines back to back to clean up a file.

    What if I want to change all (li)List item text(/li) into


    list item text


    Netbeans lets me replace LI with LI\\r (carriage return) but then it won's let me find LI\\r.

    Every editor ever made should have a look at the Find/Replace features of BBEdit (OS X).

    Among them: A list of useful regular expressions built into the replace window.

    Ability to save your own regex to the list.

    A list of recently searched for/replaced strings.

    Find & Replace fields are multiple line.

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  • MyBelovedPHP Friday, December 4, 2009

    For CSS and JS compression I use the YUI-compressor.

    I created a small script to run from within Krusader: it writes a minified copy in the same directory.

    It would be nice to have a customizable right click menu in the project or file window. I could then call an external program or script, like open file in external editor or compress script.

    Furthermore I would prefer a feature to save and make shortcuts to replace patterns, like described here:


    Now it's only saved for the session, and gone after restart.

  • Denyerec Friday, December 11, 2009

    Populating the CSS code completion with colours used in the current stylesheet would be a god-send (Most frequently used colour at the top, descending), currently I don't use NetBeans for CSS coding as it's too awkward, the preview window barely ever works, no colour picker that I can easily access etc. Instead I use TopStyle from Bradbury Software, which is definitely worth looking at for CSS Editing inspiration (Their colour picking system basically makes the whole product worthwhile!)

  • Migs Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    For me, the most important feature missing from NetBeans is a ftp/sftp explorer. On a collaborative project, I just can't download the whole code every time I want to edit a file so that I know I'm editing the last version...

  • Markus Monday, December 28, 2009

    It would be great if the editor automatically writes the import or require statements when you use a class or a method which is not declared in the same file.

    And if you have written an import or require statement you should have all the methods and classes available.

    Netbeans should then suggest these methodes and class and constants by auto completion.

  • Bernie Saturday, January 2, 2010

    My favourite is this issue:


    I hope to see it in 6.9 :)

    By the way, thanks for the grat 6.8 release.

  • Brian Egan Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Hello! Thanks for asking about this... Netbeans is a great editor, and I'm happy to see you guys taking it so seriously. 6.8 Rocks my socks off with its tremendous speed gains.

    My workflow recommendations, from the point of a "Front End Developer" (Designer, CSS & HTMLer, OOP JavaScripter, Wordpress/Drupal/etc themer, Dabbler in PHP/Python/Ruby/etc):

    1. Live CSS Preview, just like CSSEdit for Mac (as you mentioned in your article, through a Firefox or perhaps faster Chrome plugin). This speeds up my workflow by a ludicrous amount when doing the CSS portion of my work, especially with dynamic sites (and what sites aren't dynamic these days).

    2. CSS/JavaScript Concatenation + Compression. I oftentimes have a bunch of javascript files I work on that perform different pieces of functionality (javascript framework, autocomplete plugin, cufon, calendar functionality), and want to first concatenate and then compress them together into one, big happy minified file as per the Yahoo Speed Recommendations. Otherwise I'd have to do all this by hand or build and Ant task (which works too).

    3. Image Optimization, like Yahoo Smush it! Smushit! is just a wrapper for imagemagick, pngcrush, and a couple other apps. It would be cool if you could perform image optimization on a file or directory within a project, rather than exporting your images, running smush it, downloading the zip file, and then uncompressing it again into your directory and doing a bunch of renaming.

    4. CSS Sprite Creator. For this one and #2, I would look at "jsLex" from RockStar Apps which is an Eclipse plugin, and does an amazing job at sprite creation and concatenation + compression. For sprite creation, it will merge the selected images together into a composite sprite, and then give you information on the position of each image, going so far as to generate the background-position CSS and HTML (as opposed to measuring out the pixels in photoshop from a sprite you create yourself). If one of the images changes, you can regenerate the master sprite quickly and easily (not so fun to do by hand). This has been a huge time saver for me, and is one of the remaining reasons I open up Eclipse. If you could combine the sprite creator with a super good image optimization tool, I would be in heaven.

    5. Being able to group CSS properties in the nav would be sweet as well (refer to CSSEdit's @group). Might not be as workflow related, though.

    These are my wishes! Thanks for taking the time to ask and for making such a badass product.

  • Ralph Meier Wednesday, January 6, 2010


    I would like to see like FY mentioned a better code completion for working with objects.

    - If i first create an object and after that i define a class -> I get 'No suggestions..'

    - If i have some class files and i create an object in another file, it often get 'No suggestions..'

    - If i want to access a method from an object in an object - for example $test->getMyChildObject->getAChildFunction - i get 'No suggestions..'

    - If i put an object in a session variable - for example $_SESSION['test']->getMyChildObject would be nice if then the code completion activates


    Better refactoring options would also be nice!

    sorry for my english :-)

  • Jitendra Kumar Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    CONTEXT MENU in Projects window could be improved.

    Two notepad++ features, which I miss here, are:

    1. when I right click on a file, context menu pops up. In this menu there should be one item called 'standard menu', which would be windows context menu.

    I miss this feature because in my windows context menu, i've 'open command prompt here'. Which is really handy for scripts and related tasks.

    2. As it has been earlier mentioned, option 'open containing folder' is missing in context menu.

  • Joseph Dobson Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Yii framework support would be awesome.

    Thank you NetBeans team for your great work (NetBeans user since V4.1)

  • Rich Whiting Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    I recommend support for Zen Coding. This would add remarkable additional efficiency to what is already a great tool.

  • Imran Sunday, September 12, 2010

    It's a shame that an IDE like Netbeans doesn't have full zen-coding support. Please, help us increase our productivity.

  • Timothy Tocci Thursday, September 30, 2010

    One feature I would really like to see is some kind of graphical code explorer for PHP similar to nwire. I use Netbeans to code my PHP more than anything else and once in awhile I find myself yearning for a code explorer/sniffer to examine larger code sets.

  • Chris Thursday, May 19, 2011
    I love Netbeans, but find the find/replace function very primitive. I use it a lot in my work, so good find/replace saves me a LOT of time. Please please please consider the following upgrades to the find/replace function:
    1. Pick up return carriages on copy/paste. Doing extra work with regular expression is annoying and unnecessary, and still doesn't work most of the time. Again, I do a LOT of find/replace in my work, and this makes a huge difference in my time.
    2. Make the find/replace a textarea rather than an input so I can work with multiple lines.
    3. Make find/replace actually look in the text of multiple documents and not just the names of documents.
    If these are already in place and I'm simply ignorant of them, help a brutha out!
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