Tuesday Jun 03, 2008

How do you like balloon-like tooltip?

NetBeans IDE regularly checks for available updates of your IDE's installed plugins. Since NetBeans 6.0 IDE the NetBeans team delivering patches almost monthly and it makes alerting users about new updates more important than ever.

On this account Stan introduced balloon-like tooltip in NetBeans 6.1 IDE. The balloon will notify IDE users about available updates in the IDE status line if some updates found. Like this

The balloon is showing for 30 seconds when Plugin Manager found available updates. Or an user can invoke it like tooltip on mouse over the update icon .

Some users (most of IDE users I believe) like this balloon and some don't. I got some feedback on NetBeans 6.1 IDE and did a little change for NetBeans 6.5 IDE:

  • balloon acts more as tooltip. If it shows on mouse event, it will close quickly on mouse exit.
  • balloon is showing only when Plugin Manager connects Update Centers and not while working over caches
  • power users can customize appearance of balloon by new options: FaqPluginManagerCustomization
  • beside this Stan have also changed UI of balloon a bit.

What about you? How do you like the balloon stuff? Thank you for feedback

Friday Apr 25, 2008

How to customize Plugin Manager to your needs?

UI of NetBeans Plugin Manager (Tools|Plugins in NetBeans6 menu item) was designed for a long time and then tunned a bit to fit all objectives:

  • to be high focused to major use-cases
  • to be understandable
  • simplicity
  • and smoothness of user work flow.

I believe it will meet most of users needs however it couldn't cover any imaginable requirement. On this account there are a few options what might be useful for developers using NetBeans platform. I summarized these possibilities at http://wiki.netbeans.org/FaqPluginManagerCustomization. Such as to make Plugin Manager showing all modules regardless of its visibility flag or to show plugin code name in plugin's details.

Have fun! 

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