Friday Dec 05, 2008

Improved handling of file templates in NetBeans 7.0

NetBeans allows IDE users (or users of application built of top of NetBeans RCP) to use predefined templates of files for creating standard files (e.g. Java classes, Swing forms, Configurations etc.). Besides this, users would like to save own files as a template for further usage or customize predefined templates to their taste.

During recent NetBeans releases we got a lot of feedback about file templates handling, unluckily many of them were bug reports or other complaints. A pretty good summary did Petr Pisl in his blog http://blogs.sun.com/netbeansphp/entry/how_to_manage_templates_in. On base of that, on bug reports and using RFEs is Issuezilla I created a wikipage FileTemplatesOpenIssues where I did a evaluation of troubles in file templates handling and link up problems with corresponding issues in Issuezilla.

So, and now some better news :-) I've been aimed to fix some of them in current development phase of next NetBeans 7.0 release. Many of problem should be fixed in Milestone1 of NB7.0 which is coming soon - accorning to NetBeans70 plan.

In detail, which parts will be better:

  • newly created templates, or templates which come from Save as template action, have now attached a script engine, usually the Freemarker, for processing content of such templates,
  • there is a better support for customizing display names of templates,
  • template categories in Tools|Templates are sorted for easily navigating,
  • users now can customize of template properties in Tools|Templates dialog.
If you are interested in this area, wait for upcoming Milestone1 and review it. It should work much better I believe. Anyway, thanks for your feedback in advance.
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