Lots of NetBeans Editor Improvements



Lately I got quite excited by the amount of small improvements in the NetBeans editor. It's nice to see that things are moving forward, especially if it's the way you want it to go :-) And there is still a loong way to go, but that's another story.

So what's new in NetBeans 4.1 editor? My favourite pick is hyperlinking. It's this nice thingie you can use for navigation. You can just press CTRL and hover mouse over your source code. It gets underlined and you can jump to the declaration of the elements. Simple and functional.

Now what rules on this is that you can very easily go through your source codes, like if it was a web browser. And if you feel hard core enough, you can walk through JDK sources (works out of box from src.zip). It's interesting to see all those classes like String, there's a lot of history inside.

Another new thing are the back and forward arrows in editor toolbar. The actions were there for years but finally everybody can use it without searching for the shortcut. Works perfectly with hyperlinking.

What else? This is very small improvement but I've missed it... try to click on the line number in status bar of recent NetBeans. You get the go to line dialog. Some people smashed their heads here and asked: Why don't we have it already?

We also have now the error stripe feature. That's this right side stripe which shows you all errors in source code. Not only shows, but you can click on it and it jumps to the error, bookmark, breakpoint, todo, etc. A pity it won't be a part of the release, but it will be available through autoupdate for everybody. So I think I'll have to write many e-mails to people who will ask where is it after release.

There's also a lot of bugfixes for 4.1, the bookmarks are saved over sessions now. So they are actually finally usable. Why to use bookmarks in source codes if after IDE restart they're gone? This was a tough one, but they made it and it works now.

There are many other things going on, I'll post later some info about the new code completion. One colleague is also working on suggestions - a small light bulb which helps you with the code. The other plans look promising, too.
Hyperlinking screenshot Error stripe screenshot
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Roman Strobl

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