NetBeans 4.1 Presentation at

I've created a presentation of new features in NetBeans 4.1 and it got just published on The presentation's length is 30 minutes, so it doesn't go too much into details, but I think it's very good to get an overview on what's new in NetBeans 4.1. Enjoy my speech and demos here:

Choose "NetBeans 4.1: What's New & Improved" from Spotlight Features

The following demos are included:
  • J2EE support
  • Web services development
  • Project system improvements
  • Navigator introduction
  • Editor improvements
  • New J2ME features (thanks to Lukas Hasik who helped!)
I've written before that I would also create a demo of the new and experimental GUI builder, but unfortunately it didn't work out, because the recording tool didn't record the drag&drop operations properly (many operations were not visible), the demo I've created didn't look too good. I'll work on solving this issue and we'll create a demo with the developers, it is agreed to be announced at - please be patient.

I am looking forward to your feedback. If you're a native speaker I will gladly welcome all comments to my pronounciation or other mistakes I might be doing during the speech. I hope to get rid of all of my "czechisms" in my English one day.

really cool! I'm looking forward for the news from javaone (take a lot of pictures ;))

Posted by Lukas on květen 17, 2005 at 02:53 odp. CEST #

Thanks Lukasi, sure, I will take lots of photos. Wish I were a better photographer, I need to train ;-)

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 17, 2005 at 02:57 odp. CEST #

I have tried Netbeans 4.1 it is such a great improvement over previus versions, i was totally blown away. My only BIG problem with it is that it takes 6 times more time to start than Eclipse.On my PC an average of 2minutes, that is way to much time, i can cook 2 pancakes in that time :) It's my pancake/application test (if the program takes more time than a pancake to cook then it is a slow program).

Posted by Daniel MD on květen 19, 2005 at 02:18 dop. CEST #

What's your hardware? I just bought a notebook where the startup takes 8 seconds. But anyway, we know this, NetBeans startup takes time o slower computers. My suggested workaround is not to close NetBeans :-)

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 19, 2005 at 04:53 dop. CEST #

Hello Roman, I think a nice feature in an upcoming version of Netbeans would be a code completion when coding JavaScript in a JSP page.

Posted by guidolx on květen 19, 2005 at 01:07 odp. CEST #

Good suggestion. We also need Javascript syntax coloring. Why don't you file the JS code completion as an enhancement into Issuezilla? Thanks!

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 19, 2005 at 01:30 odp. CEST #

My hardware is a AMD Athlon ~1.6Ghz, 512Mb of RAM, running the latest Tiger 1.5 update 3 jdk/jre. I wonder why it takes so long? eclipse takes about 10secs.

Posted by Daniel MD on květen 19, 2005 at 02:51 odp. CEST #

Oh I forgot can you give me the specs on your Notebook, i would really like to get better times. Also i have tried the Netbeans 4.2 DEV, expecting to see the new GUI maker, hoping it will be like the new Visual Studio Beta 2 C# Gui maker (wich is great), but wend i tries it it simply did not work as expected, I see no improvments there is the code broken ? (I know its DEV)

Posted by Daniel MD on květen 19, 2005 at 02:57 odp. CEST #

Well, my notebook is AMD 64bit 3000+, 512 MB RAM, running also with JDK 1.5.0_03 (which explains the 8 secs probably). I know the Eclipse guys managed to push the startup time a lot down. Actually the startup speed was the first thing I complained about when I came to NetBeans - I know now the performance guys are consistently working on it. We have now lots of new modules including J2EE, whose loading takes some time \*sigh\*.

As far as I know the startup time is a tough tradeoff between how much are things loaded during startup and how much is the IDE responsive (first dialog invocation, etc.). The more things you put into the startup, the more the IDE is responsive when opened. So letting all things to be loaded lazily on request could mean very fast start, but low responsiveness, which would be bad.

The performance team is working hard on keeping the good performance, see: I would also like to see the IDE to start faster - but we're adding so much functionality, thus this is always a battle.

You could probably get better startup by disabling unused modules (which can be a bit tricky because you may disable more than you wanted). Actually it's a great idea for a blog post, I'll try to play with it.

The new GUI maker is not in 4.2 DEV yet - it's developed separately. It will get there after several more months. Stay tuned for 4.2 final to see the it with all features.

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 19, 2005 at 03:32 odp. CEST #

Btw, I've found these switches on the performance website - to be supplied on command line when launching NetBeans or specified in etc/netbeans.conf:
  • -J-Xverify:none - this switch turns off Java bytecode verification, making classloading faster, and eliminating the need for classes to be loaded during startup solely for the purposes of verification. This switch improves startup time, and there is no reason not to use it.
  • -J-Xms32m - this setting tells the Java virtual machine to set its initial heap size to 32 megabytes. By telling the JVM how much memory it should initially allocate for the heap, we save it growing the heap as NetBeans consumes more memory. This switch improves startup time.

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 19, 2005 at 03:51 odp. CEST #

Thanks for the tips, I will use them, and look into the performance site. It would be nice if the IDE got smarter and after 10 sessions started making module startup optimizations. For instance i use it mainly for J2ME development, it would be very COOL if at start up it only loaded modules related with J2ME, and then wend i am coding it loades the other modules in the background. I don't know if this happens allready or if its a planed feature (ON DEMAND Module loading).

Posted by Daniel MD on květen 19, 2005 at 06:23 odp. CEST #

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll ask the performance guys about it.

I just got another idea what may be an issue with the startup. Some anti-virus scanners on Windows platform may be very agressive in taking resources - they could scan every file the IDE touches. I don't know how they do it with jars, but some may be clever enough to unzip them and check everything.

One more idea - where is your IDE installed? I've got two harddrives and from one of them the IDE starts a bit faster.

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 20, 2005 at 01:18 dop. CEST #

I have checked that with the AV(i am using BitDefender, because it is much lighter than norton or mcafee) turned off it is in fact a bit faster. Also i upgraded my video card drivers, and it seems that java aplications are running a bit faster. I have been doing a little tempering with the modules, the longest part of the load is wend it acesses module storage?(whatever that is?). But i have been able to improve startup time by as much as 300%, now it only takes about 40-45secs to load. So PANCAKE test is passed :)

Posted by Daniel MD on květen 20, 2005 at 03:07 dop. CEST #

I've just spoken with Tonda from performance team and he says changing the startup parameters doesn't help - it's better to keep the defaults. See the summary of the startup preformance recommendations in my next post.

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 20, 2005 at 06:55 dop. CEST #

Hi all, I also have issues with the startup time of NetBeans 4.x. In fact, I discovered that this affects all Java programs that are dependent on a number of JARs. It turns out that the anti-virus scanner scans each and every JAR file that is accessed when I launched a Java application. Regards, Eddy

Posted by Eddy Young on květen 20, 2005 at 07:07 dop. CEST #

I have found out that in my antivirus software it's possible to exclude files from scanning based on filter. If you configure this, it should solve the issue.

Posted by Roman Strobl on květen 20, 2005 at 07:11 dop. CEST #

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