My NetBeans Experience (part 1)

This will end up being a multi-part posting since I’m still evaluating NetBeans but my experience this morning has me really wondering if I can use it.  But not for the reasons you might expect.  NetBeans itself has been fine for me.  It’s a little weird to use their ant build if you have a build.xml as well but that’s another story.  Does anyone know if there is a way to show more than one row of files that you have open at the top?  It’s key bindings aren’t very friendly to Mac laptop keyboards also but those can be remapped pretty easily.

Anyways, on to important things.  I like to unit test my code.  I like unit tests, integration tests, etc.  And I like to use TestNG over JUnit4.  Why?  Because I can not stand the fact that JUnit4 requires your @BeforeClass and @AfterClass methods to be static.  There are other reasons as well but it just feels so awkward to have that requirement.  Anyway, the reason that impacts me with NetBeans is that there is not currently a TestNG plugin for NetBeans.  I want a way to easily start a test run with the debugger attached already.  Normally I don’t do this very often but this morning I needed to and I realized I can’t do that!  Of course you can find a way but that’s not really the point.  It’s a huge time savings to make this easy.  But I don’t like NetBeans more to justify the time actually build it myself.  Has anyone else out there started one?  I’ll help if you need some help, though.

The NetBeans editor is pretty good now.  I still think IDEA is better, though.  Part of that is just habit I think, though, since most of the features I use a lot in IDEA are now available in NetBeans.  So far it seems extremely stable in my use.  It’s easier and simpler to understand the file/project navigation than in Eclipse, also.  The built-in profiler has been awesome for me so far as well.  It has the font anti-aliasing now, too.  Well, maybe that’s just the Mac thing kicking in…not sure.

I do wish they did an auto-import like IDEA has.  Their import dialog can get a little overwhelming if you copy in a chunk of code and need a lot of imports resolved.  It’s easy to not realize you need to scroll down to verify more.  I think IDEA does this better going from one import to the next that it can’t automatically determine which instance of a type you are attempting to resolve .  IDEA’s ant editor seems better as well.

More to come another day.

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