Tag Archives: netbeans

My NetBeans 6 Wishlist

I’ve been using NetBeans 6 for a while now. For the most part I like it. I give it a thumbs up overall and at this point I generally prefer it over Eclipse for general web development.

Here, however, is my wishlist:

1. Give me an easier way to find the implementations of a particular interface in my code.  IDEA makes it easy by having a little icon I click on to see a quick list of what implementations the project is aware of for that interface.  The only way I’ve found so far is to hit alt-shift-f12, then select the interface to see the list of implementations.  Pretty much every developer I know codes to interfaces nowadays so this should seem a pretty reasonable request.

2. TestNG integration.  I’ve got a work-around right now but it sure ain’t pretty if I need to debug a test.

3. Better bracket matching in the JSP editor.  I generally write jspx and tagx files so maybe this is just with the JSP XML editor but the jsp:root end tag never lines up with the start tag.  It’s always indented one column.  It’s just strange.

4. Better completion in the JSP editor.  I wasn’t sure I was going to add this but it seems the editor could be better at completing closing tags for me.  I don’t like it to auto-create the closing tag when I start a tag bug when I start to close the tag it should be a little smarter about this.

5. Cut down on the weird errors and warnings.  In one of my entity classes I have a warning that the project does not contain a persistence unit.  What does that mean?  I’m pretty sure it is getting confused and thinks I am running an EJB3 application (I’m not).  This is most likely due to the fact that I am using EJB3 annotations for defining my data model.

6. A better debugging interface.   The debugging interface is just a royal PITA.  It’s completely clunky to navigate local variables and inspect my way through an object graph.

7. Make it easier to debug a web application.  It just seems non-intuitive with the different logging screens that pop-up or are used when you launch your web app in Tomcat (I haven’t tried Glassfish).  It also seems like it launches my application twice.  I’ve seen Spring start itself twice where as it doesn’t do that when I run outside of NetBeans.  IDEA has this streamlined much more.

Overall I am actually pretty happy with NetBeans but these are just things that cause my some slight pain on a day-to-day basis.

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.