Adam Bien's Weblog

Monday Jul 24, 2006

Netbeans 6.0m1 and what can be improved (Part 1)

Roman Strobl asked me about constructive criticism. ...and here it is :-).I installed yesterday the Netbeans 6.0m1 version and found some things, which I do not like:

  • I do not like installers. I've installed several netbeans versions now, and I've still bad feeling about remaining stuff in the registry etc.
    I prefer the eclipse way (just unzip the archive and start the IDE). Perhaps it is also possible to ship Netbeans in similar way?
  • CVS and Subversion are supported in parallel. Nothing wrong with it, but I would like to see an abstraction (e.g. version control). I think both products can be easily abstracted to a common menu item.
  • Is there a way to import a folder with resources as a project? In eclipse there is an easy way to do this. Reason: I need the top level glassfish folder to build the other subprojects .-).
  • It seems like netbeans works in lazy-loading way. So if you are using netbeans the first time, it is slow but becomes faster. I wonder whether it is possible to preinitialize some common dialogs (like options) during the installation phase or even before.
  • I do not like the default setting for storing my projects. I do not like to store my projects under: c:/Document And Settings/...
  • I'm not sure, whether it is a good idea to integrate tomcat with netbeans. I like lean IDE's (this was also a reason why I like Eclipse). From my point of view it should be an option to integrate additional functionality/web support. Perhaps it is a better idea to bundle netbeans with the profiler as default, but not with other web stuff.

...but my other arguments are still valid :-). So I still like it and will work with the netbeans 6.0 m1 in my current.


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Comments:

For the first point you can always use the archive version. I just can't make the installer work on my linux and I always use the zip file.

Posted by ehsavoie on July 24, 2006 at 12:38 PM CEST #

Hi Adam, thanks for your comments. As ehsavoie pointed out you can download a platform-independent zip, unpack it and use it. Both for the IDE and the platform. Notice that in case of Eclipse you have to choose which SWT dlls you want to get (or get all of them in a big download), in NetBeans case it's one archive for all platforms.

We used to have generic versioning support before but it was not very user-friendly due to the fact that it was too generic. We moved to this new approach - and I think it is better. That said we are discussing the menu item naming on our usability team, this might get improved. It's more difficult than it seems (having a generic menu means more sublevels and brings other UI issues).

I do not know what exactly you mean by importing a folder with resources. In some cases creating a project with existing sources might solve that.

As for lazy loading, it's always a compromise. You can choose between speed of startup and reaction speed :) I filed some issues about the speed of options dialog and it's much faster now than it used to be in 5.0beta ...

As for documents & settings... well this is what most software does - it's given by Microsoft. We just follow these rules - in unix/linux it's in the home directory. I guess there could be an option to specify this... on the other hand I don't consider that to be as a problem, because other software uses this (a bit evil) folder.

I think it is a good idea to integrate Tomcat with NetBeans. It makes it much easier to get started with web application development. For many beginners it's hard to figure out how to install Tomcat, configure it and then use it from the IDE. This just works in NetBeans. I know there are discussions about bundling profiler, so stay tuned.

Posted by Roman Strobl on July 24, 2006 at 03:40 PM CEST #

Eshavoie,

O.k. I see. I picked perhaps a default link to the netbeans installation module. Thanks. I will work then with zips or jars in future...

thank you!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on July 27, 2006 at 11:47 AM CEST #

Hi Roumen,

I think you are on vacations?

>As ehsavoie pointed out you can download a platform-independent zip, unpack it and use it. Both for the IDE and the platform. Notice that in case of Eclipse you have to choose which SWT dlls you want to get (or get all of them in a big download), in NetBeans case it's one archive for all platforms.

Perfect. I only found the default installation for windows. In future I will install nb with the archived version.

>We used to have generic versioning support before but it was not very user-friendly due to the fact that it was too generic. We moved to this new approach - and I think it is better. That said we are discussing the menu item naming on our usability team, this might get improved. It's more difficult than it seems (having a generic menu means more sublevels and brings other UI issues).

You are right. But having two top level menues is not very clean. Perhaps it is possible to disable the cvs as default setting...

> I do not know what exactly you mean by importing a folder with resources. In some cases creating a project with existing sources might solve that.

I like to have a project without Java-Sources, but with resources like docs (word specs, UML-models, XML configuration), which are mainained in a version control system.

>As for lazy loading, it's always a compromise. You can choose between speed of startup and reaction speed :) I filed some issues about the speed of options dialog and it's much faster now than it used to be in 5.0beta ...

Yes it is. My idea was only to preload some common functionality.

>As for documents & settings... well this is what most software does - it's given by Microsoft. We just follow these rules - in unix/linux it's in the home directory. I guess there could be an option to specify this... on the other hand I don't consider that to be as a problem, because other software uses this (a bit evil) folder.

The same story in eclipse. But: every developer I know uses another location :-).

>I think it is a good idea to integrate Tomcat with NetBeans. It makes it much easier to get started with web application development. For many beginners it's hard to figure out how to install Tomcat, configure it and then use it from the IDE. This just works in NetBeans. I know there are discussions about bundling profiler, so stay tuned.

The problem what i see: the development environment should be identical to the production. If the server is already shipped with the IDE, it will be hard to fulfil this requirement. I had some problems
in the past with other IDEs (the server inside the IDE was newer, than the server in production).

Posted by Adam Bien on July 27, 2006 at 12:02 PM CEST #

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