I just shifted to the Beta 2, which is nice because I’d been running the nightlies to get around an irritating little bug, and that’s kind of living dangerously. Herewith a progress report, a practical warning about a CVS gotcha, and a predictable gripe. If you’re interested in this stuff I’ve written about it lots. [Update: Dave Johnson offers some slightly-tougher love.]
The bug in Beta 1 was that “step over” was broken in the debugger, and given the way that Java apps are built, you can do “step into” for a long long time and you’re like Alice and the Queen, running like mad to stay in the same place. But that isn’t the ugliest bug story; one day I downloaded a nightly and due to some Website breakage, got this weird-looking directory with nothing obvious to run; it turned out to be the Windows version. Now that’s how to make a Mac-head mad.
In General · The big picture is good. NetBeans is awfully pleasing to the eye, and everything I try to do gets done pretty smoothly. There’s all these new refactorings, not one of which I’ve used. It’s plenty fast enough, with the occasional pause for garbage-collection.
The biggest deal for me is that the intermittent-loss-of-focus bug that was was the #1 productivity-sink in previous releases has been mostly beaten back, I kind of think I’ve seen it once in recent days but can’t be 100% sure, to be honest. A big thank-you on that one to the Prague team.
CVS Gotcha · I’ve been using the CVS facilities just about every day and, near as I can tell, It Just Works. The NetBeans team loves icons to a fault, and there are a bunch of new CVS-related icons that now hang off your project files and folders, I dunno what they mean, then again the meaning of half the NetBeans icons escapes me; but they don’t get in the way.
Except for, I got in trouble. I’ve been working on both my Mac and my Ultra 20, and when I updated my project on one of them it reported a bunch of conflicts on one file. I looked and realized that file was horribly out of date and wrong, the one in CVS was what I wanted. In my previous command-line life, what I’d do would be just remove the obsolete file and then re-check it out. So I deleted it in NetBeans, and that is the Wrong Thing To Do. NetBeans didn’t seem to want to check it out again, and when I did a commit, I saw to my horror that it was going to get deleted from the repository. NetBeans had decided, apparently, that when I deleted it, that meant that I wanted it, you know, deleted.
So I dropped back to the command-line, but, remember how I worried in an earlier CVS write-up that having all the command-line mechanics hidden means you might forget them? It’s happened, and I couldn’t figure out how to check out just this one file. So I poked around and eventually discovered that the CVS menu has this handy “Revert modifications” button that I just hadn’t taken time to look at. Sigh.
Green Bar Dammit! · That’s right, there’s still no swelling green bar to reward me for running my JUnit tests. Sob whine complain gripe mutter.
Bottom Line · The other day I had no meetings and I really got into a groove, and was feeling kind of wasted when dinnertime came around, and I realized that I’d ground out a cluster of classes totalling 457 lines (tedious housekeeping stuff; byte-packing and unpacking), and written unit tests and most of them were passing. After dinner I fixed the ones that weren’t.
That’s what an IDE is supposed to do.
By the way, I submitted a paper on this stuff I’ve been working on the last year-and-a-half to Java One, and it probably won’t get accepted because hey, it’s nowhere near being in production. But one way or another I’ll have to decloak.