Who knows how many more chances I’ll have to talk about Sun tech that I like? In the five years I’ve been here I’ve been pleased by OpenSolaris and Fishworks and HotSpot and GlassFish and others, but NetBeans is #1 in my heart. I just downloaded 6.7 RC3 a couple of days ago to try to fix a problem (it didn’t, but the problem was amusing) and it’s really good stuff. Generally nice, and with one absolutely life-changing new feature.
Obviously I’ve squashed the screengrab vertically so it plays better in the blog. When you see the NetBeans guys pitching, they always have the IDE set up festooned with lotsa little windows. It seems to me that it’s the code that matters, so I simplify and run things as you see above. Except for, when I’m working without a big outboard screen I move the test-results panes at the bottom to beside the code not below it.
I use the “Projects” and “Navigator” windows all the time, but they pop into view when you wave the mouse at those little tabs in the left margin.
What I Like · In general I like all the little UI tweaks, especially the soft-grey chrome that puts the focus squarely where it should be, on the code. Aside from that, there isn’t much else that’s dramatically different. It feels insanely fast, but I bet that’s related to having swapped in a new MacBook and Java 6 since my last coding binge. Given that my basic MacBook is kind of entry-level these days, I can safely say that for most people, NetBeans is really very damn fast.
Ahem. As I have been specifically requesting since 2004, and as you can see in the lower left window, NetBeans has a green your-tests-pass bar!!! Oh frabjous day! Be still my beating heart! I shall have to send a bottle of nice champagne to someone in Prague.
Issues · Just a couple of little ones. First, there’s a bug where some things don’t work properly if you’re not running Java 6. So run Java 6 already.
Second, a feature that entered NetBeans’ Ruby support some releases
back just bit me. As in any IDE, there’s a keystroke that says “Run all
my tests”. Except for it suddenly mysteriously stopped working. Sure, it
changed to the root directory and ran a weird-looking Ruby command,
but completely ignored my vanilla
Test::Unit setup in
The best part of a day’s yak shaving later, I discovered that if NetBeans
Rakefile in your project root, it concludes that when you
say “Test the project” you mean
rake test. Which
would be a sound conclusion except when one of your co-workers has quietly
dropped in a
Rakefile that does some
hoe magic to
craft a gem just so, but doesn’t have a