Tuesday, 15 April 2008

NetBeans 6.1

NetBeans 6.1 RC1

I have been playing (coding) with NetBeans for 1 month now; using the latest 6.1 builds, up the latest release candidate.

I think they have delivered a very good tool.. but there are still a few things that annoy me (may be because I do not know how to configure it .. too many years using Eclipse):

• People praise the editor, but compared to Eclipse, it is still slower, and a bit clumsy.
• Completion does not always work. Sometimes you have to stop, delete and re-type the field, method or property followed by dot (CTRL-SPACE does not always work)
• In “Projects”, I’d still you like to have the possibility to see non-source folders (without having the need to go to “Files”
• When I project is closed, I would still like to be able to see it… and not disappear from the “Projects” view.
• When creating groups, it is not explicit in the “Projects” view, which projects belong to which groups. I think we need another level (another node) in the display tree.
• When there are several projects, belonging to the same group, the IDE does not recompile the dependencies properly. You have to explicitly recompile the project.
• The tags for the Java files nodes in the “Projects” view are not always in sync with the editor: you can have a valid Java source file, but the file is tagged as red, you have to explicitly recompile (clean and build) for the red tag to disappear.
• I need a Perforce plug-in for NetBeans, is there any?
• By default, the fonts are too big. NetBeans looks clumsy, big (margins too wide, etc.) there is a sense of space being wasted on the GUI.
• I am not really keen on the views Output, Usages, Search Results… I think they should be proper tabbed panes if you have them together.
• Something that really does not look professional (compared to Eclipse) is the result of compilation when there are errors. Eclipse displays them in a nice table, where you can set up the warning level, etc. NetBeans just uses a JTextArea of some sort that looks ugly!
• NetBeans do not handle Generics very well. Part of the previous point would be to allow warning in a table a la Eclipse.

I am starting to like the IDE. A lot of work has been put into it, and they shall not rest until it is perfect ;-)

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