IDEA-9 -- Strong reasons to upgrade from IDEA-8?

I am a relatively new user (< 1 year) of IDEA and have used IDEA-7 and IDEA-8.1. So far the experience has been fantastic. Wild horses couldn't drag me back to Eclipse. From what I've read about Maia (IDEA-9) so far, I haven't seen any compelling reason to upgrade from a Java or Groovy/Grails point of view.


Am I wrong about this? If yes, what are the huge, new productivity benefits that are worthwhile for me to upgrade to IDEA-9? Note that my main platform is agile Java (Java 6, Spring, Hibernate/JPA, web-services, ActiveMQ, etc.). I also use Groovy/Grails from time to time. It's unlikely that I'll be using JEE 6. I use Ubuntu 9.04 exclusively - both at work and home.


Thanks very much.

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in fact you cannot upgrade to IDEA-9 now, you will be able to after it'll be out

in current 9's EAPs there are some appetizing features like auto-folding of generic parameters and easy class exclusion from auto-import
i hope there will be more
do you have in mind some good features IDEA lacking in? Then you could file a feature request in IDEA's JIRA

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I have to say that I wondered the same - and I am using IDEA since version 4.0 (IIRC).
IMHO the enhancement on the core Java side are too little and too few.
Of course if you do Java EE 6, or Ruby or any of the other newly supported
technologies it's great.

However for me it needn't be any huge, new productivity benefits, but I'd love to see
lots of small enhancements and bug fixes.

Viraf Karai wrote:

I am a relatively new user (< 1 year) of IDEA and have used IDEA-7 and IDEA-8.1. So far the experience has been fantastic. Wild horses couldn't drag me back to Eclipse. From what I've read about Maia (IDEA-9) so far, I haven't seen any compelling reason to upgrade from a Java or Groovy/Grails point
of view.


Am I wrong about this? If yes, what are the huge, new productivity benefits that are worthwhile for me to upgrade to IDEA-9? Note that my main platform is agile Java (Java 6, Spring, Hibernate/JPA, web-services, ActiveMQ, etc.). I also use Groovy/Grails from time to time. It's unlikely that I'll be
using JEE 6. I use Ubuntu 9.04 exclusively - both at work and home.



Thanks very much.

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Original message URL: http://www.jetbrains.net/devnet/message/5242032#5242032

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The early access release of IntelliJ IDEA 9 already has several new features which I miss very much every time I use version 8.1.3. Currently IDEA is so large it is probably impossible to use all its features and any new features are useful for only a subset of developers. For example I, being a mainly plain Java developer, have never used the J2EE stuff or any of the app server integrations. But while there are many new features I will never use, I think version 9 will be at least as compelling an upgrade as 8 was.

Great new features:
* Background indexing. It is now possible to work in one project while IDEA is indexing another, or do simple things which do not require the index while a project is being indexed.
* Built in tab switcher. Basically the TabSwitch plugin built in and you can quickly switch between open tool windows too
* Spell checker. Although currently it does not know many common development words, it still found several typos in my code.
* On the fly unused symbol inspection. Sounds small, but has a larger impact than you would think.

Stuff that is nice, but I would miss less:
* Open a file with drag and drop from the explorer/finder
* Revert/Rollback changes in background. No modal dialog (I am not very sure this is new in 9)
* Several new inspections
* Left key moves cursor to the start of the selection, Right moves cursor the end of the selection. The Lysosome plugin provided this functionality for previous versions of IDEA.

Also I am sure there is more new stuff which I have not noticed or used yet and I imagine some more new features will be added before the final release.

Bas

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Bas Leijdekkers schrieb:

Great new features:


  • On the fly unused symbol inspection. Sounds small, but has a larger impact than you would think.


I absolutely support this - it helps much more than you might think and is in fact a huge LOC-saver, at least on larger
and "not 100% clean" projects!



Bas

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Original message URL: http://www.jetbrains.net/devnet/message/5242096#5242096


kind regards,

Messi

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BasLeijdekkers wrote:
Great new features:
* Built in tab switcher. Basically the TabSwitch plugin built in and you can quickly switch between open tool windows too


Hi Bas,

Nice new feature. Are there any controls on the Switcher? It might be nice to have it start on the tools windows side if your focus is a tool window. Might be nice to have it cycle between the groups, files and the tool windows, when tabbing through the end of a group.

Thanks,
Jon

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Interesting, do you think you most often want to switch to a different tool window when you have focus already in the tool window? I think I mostly just want to switch back to an editor.
The switcher already cycles between tool windows and editor tabs.

Bas

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Just remembered another nice small new feature that I like:
Rectangular selection without the need to enable Column Mode. Alt+Left Mouse Button Drag creates a rectangular selection in Maia.
This feature deserves a Tip of the Day in my opinion.

Bas

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On my mac, ctrl+tab with repeated tabs or shift-tabs keeps rotating repeatedly through in the file group. I have to hit the left arrow key to move over to the tool window. You are likely right that I wouldn't most often want to go to another tool window.

Jon

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That was changed, probably in a later build than is available via the EAP. See also the comments of the blog post about the Switcher: http://blogs.jetbrains.com/idea/2009/07/ctrltab-switcher-in-maia/

Bas

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+1 ... thanks for that tip Bas, I didn't know about it.

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This is all nice, but so much of the core Java features are not yet polished, could be extended and more importantly have bugs and usability problems.
How about being able to quickly attach sources after the debugger took you to the decompiled class of a library?
How about an option to align code properly (for example variable types, names, and initializations in a sequence of declaration lines)?
How about fixing that damn bug that makes me corrupt my editor content because when typing fast keystrokes meant for the goto class/file popup go to the editor instead?
How about making it possible to click on the correct icons in the crowded gutter without the help of a screen magnifier?
How about fixing blue checkmarks on blue background in checkboxes all over several settings?
How about proper integration of the native desktop features (like opening a file (like pdf or doc) in the system specific application)?
How about getting rid of all the little performance problems? (5 seconds for initially opening the settings?!)
How about making it possible to see one source file on my primary monitor and another one on the secondary monitor?
How about implementing real background compilation?
How about some kind of assistant that helps me split a long method by refactor-extracting sensible code parts to new methods?
How about all the bugs sitting in Jira for ages?

I could go on for many pages more, but I hope you get the idea.

I suspect that many of the long term IDEA users have gotten so used to IDEA that lots of problems are just not visible any more.

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This thread was about reasons to upgrade to IntelliJ IDEA 9 when it is released.
For any features you would like to see implemented or bugs you would like to see fixed, the answer is: lobby for those you think are not getting enough attention and want most to see fixed or implemented (and include links to JIRA).

Perhaps you have been using IntelliJ IDEA for so long you do not see the good things any more?;)

Bas

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You are definitely right in saying that I simply got used to all the good stuff in IDEA - I only need to be forced to use Eclipse for a while to get reminded ;-)

IMHO I was still on topic: To me the biggest reason to upgrade would be a rock-solid product with improved usability.

All the issues were just samples. I just had a look: Over the years I reported nearly 900 issues and commented on lots more, so yeah, I do lobby for fixing issues.

Recently many issues have just no gotten much attention from JetBrains. I rather see lots of work going on for Ruby, Groovy, Python, Scala, and lots of Frameworks I don't use.

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I just want to add that some of my my issues even recently had really been fixed very quickly with dedicated effort of JetBrains' developers.

I am grateful for that and don't want to sound to negatively. It is more the general roadmap and emphasis that I wanted to comment on.
For example the performance and stability changes in between 8.0 and 8.1 were more important to me than the features that got implemented in 8.0.

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Since no one else has mentioned it, I'd like to add that the task-based stuff being added to 9 is a strong reason.   Being able to declare that I'm working on a specific task, link a JIRA issue, and have stuff like editor tabs and breakpoints bound to that task makes for a very clean and easy workflow.  

That said, I officially have no idea what the good people at JetBrains are going to for IDEA 10.  I got out of the plugin business largely because it was getting harder and harder to think of ways to make IDEA better.

--Dave Griffith

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