why 6.0?

Hello Jetbrains,

I use IDEA since 2.X. Every time a new version was published i was happy and excited: New features more more IDE-intelligence which made Java-Programming (and not J2EE) a real fun for me.

This morning i installed 6.0beta. At first sight anything seemed to be as usual. Only the IDE settings dialog (using classic layout) look much worse than before because of the ugly tree-node. On the positive side only the Run configuration dialog is much better now.

So i looked over the "new features" list at jetbrains.com.

  • Java EE & Web Development: As already said i want to have a Java IDE to implement java programs. Otherwise i would buy a web development editor. Completly useless for me.

  • Better GUI designer: Maybe nice, but GUI design takes at the most 10% of my time (the rest is about functionality)


*Code Coverage: I do not need that. For sure i use Unit-tests but not in a test-first driven way.

*Team Work Facilitation:
- IDE talk: Are you cheating me: Which company does cares about phone bills?
- Send stacktrace with direct links to underlying source code: Why? Idea generates these links automatically when using "Analyze stacktrace". A simple mail with the stack-trace is enough!
- unified ui for vcs: Who cares? I use subversion so this does not matter at all.
- Sharing run configurations: The only thing here which seems to interesting. How often do you need this? For me it would be sufficient if i could export or import Run configurations to/from files.

*Numerous Productivity & Editing Features
- JUnit4 support: No question, this is a real new feature for Java IDE like Idea
- Project-wide error-highlighting: nice
- Navigation bar: Maybe I am too old for such new things, but what's better now? Before i just used Alt-Home to move the focus into the project view (By the way: Why have you changed this shortcut)
- Searcheable Settings dialog: not new, but nice


.... great. Junit4 support, an improved GUI editor and searchable settings. From the point a a pure java developer this is not too much motivation to spent 200 bucks. What's missing (and too some part promised since ages)

- dockable code editors
- better dual screen support
- a better debugger (see watches and frames at the same time)
- project specific file templates

IDEA is still the best IDE available, but 6.0 seems to be not a too big step (at least for me)

Best regards,
watzlaw

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Hello watzlaw,

Just wanted to remark on one item:

w> - unified ui for vcs: Who cares? I use subversion so this does not
w> matter at all.

In fact it does. The new Changes view provides a very convenient way to track
your modified files and divide your work in multiple changelists. This is
as new for Subversion as for other VCSes.

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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Why spending 200 Bucks ?

In order to keep the best IDE we know of alive !

Since everything becomes "Eclipsified" today just because it's free (but less productive), it is important that we developers sacrifice some investment inorder to keep competition alive and have the choice in the future.

Since IntelliJ 4.5, I always had the impression that IntelliJ's improvements were more incremental than sensational, but each release had its points, which made the upgrade worthwhile. Many of the improvements are in fine detail and that is often the main reason why I feel more comfort using IntelliJ vs. Eclipse, which has - considering the addition of MyEclipse - nominally the same or even more functionality.

Personally, I would love to see more integrated framework support on a coding basis, for Hibernate, Spring etc.. The Hibero Plugin does not work with IntelliJ 6 yet and it alone costs as much as MyEclipse.

On the other hand, there are many nice Plugins like JFormDesigner (which is still better that IDEA's own designer, I wish it had binding support), SQL Query Plugin, Color Browser, IntelliTail, Dilbert ;) etc. which I feel are better integrated than similar stuff in Eclipse.

Possibly for pure JSE-Developers there isn't much new to consider, but the overall improvements are worthwhile. All the stuff, you mentioned on your wishlist, would be of no use for me, but better web development capabilities are the main benefits we get from the last two releases (especially JavaScript support).

Kind regards

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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I think you're selling code coverage short. I've been using it long before anyone even heard of test-first, and it can be an incredibly powerful tool for code quality no matter what the methodology. IDEA's integration makes it almost effortless to use. I strongly suggest giving it a try.

The Changes toolwindow is also very nice, although you can certainly be forgiven for missing it (since it's so incredibly well hidden, gripe, gripe).

For the UI designer, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the productivity bump it gives. Form inspections simply rule, making it trivial to enforce a lot of picky UI issues that are usually missed until QA goes over 'em with a checklist.

(The biggest non-JEE win is the TeamCity stuff, but I you really need to give that a serious try to see why.)

--Dave Griffith

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He is selling a lot more than code coverage short (for example, all the J2EE stuff - web development editor - huh?)

I think you can interpret his comments as a general dissatisfaction with the leap in functional from 5 to 6. I think that's a reasonable observation but an unreasonable complaint.

IDEA is a mature product. Has it gets better it gets harder to make a it a lot better. But that doesn't make it less great nor does it indicate a deminished effort on JetBrain's part. If anything buildilng on a mature product without bloating it is harder then adding features that are clearly missing from a early version of a product.

It doesn't mean you should stop paying for upgrades. Some upgrades might be worth more to you]]> then others, but you are also paying for sustaining the overall effort over time. I think that's definitely worth it.

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Hello Dave,

DG> The Changes toolwindow is also very nice, although you can certainly
DG> be forgiven for missing it (since it's so incredibly well hidden,
DG> gripe, gripe).

Suggestions to make this more visible in an unobtusive way are welcome.

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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Hello Thomas,

T> Plugins like JFormDesigner
T> (which is still better that IDEA's own designer, I wish it had
T> binding support)

Are there any specific points you can make?

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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Hi Dmitry,

Dmitry Jemerov wrote:

Hello Dave,

DG> The Changes toolwindow is also very nice, although you can certainly
DG> be forgiven for missing it (since it's so incredibly well hidden,
DG> gripe, gripe).

Suggestions to make this more visible in an unobtusive way are welcome.


Select Target for the Changes tool window would be useful. And a way to
easily add/move a file to a change list would be nice too. I imagine
this to be like the Add to Favorites functionality, available from the
editor, search results, etcetera.
http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/IDEA-8222
Both these features would help make the Changes tool window more visible
from other parts of the UI.

Bas

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Hello Bas,

BL> Select Target for the Changes tool window would be useful.

JIRA request please?

BL> And a way to
BL> easily add/move a file to a change list would be nice too. I imagine
BL> this to be like the Add to Favorites functionality, available from the
BL> editor, search results, etcetera.
BL> http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/IDEA-8222

Agreed. I'll try to implement both of those in 6.0.

Thanks for your feedback!

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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Just a "Show Pending Changes" main menu item under "Version Control" would go a long way to easing the visibility issue. I like Bas's right-click ideas as well.

--Dave Griffith

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Hello Dmitry,

Dmitry Jemerov wrote:

BL> Select Target for the Changes tool window would be useful.

JIRA request please?


Here you are:
http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/IDEA-8900

Bas

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100% ack,
I'm a 'pure' Java developer, not doing J2EE, no Teamwork and I'm not
doing JUnit Tests.
I don't have found a single feature in the beta that really gives me
more productivity.
(That does not mean that for other developers there will be no gain, too)

mfg
Carsten

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On 2006-08-17 06:25:48 -0300, Dmitry Jemerov <yole@jetbrains.com> said:

w> - unified ui for vcs: Who cares? I use subversion so this does not
w> matter at all.

In fact it does. The new Changes view provides a very convenient way to
track your modified files and divide your work in multiple changelists.
This is as new for Subversion as for other VCSes.


I want to join Dmitry here: the new VCS UI matters, a lot. Even if you
use only subversion, the changes view and the ability to create many
changelists is a huge improvement. Here were I work we're using a mix
of subversion and cvs, and the way idea groups both is a great
timesaver.

While I'm still deciding on whether I'll upgrade to 6.0 or not, the new
VCS improvements is the new feature that would make me regret not
updating.

-- Marcus


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+10

Marcus Brito wrote:

While I'm still deciding on whether I'll upgrade to 6.0 or not, the new
VCS improvements is the new feature that would make me regret not
updating.

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Hi Dimitry

It is difficult to sum up everything, which leads me to my conclusion, but here are some points:

First we bought JFormDesigner as a standalone product and were happy to see, that Mr. Tauber also choose to provide a IntelliJ plug-in and not only to serve the Eclipse world.

Why did we buy JFormDesigner? Because I could never find a path to use the old IntelliJ GUI designer effectively within a short time - and JFormDesigner as a standalone product proved to be an excellent tool for rapid GUI prototyping to be used in concept documents. (With IDEA you have to set up a whole project). The other reason was that the usage of JFormDesigner was easy to grasp within a few moments, whereas the usage an philosophy of IntelliJ's designer was not. That said, I may be a little biased.

Though the new designer has a lot of improvements (support of more layout managers), I still think that the previous observations are still in part viable.

For example the palette of JFormDesigner (JFD) is much better organized (no tree, comprehensible divisions). Defaults for starters are better chosen. Example: I try to design the same form with IntelliJ and JFD: I place a tabsheet on a form using FormLayout. JFD presents a dialog, on which I can specify a lot of parameters initially (like no of rows, cols, class to inherit from, button bar, gaps between rows and cols.
I add a tabbedpane to the form and it is where I want it, at the top of the dialog.
Then I add a panel to the tabbedsheet and JFD presents a dialog to choose the LayoutManager, no rows and cols, default gaps. Pretty straight forward.

Now IntelliJ: I create a GUI form: it lets me only specify the LayoutManager. Then I put a tabbedsheet onto the new form -> result: the tabbedsheet appears in the center. Huuh?
So, what should I do to put it on top? Moving produces a strange result. Looking at the property sheet: may be vertical alignement top ? Done. Ah now its OK. Next the tabsheet has no apparent rows (in JFD it already had). And now I am stuck. How do I add rows to the panel. I do not see any row marks at the side, but the structure view shows a panel as a child of the tabbedpane. Right clicking on the margins: the context menu to add a row is disabled. Huh? The property sheet says the panel has FormLayout. Try to add another control within the panel - no way the controls are put hierchally parallel to the tabbedpane. Apparently the panel in the tabbedpane has zero height. Why ? Still I am stuck. Probably I am doing mistakes here, but approaching both designers naively without delving into documentation, gave me results with JFD much quicker.

Adding an Event handler: Both via context menu but JFD presents then a dialog, where I can specify the handler method (with a default proposal) and some other options and generates the anonymous listener and the handler method - very nice. IJ just creates the anonymous stuff.

And JFD has a lot of more option settings to adjust code generation and handling. It separates form lines by standard configurable gaps and has preconfigured templates for form gaps, which are easy to use via context menu. This way you can quickly achieve a consistent layout.

IJs GUI designer probably has some features I haven't discovered and has features JFD does not (yet?) have, i.e. data binding, refactoring? But having to discover both of them without reading extensive documentation proved in my case that JFD is easier to approach.

Also I view the fact that JFormDesigner also works in the same way as a fairly lightweight standalone product as a great benefit, because this way it can - as I said - be used for prototyping the gui layout even by people for which a full IDE is too difficult and time-consuming to learn.

So, I said a lot, hopefully it made things clearer. Finally its not the plain features but also workflow which matters here. Both of them are usable product each having its quirks, but JFD is less error prone in my view.

Kind regards

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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I agree with you watzlaw about the general feeling of the release, but you have one thing wrong:

*Code Coverage: I do not need that. For sure i use
Unit-tests but not in a test-first driven way.


Test-first or TDD and code coverage are orthogonal. I don't use test-first but I love code coverage. For me code coverage is the new "green bar" from JUnit - when I look at a file using the new Coverage support, and see lots of green, I know my code is good.

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In article <c8a8949df4f3f8c89031db26101d@news.jetbrains.com>,
yole@jetbrains.com says...

Hello Dave,

DG> The Changes toolwindow is also very nice, although you can certainly
DG> be forgiven for missing it (since it's so incredibly well hidden,
DG> gripe, gripe).

Suggestions to make this more visible in an unobtusive way are welcome.


Project-wide error-highlighting
Files containing compilation errors are highlighted right in the Project
and Packages tool windows
Highlighting of packages containing error files

I asked for this feature in the forum and while I'm not sure if my
request or a Jira request caused its inclusion, I'm pleased to see it.

However, I do question the implementation. Idea has always been great at
telling you about problems. The green/yellow/red checkbox along with
gutter ticks will reveal problems before you compile.

However, if I made a series of rapid changes, I could(and have)
introduced problems that Idea couldn't display because the error
"ticks" are file only.

Enter the project wide error handling. The only problem is that you
really can't see the stuff at the project level because you(or me I
guess) will constantly navigate the various windows and parts of the
project window goes out of view.

What if, instead, the green/yellow/red box was split in half. The top
half represents the current file, the botton half the project.

All green means everything's cool. Top green or yellow, but bottom red
means compiler problem. Clicking on the box, if the bottom is red takes
you to the first error in whatever order Idea dictates.

You only use the bottom for compile errors, so now I can always see if I
have any compiler problems anywhere.


--
-


David H. McCoy


-


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In article <c8a8949df4ea68c89017c9a7eb2d@news.jetbrains.com>,
yole@jetbrains.com says...

Project-wide error-highlighting
Files containing compilation errors are highlighted right in the Project
and Packages tool windows
Highlighting of packages containing error files

I asked for this feature in the forum and while I'm not sure if my
request or a Jira request caused its inclusion, I'm pleased to see it.

However, I do question the implementation. Idea has always been great at
telling you about problems. The green/yellow/red checkbox along with
gutter ticks will reveal problems before you compile.

However, if I made a series of rapid changes, I could(and have)
introduced problems that Idea couldn't display because the error
"ticks" are file only.

Enter the project wide error handling. The only problem is that you
really can't see the stuff at the project level because you(or me I
guess) will constantly navigate the various windows and parts of the
project window goes out of view.

What if, instead, the green/yellow/red box was split in half. The top
half represents the current file, the botton half the project.

All green means everything's cool. Top green or yellow, but bottom red
means compiler problem. Clicking on the box, if the bottom is red takes
you to the first error in whatever order Idea dictates.

You only use the bottom for compile errors, so now I can always see if I
have any compiler problems anywhere.



--
-


David H. McCoy


-


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Suggestions to make this more visible in an
unobtusive way are welcome.

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


You could add it as one of the Tips while waiting dialogs, I didn't notice this tab until reading this, but man, that is so cool! Gives you Perforce like changelists on top of subversion.

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I had a similar bad feeling when the Demetra Roadmap
(http://www.jetbrains.net/confluence/display/IDEADEV/Demetra+Roadmap)
first appeared. (Discussed here: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=177250)

The TeamWare items were like 50% of the release, and 25% for J2EE stuff, 10%
for UI Desginer, leaving little for core improvements to refactoring,
inspections, or other things like Ant, VCS, etc.

The main project I work on has a web interface, so the J2EE stuff is important
but mainly the related language support JSP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, XML, etc.
not AppServer integration because we use Ant to build and deploy.

The J2EE market is a big market for Jetbrains, and the Web 2.0 buzz has
increased marketing focus on it.

But as Jetbrains has moved to improved support for Web related development and
now the new TeamCity work, there is naturally less time to address improvements
to the core features. There's are 1000s of good ideas in the Jira database, but
each on their own is no match for all the sexy TeamWare and Web 2.0 features.
I tried to form some of the masses of little Jiras into regiments to give em a
fighting chance.

Ant Requests: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=210841
Find Requests: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=197579
JSP Requests: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jsp?forum=22&thread=190614
Inspection UI Requests: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=240249
IDEA Background Tasks: http://www.intellij.net/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=222675

There's even more goodness in the Jira database, I just haven't had anymore time to
mine it.

I'm really glad Jetbrains split off the TeamWare into a separate product
TeamCity (nice name!). That alone, actually made me feel better about Demetra.
I like new VCS integration changes, Inspection UI improvements, my Ant build.xml
files are no longer marked up in red, javascript and JSP support improvements.


MyEclipse 5.0 was released on 8/7/2006, and if you look at it's features, you can see it also
had a focus on J2EE/Web/AppServer support.
(Click here for feature list: http://www.myeclipseide.com)

Here are the New and Noteworthy in MyEclipse 5.0
(Click here for screenshots: http://www.myeclipseide.com/ContentExpress-display-ceid-86.html)

  • Full compatibility with Eclipse 3.2 and Callisto projects

  • Matisse4MyEclipse integration into MyEclipse; Now includes customizable palettes

  • Web Service support, including:

o Project and project creation wizard
o Customizable library containers
o New Web Services Wizard
o Deploy web-service web-app
o Services .xml file editor
o Java editor with JSR-181 annotation support and code-assist
o WSDL editor
o Web Services Explorer
o Java hot-swap debug support & MyEclipse hot-sync support for web services application
o Quick-start documentation and example projects
o Add Web Services capabilities to existing Web and Java projects

  • Cross-platform Visual HTML Editor including Struts and JSF

  • Expanded database support for MS SQL Server and Sybase

o View triggers, functions, and procedures in DB Explorer
o Generate and edit the DDL for triggers and procedures
o Function Runner - runs functions by generating UI - executes procedure
o Supports access to the 'sp_help' facility for any selected object to get additional DB information

  • Enhanced Hibernate 3.1.X and Spring 1.2.X support

  • AJAX/Web 2.0 tool extensions

o Instant-on JavaScript Debugging, extending the integrated MyEclipse local JavaScript debugger to allow the user to debug remote JavaScript applications
o Full Linux and Mac support

  • Full I18N support for internationalization and localized support following 5.0

  • New Websphere 6.1, Sun Java Application Server System 9.0, and Glassfish 1.0 application server connectors

  • Customizable server launch configurations

  • New Branding



You can imagine Jetbrains marketing watching MyEclipse closely because it is a
commerical version of Eclipse which integrates and enhances all the free
Eclipse stuff, so somebody can just install it and it works and not have to
fiddle with 10s of plugins to get the functionality they need. (I haven't tried
it, so I don't know what the overall quality, etc. )

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watzlaw> Only the IDE settings dialog (using classic layout) look much worse than before because of the ugly tree-node.

+1 on that. The tree in the classic view is a steps backwards. I find I have to do more vertically scrolling or else collapse/expand the IDE and Project. More fiddling. The IDE and Project tabs were easier and looked better IMO. Not everything needs to be a tree.

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Hello Travis,

>> Suggestions to make this more visible in an
>> unobtusive way are welcome.
TR> You could add it as one of the Tips while waiting dialogs, I didn't
TR> notice this tab until reading this, but man, that is so cool! Gives
TR> you Perforce like changelists on top of subversion.

It's likely that we'll add a tip for that, but I don't think that it'll really
have much impact on the visibility of the feature... it needs to be visible
in the IDE itself, not only in the supporting documentation.

--
Dmitry Jemerov
Software Developer
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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