Background: I am on a distributed team of developers, we use svn for source control, and I had a bizarre error just now where doing Build --> Rebuild Project on my machine failed. The error message was that it was not finding all kinds of packages, but I could manually see those files on my file system. No one else on the team had this problem. So, I manually deleted the entire project directory hierarchy and resynched from svn. Magically, Build --> Rebuild Project now works.
Cool. Except that to my dismay, I see that a lot of stuff is missing when I bring IDEA back up and load our shared project (.ipr) file. For instance, IDEA now longer remembers what files I had previously been working on. Nor does it remember any of my run configurations.
I am not entirely sure how IDEA breaks down the storing of preferences and user history--I thought that all of this stuff was supposed to go in preferences file(s) in my user directory (which is completely separate from where I place the project directory).
But it looks like IDEA also creates a .iws file as a companion to your .ipr file (both are in the same directory), and that this file has a lot of these preferences.
Is there any way that I can tell IDEA to store all prefs in a directory completely separate from my project directory, so that if I have to do this procedure in the future, then I don't blow away my preferences?