The whole plugin idea

Hi! I've been using IDEA for some time and got accustomed to the development simplicity it introduces. But with time I've realized it lacked several useful features, which are implemented neither in core, nor in plugins. I think the greatest Idea's competitor, eclipse, is that popular purely due to it's IDE\PLUGIN paradigm. There are tones of supreme quality plugins for eclipse, which IDEA definetly lackes. May be, it's better to stick to this IDE\PLUGIN paradigm too, instead of introducing new features into the core.

31 comments
Comment actions Permalink

I understand where you're coming from, but what does it matter if new features
are in the core or as plugins? It doesn't affect anyone else. Anyway, many
of IDEA's features are implemented as plugins, which are shipped with IDEA.
For example the upcoming Javascript support in IDEA 5.0, or the hundreds
of code inspections available since 4.5 or 4.0.

Hi! I've been using IDEA for some time and got accustomed to the
development simplicity it introduces. But with time I've realized it
lacked several useful features, which are implemented neither in core,
nor in plugins. I think the greatest Idea's competitor, eclipse, is
that popular purely due to it's IDE\PLUGIN paradigm. There are tones
of supreme quality plugins for eclipse, which IDEA definetly lackes.
May be, it's better to stick to this IDE\PLUGIN paradigm too, instead
of introducing new features into the core.




0
Comment actions Permalink

Could you please name a few of the features lacking in IDEA that are in Eclipse (provided through plugins or otherwise). I hear a lot about how eclipses' plugins are all that and such, but when I browse the available plugins, everthing I see is already in IDEA core or through the standard set of plugins.

0
Comment actions Permalink

Patrik Andersson wrote:

>Could you please name a few of the features lacking in IDEA that are in Eclipse (provided through plugins or otherwise).
>

I'd give an eye and a arm - not mines !! - for

"Automated Continuous Testing"
http://www.eclipse-plugins.info/eclipse/plugin_details.jsp?id=558


Alain

0
Comment actions Permalink

I hear a lot about how eclipses' plugins are all that and such,

> but when I browse the available plugins, everthing I see is already
in IDEA core or

through the standard set of plugins.

Come on :). Don't tell me that you tested the more than 800 plug-ins
listed only on www.eclipse-plugins.info :).
Besides, browsing doesn't mean testing :).

Ahmed.

0
Comment actions Permalink

String externalization/localization functionality is still missing in IDEA, hoping for the new releaze, of course:) and I wasn't able to find a working plugin doing the job.
j2me plugin is another example, a perfect one, supporting vendors' SDKs is available for eclipse, and the one for IDEA is, mmm, aaa.. not that good:)
IDEA Plugin culture is not that high, that's what I mean. Moreover, it is unequal compared to the high quality of the IDEA itself. Waiting for the next releaze to have smth. what you need right now is no good.

0
Comment actions Permalink

So two plugins so far then? String externlisation and better a j2me plugin?

0
Comment actions Permalink

Running the same tests over and over again while you're merrily typing in your code or while you're making food? Yeah that's useful. Really. About as useful as compiling the code in the background or writing up a NewAndImproved graphics toolkit that sucks more than the one it is made to replace.

Seriously though, what do you find valuable in that plugin? What's wrong with running the regression tests more organised? I mean, what changes in your code when you're making food, what changes while you're typing stuff in? Chances are there's not going to be anything at all that is testable in any valuable sense of the word before something is ready to be committed.

0
Comment actions Permalink

Patrik Andersson wrote:

>Running the same tests over and over again while you're merrily typing in your code or while you're making food? Yeah that's useful. Really.
>


Open your mind, and consider it as an improvement on:
"run only the tests that exercise the class/method under construction"
http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/IDEABKL-557

About as useful as compiling the code in the background

>

If it makes my tests result show up 5 or 10 seconds faster, that's good.


Alain

0
Comment actions Permalink

So two plugins so far then? String externlisation and
better a j2me plugin?


Add spindle to the list.

Regards,
Jens

0
Comment actions Permalink

I'm going to agree with Alain on this one. The idea behind continuous testing is the same idea behind interactive code inspections. Namely, that there is great value in closing the loop between a developer editing code and seeing the results of that editing. Running inspections in batch gives you exactly the same information as having automatic error highlighting running in your editor. The difference is that you see the information now in the context where you can fix the issues, rather than breaking context, running an report, analyzing it's results, and fixing the issues. In military-speak, it closes the sensor-to-shooter loop.

For full value, I feel that continuous testing will also require test traceability (as Alain mentions), incremental re-testing, interactive code coverage display, and eventually automated mutation testing. Some day you'll look back on simple batch unit-testing and wonder how you possibly shipped software that way, just like I do now when I have to work with non-refactoring/auditing IDEs.

Within a year or two, I'll have multiple dual-core processors on my development box. I kind of expect that IDEA should come up with something valuable to keep them busy.

--Dave Griffith

0
Comment actions Permalink

May be, it's better to stick to this IDE\PLUGIN paradigm too, instead of introducing new features into the core.

As I understand it, most new IDEA functionality is being shipped as internally developed plugins, rather than "in the core", as you say.

I think the greatest Idea's competitor, eclipse, is that popular purely due to it's IDE\PLUGIN paradigm.

Eclipse is popular purely due to it being free, not it's plugin framework. That's not a slam, just an analysis. Stick a $500 price-tag on Eclipse and it's market share would plummet. There are exceptions, but mostly Eclipse users are people who don't understand TCO, and are unwilling to invest in their craft.

--Dave Griffith

0
Comment actions Permalink

Could someone point me into right plugin that is alternative to Eclipse's PropertiesEditor plugin?

0
Comment actions Permalink

Unika wrote:

Could someone point me into right plugin that is alternative to Eclipse's PropertiesEditor plugin?


While I'm not sure what Eclipse's PropertiesEditor plugin does, the
latest EAP includes support for properties files including Ctrl-click
navigation from a property name in a string. There is also an older 3rd
party PropertiesEditor plugin which did basically the same thing and
some other fancy stuff to handle multiple properties files that are used
as ResourceBundles, etc.

Ciao,
Gordon

--
Gordon Tyler (Software Developer)
Quest Software <http://www.quest.com/>
260 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 4L5, Canada
Voice: (416) 933-5046 | Fax: (416) 933-5001

0
Comment actions Permalink

Exactly... you get a lot of people that claim how great it is that eclipse is open source but really they use it because it cost them nothing and is good enough for their purposes.

0
Comment actions Permalink

There's only three features in Eclipse that I miss in Idea.

1. A good way to see incoming and outgoing changes to CVS.
2. On-the-fly compilation (with the associated list of compile errors being shown dynamically)
3. The spindle plugin. Sometimes I think about porting it but I've already got to many other things going on.

0
Comment actions Permalink

For 1) I heartily recommend TMate. Not free, but the best $60 you ever spent.

--Dave Griffith

0
Comment actions Permalink

That analogy is broken. Code can be inspected at any time because it's always complete in the sense that it allows itself to be inspected. Tests aren't. A test isn't applicable in any sense before the code it is written to test, is testable. It's not testable with parser/semantic errors in it. I can see how maybee you'd like tests to be run everytime you compile the code, but to have them running all the time? Why?

Same goes for background compilation, what is there to compile when you're in the middle of typing up a method name?

0
Comment actions Permalink

So all in all, eclipse has a grand total of three usable plugins that either aren't in IDEA, or are sub-par in IDEA?

0
Comment actions Permalink

I'm pretty sure Eclipse has profiling plugins that show their results inside the Eclipse application. NetBeans now ships with that functionality stock. Don't know how good the plugins are, but that may be a gap. There are some plugin functionalities (code coverage with in-application reporting) that are only available for pay with IDEA (Clover), but available as free plugins with Eclipse (Emma). OTOH there are IDEA functionalities (e.g. inline inspections with quickfixes) that are only available via for-pay plugins for Eclipse (Instantiations CodePro). Add up the costs of those plugins, and Eclipse pretty quickly gets pricy.

Overall, I find the coverage of functionality I would actually use now fairly similar between IDEA and Eclipse, but in IDEA the functionalities are much more seamlessly integrated. I use IDEA because it is of greatly higher quality and usability, and considerably lower overall cost to acquire what I now consider minimal acceptable functionalities.

--Dave Griffith

0
Comment actions Permalink

Subversion integration.
Sourcesafe integration.

Implemented more-or-less and quoted in the feature list doesn't mean that it works, or works well.

0
Comment actions Permalink

I'm aware of IDEA's plugin named PropertiesEditor but I need the functionality such a snative2ascii conversion buil in to the plugin. Yes, of course, I can do it externally, but it would be nice to have such functionality from inside IDEA.
International WEB projects using struts requires such a conversion for property files if one wants i18n :)

0
Comment actions Permalink

Been using it today... very nice I must say. Thanks for pointing it out. It's probably more than I'd wish to pay just to see change history and I think some of that functionality should be built into Idea but I'll probably end up purchasing it at the end of the eval period.

0
Comment actions Permalink

Are you aware of Agitator from Agitar the new employer of Kent Beck? Pretty slick if you can afford it. It puts the "rerun the test affected" to a whole new level. However I am not sure how it scales at this point and obviously you are locked into their tests storage format.
They unfortunately are just another example of the many companies that will first build a plugin for eclipse and then maybe consider IDEA.

http://www.agitar.com/products/000024.html

Jacques

0
Comment actions Permalink

I think that's the point of pushing JetBrains to stabilise and document their interface. If I were making a commercial plugin, I'd have to factor in the cost of a) figuring out the interface, b) the actual development and c) ongoing development as the interface changes. I think IDEA would be a pretty large market, I think a fair number of serious developers use it, but with those extra factors I (or my project head) would be thinking twice about it.

0
Comment actions Permalink

The core problem is the missing documentation. I have no problem, if the
interface changes over time to best match Jetbrains' needs, but it must
be documented.

Tom

0
Comment actions Permalink

On Fri, 13 May 2005 11:59:26 +0400, Jacques Morel wrote:

Are you aware of Agitator from Agitar the new employer of Kent Beck?
Pretty slick if you can afford it. It puts the "rerun the test affected"


We had a demo of this at the last JUG meeting here in Auckland/NZ. It
certainly looks impressive, and whilst we only saw the eclipse
integration, I'm led to believe it also has IDEA integration.

It was certainly impressive....

0
Comment actions Permalink

On Thu, 12 May 2005 23:32:00 +0400, Unika wrote:

I'm aware of IDEA's plugin named PropertiesEditor but I need the
functionality such a snative2ascii conversion buil in to the plugin. Yes,
of course, I can do it externally, but it would be nice to have such


I understand JetBrains are looking to implement inline native2ascii
support in their new properties plugin that their working on.

0
Comment actions Permalink

I use the Sourcesafe integration in IDEA daily.

0
Comment actions Permalink

Jacques Morel wrote:

(Hi Jacques)

>Are you aware of Agitator from Agitar the new employer of Kent Beck?
>


The demo is impressive, but it's just a demo, and it leaves me wondering
about the product day-to-day usability in real projects, because of the
slowness of generating dynamically thousands of agitating tests.


For example, the agitation generates 400+ to test one basic class, with
just 3 accessors, and 3 basic validation methods.
- How long does it take to generate dynamically and run all those
tests? 1 second, or 10?
- How long would it take for my average class with 5+ fields, and 2+
non-accessors methods? 2 seconds, or 20?
- And for my average project? 1 minute, or 15?

If testing your typical project takes 10 minutes, then it's not part of
the automated process, and it can't help you TDD.
Though, this could be solved/helped with :
- continuous testing, in the background
- test only the modified code


There's also a testing-RAD side to it, that is seducing, too seducing,
and would keep many developers from writing "real" automated/able tests,
that could be used by other non-agitating developers.


I've just seen the demo though. I'd like to hear from people who use the
product on a daily basis.


BTW, how much does it cost?

Alain

0
Comment actions Permalink

Colin Fleming wrote:

>I think that's the point of pushing JetBrains to stabilise and document their interface. If I were making a commercial plugin, I'd have to factor in the cost of a) figuring out the interface, b) the actual development and c) ongoing development as the interface changes.
>


I guess that's exactly what's keeping Cenqua from releasing a Clover
plugin version for Irida. I miss it.


Alain

0

Please sign in to leave a comment.