Newbie conceptual problems about Projects

Hi -

Just purchased IDEA 12.x

I have a conceptual black spot regarding Projects and Modules.

As I understand it a project is a wrapper for one or many modules. But when I create a new project it asks me to start with a module type?

Can someone please kindly explain what the conceptual difference between a module and a project is.


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Hi Hugh,

I usually think of modules as a complete code unit that is logically groups together and can compile and be tested on its own, perhaps into a jar.

A practical (and real world) example to look at is :

The top level is a project, it has a .idea folder in it.  If you drill into 'platform' you will see the 'modules'.  Clicking on 'platform-impl' for example, you see a 'platform-impl.iml' file which is the module descriptor.

I recall having a very similar question when I started using IDEA all the way back to v7.  Since I have started using IDEA, I have rarely used the multi-module feature.  When you create a new project, the fact that you have a project as well as a module is fairly transparent.  I would say 90% of the time I use a single project / module without thinking about it as a module.  That being said, when you assign libraries, you can assign them at the global, project, or module level.  That is covered pretty well in the docs.  The docs are a great resource... often when things are a little slow, I will press 'F1' and try to learn something new.

I hope that helps a bit.  I'm sure you will get several responses.  Congratulations on your purchase.  I have been a passionate IDEA user in a sea of Eclipse guys for many years... I'll convert them one day ;)

- Stuart

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Many thanks Stuart, helps a lot



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