Learn Intellij

Ok. I need to use Intellij to his full functionality and I want to buy this book: IntelliJ IDEA in Action
http://www.amazon.com/IntelliJ-IDEA-Action-Stephen-Saunders/dp/1932394443/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254945349&sr=8-1

The last version of Intellij is v 8 (v 9 very soon) and the book presents the v5. It's a good acquisition (the book)?

What are my alternatives (beside the Help feature)?

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V5 is ancient. If you really want a copy, though, don't buy it for $34 at amazon.com, checkout prices here http://www.allbookstores.com/book/compare/1932394443.  Looks like you can buy it for $1 + shipping.

Besides Online help, there is  Help->Tip of the day.  Jetbrains also has online IDEA blog http://blogs.jetbrains.com/idea/ which has some howto and and articles on some of the features. And you can also search this forum.

For me, the biggest help in getting started was that jetbrains had a keymap for Emacs. So I was able to do all the basic editing commands right out of the box.  You'll probably spend some time looking at options, customizing code formatting options, etc.   But the real power of IntelliJ comes in learning how the advanced features work, esp. the ones that help automate code changes, e.g.
* basic and smarttype completion
* Code->Generate (ALT+INSERT) can generate constructors, getters, setters, toString() method.
* intentions (ALT+ENTER) can automate lots of tedious code changes.
* inspections highlight code that should be fixed (often with quickfixes which can be invoked also with ALT+ENTER like intentions).  IntelliJ has 1000s of inspection, not all of which are turned on by default.  You can spend days browsing through all the inspections available in the product. You can run Analyze->Inspect Code to run inspections across project and find and fix problems en masse.
* refactorings like rename, introduce variable, parameter, change method signature, extract method  (those are the ones I use the most).

HTH
-Alex

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