I have recently started using IDEA and it is a great editor. I have almost
been convinced to move from JBuilder (which I have used for the last 5
years) to IDEA.
One are that I think IDEA could really beat the other IDEs in is the plugin
area. In particular, integration with many of the open source and Jakarta
projects (Velocity, PDM, struts, JDepend, etc). Also, plugins really make or
break the IDE. It takes so long for a new version of the IDE to be released
that plugins are the only way to use the latest tools.
Here are some of my ideas for more plug-in. I have started playing around
developing a few of them:
1) Enhanced OpenFile list plugin. This is a non-modal list of
open files. It can be sorted by name, path, change time, etc. It replaces
the tabs at the bottom of the editor and makes it much easier to find and
select from the open files.
2) File groups plugin. Allows you to define a list of files within a group.
These files can be opened and closed in one command. For example, you can
have a group of config files for a project or a groups of files related to a
3) Column select, Discontinuous select. Allows you to select text in a
column or from several different (discontinuous) places.
4) Plugin for JAD decompiler.
5) Plugin for Bean shell
7) Plugin for Log4J based on Lumbermill with search and filter.
8) Velocity template engine. This is a great (open source) template engine
that can be used to generate code for new classes, etc.
9) Plugin for PDM (http://pmd.sourceforge.net/) (open source) which allows
you to define rules to find mistakes in your code (like Unused local
variables, Empty catch blocks, Unused parameters, Empty 'if' statements,
Duplicate import statements, Unused private methods, Classes which could be
Singletons, Short/long variable and method names)
10) Plugin for JDepend.
11) ANT debugger (like the JEdit one).
There should also be a place where we can register and share these plugins.
Finally, we should look at some of the Eclipse, JBuilder, JEdit and NetBeans
plug-in for more ideas.
Let me know what you think.....