XMas Wishlist For Netbeans 6.5+ (7.0) - Or The Last Steps To Perfect Java EE IDE

I'm using Netbeans in 80% of all my projects. I started to consider Netbeans as the main IDE at 5.0/5.5 time. Working with Netbeans in Java EE and RIA is extremely efficient - I really enjoy the lack of the plugin-hassle. Right now I have 18 different eclipse installations customized for different customers with different, mainly incompatible plugin sets and distributions. In one project I'm even using three different eclipse installations with different plugin sets for the workflow. But I have only two instances of Netbeans 6.5 (production and experimental) and one of IntelliJ installed. It comes with everthing what I need. Some things, as always, could be still streamlined and approved. Netbeans would be even better, if the following features would be implemented / solved:

  1. Hierarchical / nested view of EARs. Right now you see in the explorer EAR, EJB-JARs, and WARs side by side, although they are actually nested. A nested view would save a lot of space.
  2. Support for creation of "standalone", non-jta persistence.xml in EJB-Jar projects for unit testing. Right now Netbeans creates always the JTA-version of persistence.xml - there is no way to choose between the data-source and straight-jdbc version. You have to create a persistence.xml in a Java-project, then copy it to the test-source folder of your EJB project.
  3. Support for profiling of Unit-Tests in EJB and WAR projects. Profiling of unit-tests in regular Java projects works perfectly.
  4. Support of executing of single Unit-test methods (as in eclipse).
  5. More support for inline-renaming (refactoring), especially inline-renaming of methods.
  6. Syntax highlighting with code-completion for JPA-queries, like in SQL-editor right now.
  7. Better support for editing of ejb-jar.xml and orm.xml. Sometimes it is necessary to edit XML instead of annotations :-( - even in Java EE projects.
  8. Support for conversion between orm.xml and ejb-jar.xml back and forth.
  9. Automatic synchronization between the editor views and the explorer (the "Link open editor with contents in the navigator" eclipse feature). I do not miss it very much, but I'm asked about this feature in particular over and over again by Eclipse-switchers.
  10. Support for EJB 3.1, especially WARs, no-interface-views and inclusion of the EJB 3.1 API.
  11. Native Wicket support - there is a plugin out there, but Wicket is important enough to be distributed with netbeans. Especialy useful would be: switching between the HTML and Java editors just clicking on the wicket-id and code-completion of wicket-tags in html.
  12. Recognition of changes of html file in the src folder. This is needed for "deploy on save" feature with frameworks like wicket. Right now only changes in the "web" folder are recognized.
But even without those features - Netbeans 6.5 is from my perspective the killer IDE for Java EE 5 development. IntelliJ is still the best one - but commercial. For me as consultant / architect / developer, it is not very interesting to use a commercial IDE, where in the majority of development teams Eclipse / Netbeans is used.... It is relatively easy to convert an eclipse Java EE developer to Netbeans, but lot harder to convince the companies to buy some commercial licenses.


As I am highly involved in the MDA (EMF,GMF, OCL,ATL, oaW) stuff, I can't use Netbeans. Since Netbeans doesn't provide anything suitable for MDA.

My x-mas wishlist:

Netbeans should drop their MDR and adopt EMF [named NMF..Netbeans Model Framework :-)].
This NMF will create model editors based on Swing.

Posted by Thomas W. on December 24, 2008 at 01:53 PM CET #

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