|By Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein||
|November 19, 2007 10:00 AM EST||
New features and improvements in the next release of NetBeans make it a better IDE for any kind of developer. From editing to browsing, versioning, building, debugging, profiling or visual design, there is great news for everybody.
It's that time again. A major, dot-zero release of NetBeans will be available soon - over a year and a half after 5.0, which introduced significant new features like the Matisse GUI builder, and extensive improvements in CVS integration, Web services and module development, to cite but a few. In contrast, version 5.5 focused outside the core IDE by supporting several new Packs that increased NetBeans' overall functionality to a level still unmatched by any other open source IDE. Now, is NetBeans 6.0 worthy of the bump in the major version number? You bet it is, and in this article we'll look at some of the most important and interesting new features in the core IDE.
A New Editor
Common sense says no product can be perfect in everything it does, but NetBeans is getting closer each day. Historically, NetBeans users have been proud of the IDE's complete coverage of Java platforms from ME to EE, its support of effective GUI building, and its intuitive UI and open architecture. On the other hand, the IDE lagged in certain areas, like in the code editor or refactoring. This could put off programmers very focused on source code…those who'll pick emacs over visual designers any day. Well, these problems are no more with NetBeans 6.0.
Selecting words or lines is good enough for text editors, but when working with sources you often need to work with ranges of text that form coherent pieces of code. Say you want to copy all the code inside a for loop body in order to paste it in another loop with similar logic. Just place the cursor in any blank position inside the loop body, press Alt+Shift+Period, and you're done. The editor selects the innermost range of text that includes the cursor position and delimits a node of the source's Abstract Syntax Tree.
Pressing Alt+Shift+Period again expands the selection to the next outer node, in this case the complete for statement; then a new keystroke may select the entire method, and so forth. Alt+Shift+Comma will retract the selection to an inner node. Figure 1 shows this feature being used to select a multi-line statement easily and precisely. I bet you will quickly be hooked on this feature and forget about all the other selection shortcuts! There's nothing like a code editor that groks code, not text.
The editor's syntax highlighter was promoted to a semantics-aware highlighter. It can apply styles based not only on the types of tokens (like identifiers, operators or comments), but also based on different meanings that akin tokens may have - for instance, an identifier may be a class name or a local variable name, a parameter, a constant field, etc.
One benefit of semantic highlighting is that it helps you take extra care when assigning static fields (since many thread-safety and memory-leak bugs involve statics). Figure 1 shows this; notice that static fields (and references to these) appear in italics.
There are other powerful uses for the new highlighting engine:
- Identifying usages: Select any identifier, and the editor highlights all its uses in the same compilation unit. Again, Figure 1 exemplifies this - click on a method name and all invocations to it are highlighted.
- Flagging "Smelly code": The new editor highlights unused variables and imports, as well as usage of deprecated classes and methods. You don't need to perform a build or run a code lint tool to detect these simple (but frequent) problems anymore.
- Exit and throw points: Selecting a method's return type will highlight all return statements. Selecting an exception in the method's throws list will flag all throws of that exception type. All invocations to other methods that may throw the same exception are also flagged.
The bewildering amount of APIs you have to use these days makes code completion one of the most critical features of any modern code editor. NetBeans 6.0 has learned many new tricks here:
- Keyword completion: If you've just typed a package declaration in a new source file (for example), Ctrl+Space will bring only the keywords that are legal in that position: abstract, class, enum, final, import, interface, and public. Figure 1 shows another example: after the opening parenthesis of a method declaration, the preferred completions are all primitive types.
- Type-based variable names: Completing at "ConfigurationFile _", the editor will offer the variable names cf, configurationFile and file. (I'm using "_" to represent the cursor position.)
- Generics-aware completions: When assigning a variable with a generic type to a new expression, the editor will offer all compatible types, including generic arguments. For example, at "Map<String, Integer> m = new _", code completion lists all implementations of Map, each with the same <String, Integer> parameters.
- Annotation-aware completions: When completing after "@", you'll be offered all the annotations that can be used in the given scope. If the selected annotation requires parameters, the editor will provide completions for these too.
- Passing parameters: At "x = m(_", the top completions will be values in scope that are compatible with m()'s first parameter. If the method's parameter names are available and there are variables with similar names in scope, this is used to sort the completions further. You'll also be offered full completions with the parameter list filled with those variables.
- Common constructors: When you invoke code completion with the cursor positioned between class members, you'll be able to create a constructor without arguments and one that receives initial values for all fields (if these constructors don't already exist).
- Catching exceptions: Completion at "catch (_" will only offer exceptions that are thrown in the corresponding try block, but haven't been handled yet by previous catch blocks.
The editor introduces several new views for source code browsing. The members' view shows the members of a Java type together with their javadocs, making it easy to find a particular method, field or inner class. The Hierarchy view shows the inheritance tree of a Java type. Figure 1 demonstrates this view; notice the filter buttons that let you toggle between supertypes or subtypes and between simple and fully qualified class names. You can also choose whether or not to show inner classes and interfaces.
The Declaration view summarizes the declaration of the selected Java element (type, method, or field). Despite its name, this view also shows the inspected element's source code if it's available. The Declaration View is especially useful when invoking code still under development, not yet documented with javadoc. Finally, the Javadoc view shows the javadocs for the selected Java element.
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,041
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,827
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, will discuss IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sector...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,097
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
May. 23, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,653
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
May. 23, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,020
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
May. 23, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,535
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
May. 23, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,887
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,927
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,050
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,149
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
May. 23, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,673
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
May. 23, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,077
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
May. 23, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,897
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
May. 23, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,977
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,459
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,405
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,499
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
May. 23, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,703
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
May. 23, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,422
Cloud is not a commodity. And no matter what you call it, computing doesn’t come out of the sky. It comes from physical hardware inside brick and mortar facilities connected by hundreds of miles of networking cable. And no two clouds are built the same way. SoftLayer gives you the highest performing cloud infrastructure available. One platform that takes data centers around the world that are full of the widest range of cloud computing options, and then integrates and automates everything. Join SoftLayer on June 9 at 16th Cloud Expo to learn about IBM Cloud's SoftLayer platform, explore se...
May. 23, 2015 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,127