Saturday, July 11, 2009

IDE: NetBeans after Six Months

I've been using NetBeans for six months. I thought I'd whip out a quick post to tell you how it's gone. My earlier post is here.

I found a bunch more things I like. I finally figured out how to open files quickly. In the Projects window on the top left, click on the name of the project. Now, typing one letter at a time, you can get autocomplete. It took me a little while to figure out how it works, but now I can open files more quickly than I can visually parse things.

I also figured out that if I maximize the editor, and I shrink the size of the whole window, I can get the editor to fit in smaller places without taking up the whole desktop. That's helpful when I'm copying code I'm reading from a PDF to NetBeans even though I only have a 13" MacBook screen. (I like to manually copy code samples when I'm reading a book in PDF form because it helps me to learn the code better. I'm stuck with a tiny screen because I do a lot of my work at Starbucks.)

I still love jVi. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

I love the way NetBeans automatically fills in closing ", ], }, end, etc. for Ruby. This really speeds me up.

I don't like the fact that jVi can't wrap my comments and docstrings using gq} as well as Vim can.

I like having NetBeans launch my Ruby web server. It's one less window I don't need to worry about.

However, I still prefer to execute most things like rake tasks and ruby script/generate in the shell.

The coding hints aren't perfect. They're sometimes wrong, but that's not the end of the world. They're still a net positive.

I love using the find window when doing grep hunts. Since the window is open, it's easy for me to go down the list carefully making changes where necessary.

I'm happy with the plugin system. I didn't need to read any documentation, yet I've installed plugins for PHP, Ruby on Rails, jVi, etc.

In general, NetBeans is way easier to get up to speed with than Eclipse, which is the thing I like most about it.

9 comments:

dads said...

you can use netbeans for python too.

karussell said...

> I finally figured out how to open files quickly

I am sure you will be faster with ALT+SHIFT+O

karussell said...

forgot a good link

http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/netbeans-ide-67-update

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

> you can use netbeans for python too.

Exactly, and I do.

> I am sure you will be faster with ALT+SHIFT+O

Hmm, that doesn't do anything on my Mac :-/

> http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/netbeans-ide-67-update

Cool. There's also a reference card that you can open in the help menu. That's how I finally figured out how to use Cntl-Tab and Cntl-Shift-Tab to switch between tabs. However, I wish it supported Cmd-Shift-{ and Cmd-Shift-} like a lot of other Apple apps.

karussell said...

Ah, okay your are on mac.

If this does not help:
http://wiki.netbeans.org/KeymapProfileFor60

or this:
http://www.netbeans.org/kb/articles/mac.html

you can try to go to Tools->Option->Keymap->go to file

and change the shortcut.

BTW:
To switch between documents I favour CTRL+PageUp or CTRL+PageDown (I don't know for mac :-()

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Ah, Cntl-Shift-o, that's awesome! It matches ":e **/filename.txt" in Vim. I only mention Cmd-Shift-{ and Cmd-Shift-} because it works in Terminal.app, Firefox, MacVim, and Aquamacs.

tor said...

Take a look at

http://wiki.netbeans.org/RubyShortcuts

-- Tor

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

> http://wiki.netbeans.org/RubyShortcuts

Wow, that's totally awesome, and totally overwhelming. I wonder how many of those work since I'm already using jVi.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Note to self:

Don't install NetBeans from Ubuntu's packages. It's just not that great. Instead:

apt-get install sun-java6-bin sun-java6-jdk
update-alternatives --config java

Download NetBeans directly from the website and install that.

See also: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Netbeans