Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Honored to be Part of the NetBeans Dream Team

I have recently been honored via invitation to join the NetBeans Dream Team.  I've been using NetBeans IDE since its infancy, and I've watched it evolve into one of the top IDEs for developing Java applications, amongst other things.  I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to help promote NetBeans, and collaborate with the other NetBeans Dream Team experts to help make the NetBeans IDE even better.

There were 16 new members that were invited to join, and Geertjan Wielenga has written a post about the new members here:   I want to thank all of the members for having me as a NetBeans Dream Team member...I am looking forward to working with you.

To kick off my membership to the NetBeans Dream Team, I wanted to write a post that promoted some of my favorite, but perhaps most overlooked NetBeans features.  I will list three such features in this post, as I must keep my writings short...and I could go on writing about my favorite features for quite some time.  All that are my favorite NetBeans IDE features that are oftentimes overlooked:

#1:  Built-in Terminal:  Did you know that NetBeans has a built in terminal at your disposal?  Sure, it is acceptable to have a terminal window or command line open outside of NetBeans, but maintaining one or more of them inside of the IDE makes it even easier to focus on your tasks at hand...without the need to move outside of the IDE.  (Speaking of which, did you know there is a task list in NetBeans...sorry, I digress).  The NetBeans built-in terminal provides you with the ability to open one or more terminal sessions right within the IDE, and you can even open up an SSH connection to a remote server.  This provides a unified development environment at its best!  To open up a terminal, simply go to the "Window" menu, then select "IDE Tools" -> "Terminal".

#2:  Version Control Made Easy:  No matter which version control you use, NetBeans makes it simple, providing convenient integration points for version control with your NetBeans projects.  I've used Mercurial, Subversion, and Git within NetBeans, and each of them is easy to use...with an intuitive interface, and even some additional plugins to make use easier.  One of my favorite plugins is the Git Toolbar, which provides easy buttons for showing history, committing changes, etc.

#3:  Debugger:  When I am having an issue with one of my applications, the NetBeans debugger can be an invaluable utility.  Perhaps my favorite feature of the NetBeans debugger is the ability to see the values of variables as the application is running.  

The debugger provides the ability to set breakpoints (conditional if you'd like), so that one can evaluate the current status of the code when breakpoints are reached.  If you are having an issue in one of your classes, the debugger allows you to see the current variable values, and step through the code to find the offending line.  It also provides you with numerous other capabilities, such as the ability to set expression watches, easily see the call stack, the ability to see which classes are currently loaded, sessions, current threads, and more.  The debugger has become one of those features that I cannot live without, and it deserves a book of its own.

That does it for this short post.  Once again, I want to thank Geertjan and all of the members of the NetBeans Dream Team for having me...I am very glad to be a part of the team!