Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NetBeans 6.7.1 is out - with JavaFX 1.2 support

WARNING: This blog entry was imported from my old blog on blogs.sun.com (which used different blogging software), so formatting and links may not be correct.

NetBeans 6.7.1 was released yesterday, which in addition to a number of important bug fixes in various areas, also now includes support for JavaFX.

It looks very promising; the biggest problems I mentioned a couple of months ago are fixed. I no longer get any bogus or stale error messages. And the preview pane seems to work - I'm not getting exceptions left and right. Also, the preview panel is docked into the navigator area - that seems like a good place for it.

Code completion and import management works as before - which means it might be a little surprising (see my old blog entry for tips), but it works.

Unfortunately, my two other pet peeves are still there: No toggle comment, and no mark occurrences jumping - which is extra problematic since there's no Find Usages for the JavaFX support. I took a quick peek at the sources, and adding it is trivial - so I submitted a patch.

In the meantime, you can download this .nbm plugin file and install it via Tools > Plugins if you want to get these two features. Cmd-/ to toggle comments, and Ctrl-Up/Down to jump between the occurrences in the current file. Note that I couldn't create a separate plugin to do this - I hacked the existing JavaFX editor support. That's because the mark occurrences feature needs to access a method which is package private (and I didn't want to mess around with reflection - I can't spent time on this). This unfortunately means though that you are using a hacked version of the FX editor module. If they release patch updates later you'll be replacing this functionality. But hopefully by then they will have applied the patch!

I noticed by the way that all the source code for the NetBeans JavaFX plugin is available right there in the public NetBeans Mercurial repository - so you can not only grab the source code and build it yourself, but you can fix and contribute patches to make the support better. I want a good JavaFX source formatter! Actually I'll even settle for just a simple indenter. Please, pretty please? P.S. I see that there is already a code formatter class in there - I added a breakpoint and stepped through it a bit but I couldn't see anything obvious, and I unfortunately can't spend any time on this, so hopefully somebody else can step up to the plate?

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