Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IDE tip: Create Build and Execution Shortcuts

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.

We're moving over to Oracle's mail and file storage, so I spent a couple of hours going through my old Sun home directory to see what I wanted to save. It was pretty fun coming across all kinds of old screenshots, source code and design documents for things I worked on 10-15 years ago.
I spent the first 5 years working on Sun's C/C++ development environment, and in particular the debugger. One feature I built was the ability to create custom buttons which would let you run frequent dbx commands (as well as reference builtin actions). Here's one screenshot I came across.

The CDE/Motif widgets look pretty dated

Anyway, this reminded me of another really useful feature in NetBeans: The ability to create custom shortcuts for ant targets. If you're using ant, you probably have a number of useful, extra build targets. One I find particularly useful for our setup (where we have lots of project dependencies) is to have a "just run" build target which skips all dependency checks and just runs whatever bits are there. This is particularly useful if I change something in an upstream project and I don't want any checking downstream.

Here's how you do it. First, let's say I've created an ant target to

Target ideas: Run findbugs. Run code coverage. Run an arbitrary script.

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