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folders and projects and where-is-my-code?

Still, working with NetBeans on an everyday basis is a breeze, especially talking about the upcoming 6.1 release which indeed has seen quite a bunch of improvements in virtually every field of view (quite a job indeed, given that 6.0 was rather good already). By now, having all these months gone after moving here from Eclipse, there’s only one minor annoyance I stumbled across which however seems to persist and keep on bugging me once in a while when creating new projects using NetBeans: It seems the IDE in some situations has a rather peculiar way of figuring out where to place a newly created projects folder, which makes me then and now fire up an arbitrary file manager (well, usually some sort of Unix shell) to find where on earth my new project actually has been created:

Overally, things seem rather fine: Initially, creating your first new project, NetBeans decides to dump it to a “NetBeansProjects” folder which, on Unix systems, lives in your $HOME. This is rather good, and I tend to go with this default as the place is reasonably named and I don’t have to throw in confusion choosing a different name anyhow. 🙂 So, if you only create “simple” projects in there, you’re perfectly fine. Chances are you will learn to suffer nevertheless, in two different situations:

  1. … if you are using Project Groups. This is a pretty good feature, helping you keeping track of projects that somehow belong together without manually opening and closing sets of projects all the time. A very convenient feature, here, is to create a project group to be a “folder of projects”, a group which, as the name implies, contains all the projects in a chosen folder. From that point of view however, switching to that very project group and creating a “new project”, one would expect the IDE to automatically place the newly created project into the group folder rather than the folder the last project used to be created in.
  2. … if you are using projects that somehow can have sub-projects. This, in my opinion, is worse than the other point: Right now, you can create, say, a NetBeans module suite, add some modules to it (which are subsequently placed in the module suite’s folder) and, then, create a new webapp, which also will end up in the module suite’s folder even while there’s no obvious reason to add a webapp to a module suite. At this point, it would be great if the IDE could be smarter in figuring out where to place a new project, and be that back to “default” (~/NetBeansProjects) again…

Oh well, but perhaps I should stop complaining and/or filing bugs against the IDE but rather have a look at the source and see whether to fix this on my own. Isn’t that the good thing about open-source software? 🙂

12. März 2008

Filed under:

netbeans , tech