Lambdas here we come

IntelliJ IDEA 12 shows its darker side and introduces Java 8 support

Chris Mayer

The latest version of JetBrains’ popular IDE gets a moodier ‘Darcula’ interface, support for Play 2.0 and an Android UI designer.

Almost a year to the day since the last version arrived,
JetBrains have unleashed their annual update to their highly
successful IDE,
IntelliJ IDEA

The Czech-based company renowned for its developer
productivity tools haven’t skimped on additions to the Java IDE,
bring a raft of new features in this major update.

The extensive highlight reel’s biggest addition is the
long-awaited arrival of full JDK 8 support ahead of the entrance of
Java 8 next year. This allows developers to utilise the newest
syntax functions such as

lambda expressions
method references
and default methods within
the IDE.

In the commercial ‘Ultimate’ version of the IDE, Spring
Development Tools has been radically overhauled with performance
enhancements and code assistance for the likes of Web Flow,
Integration, MVC, Security and Batch. Developers using Ultimate are
able to obtain the latest support for Scala/Java web framework Play
2.0, Google’s fledgling Dart language and Microsoft’s spin on
, TypeScript.

From an aesthetic side of things, developers will notice a
darker look for the IDE in ‘Darcula’ -
dark grey theme said to help
s focus on the
code itself (whether or not you buy their claim,
it’s at least a striking look)
. The
Android UI Designer
that debuted in the
Community Version earlier in the year makes the step-up to the full
version, which is a big bonus for Java developers keen to test out
Android ideas in an familiar IDE.

iframes? :-O

Away from features,
the compiler
mode has been renovated too, altering the approach
to compiling significantly. All compilation tasks are now done
separately and away from the main IDE’s process, lowering memory
requirements and speeding up rebuilds substantially.

We’re only scratching the surface
here, with editor enhancements and support for the likes of Scala,
Groovy, Hibernate 4.0, Vaadin, Cucumber and Cloud Foundry, amongst
others. Check out the entire What’s New
list to find out more about the Apache 2.0 licensed Community
edition and commercial Ultimate releases.

It’s another comprehensive update to the vastly popular IDE,
with several of the community’s most-wanted features included –
testament to a company that knows its audience very

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