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The right tool for the job

New Java group proposed for IDE & tooling support

Chris Stewart
java
© Shutterstock / Chamille White

Maurizio Cimadamore, Software Engineer at Oracle, has proposed the creation of a new Java group. Its purpose is to promote and improve the support of the OpenJDK in different tools and especially in integrated development environments (IDEs). And the proposal already has support from the highest authority…

A developer without an IDE is like a painter without a canvas – not very well equipped. Similarly, it’s bad if the paint just won’t stick to the canvas. What I’m trying to say is that for Java developers, the tooling and especially IDEs don’t work properly. At this year’s OpenJDK Committer Workshop in Brussels, the participants and organizers expressed their wish to establish a channel on which to talk about OpenJDK tooling and especially IDE support.

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The background here is that many developers adapt their favorite tools on their own because they are mistaken that certain functions don’t exist yet. A lot of development time may be wasted unnecessarily and, in some cases, the same functions are available in several different versions. Additionally, there may be IDEs or tools that could serve your purpose better than the ones you’re currently using, but you stick with the limited tools you have because, well, better the devil you know, right? This situation should improve with the new Java group “IDE & Tooling Support”.

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Apache NetBeans and IntelliJ are cited in Maurizio Cimadamore’s proposal as prime examples of good OpenJDK support, but of course there are alternatives. The mailing list and the page on openjdk.java.net, which will be automatically set up for the group, will serve as a platform for discussion. In addition, the documentation of the available tools should take place there.

We want the OpenJDK Community to be a welcoming place for developers, and I feel that improving IDE/tooling support plays a crucial role in reducing the activation energy required to start hacking on the JDK codebase.

–Maurizio Cimadamore

Maurizio Cimadamore himself would like to be the leader of the group. He justifies this with the fact that he has already improved the usability of various tools and IDEs with regard to development with the OpenJDK for 10 years. He would like the group to comprise initially of the following members: Chris Hegarty, Jan Lahoda, Jonathan Gibbons, Robin Westberg and Magnus Ihse Bursie (all from Oracle).

The vote on Cimadamore’s proposal will be open until Friday, November 15, but only members of the Governing Board are entitled to vote. The proposal has already been supported by Mark Reinhold, and in general there seems to be very little to say against creating such a group. More information can be found in the entry on the gb-discuss mailing list.

Author
Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for JAXenter.com. He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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