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Christian Lenz: My five favourite NetBeans features

Christian Lenz
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Continuing a series of articles focusing on NetBeans users and their five favorite NetBeans IDE features, here’s the next part, by Christian Lenz.

I’m Chris and I’ve been working with NetBeans IDE for around 3 years.

I use it at my daily work at Spreadshirt in Germany for a couple of languages, like PHP, HTML5, CSS/SCSS/LESS, JS (AngularJS, Node), and Java (GWT).

In my freetime I use NetBeans IDE too for developing with Arduino, so I use C, PHP (for example with WordPress) and HTML5 stuff.

If something in NetBeans IDE is missing and I have enough knowledge of the related requirements, I create NetBeans plugins right inside NetBeans IDE too.

What are your 5 favorite NetBeans features?

1. Extensibility. The simple ability to extend NetBeans IDE with a feature that is not available. I did this often and I will do it again. With a few built-in wizards, it is really easy to write your own plugin, for the toolbar or for editor actions and so on.


And it is easy to change the generated code to your needs.

2. Client-Side Tools. I really like the new support in NetBeans IDE 8.1 for npm, bower, grunt, gulp and nodejs. For example, while creating HTML5 applications, it is simple to include these tools into the application:


So, I can use the HTML5 IDE for the front-end client-side stuff, as well as download bundle that provides an IDE for all languages.

3. Debugger. I like the debugging functionality for PHP, with xdebug, Java, and HTML5, for example JavaScript, and for node too.


It is very powerful and easy to use. You can set breakpoints, jump into, over, and analyse variables, methods, and so on.

4. Languages. I really like the range of languages that NetBeans IDE supports out of the box. If one language is missing, for example C#, I can create a new plugin for this. Third party plugins exists for Scala, Ruby, Python, and Perl.


TypeScript is also being worked on by the community.

5. File Navigation. Big enhancements are the built in features for “Go To File/Symbol/Class”. It is so easy to press a shortcut and a little popover comes up to navigate to a file or a method.


Very cool feature for little and big projects!

This article is part of a series of articles focusing on NetBeans users and their five favorite NetBeans IDE features.


Christian Lenz

Software programmer at in Germany.