Tuesday, 14 July 2009

JDev 11gR1: the most obscure new IDE feature

Each new release of JDeveloper brings an explosion of blog posts from the excited JDeveloper advocates and Oracle staff. Within a week or so all the major new features are identified and explained, leaving slow typers like me wondering what to cover to get readers excited.

So for the latest JDeveloper 11gR1 release, I've taken the opportunity to explore for the most obscure feature, the feature hardly anybody is likely to see, or possibly even care about until they discover it.

And today I think I found it. Small celebratory "woohoo!" on my part.

Take a look at this screenshot of the source code of a standard ADF Faces RC page in all its XML glory:

In the next picture I've deleted the af:inputText tag. Besides the removal of the tag, can you see the subtle change in the source code editor? Believe me you'll have to look really hard:

Spotted it? Let me point it out:

Can you see the little pastel pink colour in the new thin left margin that runs down the page? If you float the mouse over the colour you get:

...a little popup that shows the code you deleted. The new margin feature shows visually the addition and removal of code as tied to the IDE's undo history. If you right click on the small colour segment you get a context menu that lets you work with the change:

As promised, I believe this to be the most obscure new feature in JDev11gR1. I set a friendly challenge to readers to find an even smaller obscure new feature in the latest release.


Michael said...

Thanks for explaining the pink (and green when inserting new text). I hadn’t twigged to what it was about.

Martien van den Akker said...

Thanks indeed. Since a few weeks I regularly work with Eclipse. It occurs to me that the developers have put a lot of Eclipse "thingies" into jDev. Probably something to do with the integration of Weblogic Workshop into jDev. This looks very like the red/yellow boxes in the right gutter of Eclipse denoting errors and warnings.

Chris Muir said...

Well that feature is there too. In my screen shots you can see those in the right margin.

I agree, most of the Java IDE vendors "borrow" feature ideas from each other, a case of keeping up with the Joneses.