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Intellij IDEA 9: Java EE 6, OSGi, Flex and More

by Craig Wickesser on Dec 12, 2009 |

JetBrains recently released their award winning IDE, Intellij IDEA 9. It includes support for a whole suite of new technologies, improved support for existing features, improved performance and a more streamlined user interface. IntelliJ IDEA 9 is the first non-beta release which includes the free and open-source Community edition and the Ultimate edition, first reported by InfoQ a couple months ago.

Below is a brief list of improvements or new support that is now available:

  • Java EE 6, including EJB 3.1, JPA 2.0, Servlet 3.0, JSF 2.0 and more.
  • OSGi which is provided by the baked in Osmorc plugin.
  • Flex, including AIR, FlexUnit, code generation, additional refactorings and more.
  • Groovy including support for Gradle and Griffon and more.
  • Android, Maven, Scala and Clojure

Besides features related to specific technologies there have been a several improvements made to the IDE itself,

New background-enabled file indexing allows you to start using essential editing features almost immediately. All the advanced features become available in minutes. The responsiveness of the user interface has been improved, with many time-consuming operations now performed in the background. We have also introduced on-the-fly module reloading, which means that changes in .iml files (in particular, after updating from version control) no longer require reopening the entire project.

A detailed list is available which outlines the differences between the Community and Ultimate editions in the comparison matrix. InfoQ also had the chance to talk with the development lead on IntelliJ IDEA, Dmitry Jemerov, about the new release.

InfoQ: IDEA 9 has increase its support for various languages and libraries, are there any plans to really incorporate Python, possibly evolve the plugin? If so, how about support for Python frameworks (i.e. Django)? Any plans to support Jython?

We've released an updated version of the Python plugin together with IDEA 9.0 release, with a small number of new features. A more significant update (with support for debugging and Django) will be released in the beginning of 2010. The Python plugin fully supports Jython since IDEA 8.0. The support includes cross-language navigation, code completion and refactoring.

InfoQ:It appears Git support has evolved as well, is there a movement inside JetBrains to Git?

Git is supported since IDEA 8.1, and there has been a significant number of improvements in IDEA 9.0. We've switched our own version control system to Git in September, which provides us with a big stimulus to improve the integration even further in IDEA 10.

InfoQ: IntelliJ IDEA 9 was just release, what's the roadmap look like moving forward?

We don't have any roadmap for IDEA 10 at the moment. However, it's clear that Java 7 language features support, and in particular support for closures, will be a big part of our next release. There's a lot of interesting things one can do with transforming traditional imperative-style code into functional style using closures.

InfoQ: Any thoughts on changing the IntelliJ slogan, "The most intelligent Java IDE" since it's certainly covering a lot more than just Java, it's even going beyond the JVM.

Good question. :) "The most intelligent JVM-based language IDE" doesn't sound as catchy to me, but maybe we'll come up with something different later.

For more information about IntelliJ IDEA you should also check out their blog which is updated frequently with lots of useful tips and information.

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IntelliJ IDEA9 by Viraf Karai

As someone who has been using IntelliJ IDEA-9 since its alpha editions I can confirm that this continues to remain the Mercedes Benz (or Ferrari if you will) of IDEs targeted to JVM languages. Not only has IDEA-9 gotten a solid performance boost, it feels even more intuitive, slicker and a downright pleasure to use. It goes without saying that the open-source edition is unusable by enterprise developers and architects. I still tip by hat to JetBrains for doing that and making it automatically more accessible to students. I am extremely impressed by IDEA-9's support for Maven, Groovy and Grails.

How about a huge round of applause for Dmitry and his team for continuing to innovate? There is one problem though - it's becoming more and more unpalatable to use Eclipse after using IDEA-9.

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