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JetBrains Releases Intellij IDEA 10

by Tim Cull on Dec 23, 2010 |

This month, JetBrains announced it released Intellij IDEA 10, a major upgrade to its integrated development environment. As a major revision, the new Intellij has a long list of changes and improvements. A selection of the improvements include: performance improvements, enhanced support for various frameworks and technologies, improved version control support, and some additional user interface tools. A detailed list of more minor bugs fixed and features added can be found in the early access release notes or the IDEA issue tracker.

Performance improvements most notably include a 50% reduction in code indexing time, as well as faster project sync on Linux with a native Linux file system watcher. For example, InfoQ tried opening a relatively substantial, legacy J2EE application on an iMac and the project was ready for editing in less than 10 seconds and finished indexing in 17 seconds. Intellij's improved performance facilitated some feature enhancements like "instant" code completion and faster opening of projects. Instant code completion is code completion that happens automatically without the user having to invoke it with an Ctrl-Space or wait for a delay to elapse. Developers who prefer not to have auto complete pop up constantly can configure an arbitrary delay in milliseconds, or can turn it off completely.

Intellij 9 already came with features to make Spring development easier and Intellij 10 continues the theme by including support for Spring 3.0 features. For example, the editor now includes smart auto complete for Spring test annotations. In addition, IDEA provides support for Spring tc Server via a plugin. Addition of native support for AspectJ also makes support for the aspect-heavy Spring Roo framework better.

JetBrains also improved the experience for developers using distributed version control systems like Git or Mercurial. For example, the IDE now includes an improved screen for viewing Git logs. Additionally, Intellij 10 includes native support for GitHub, which eliminates some of the confusion sometimes involved in trying to get generic Git clients to connect to GitHub, which has a more limited set of connection options than bare-metal Git.

Lastly, many may not realize that Intellij also supports other languages via plugins, like Ruby and PHP. IDEA comes in the form of a free community edition as well as an expanded commercial edition.

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Instant code completion by Dan Tines

It's been in VS forever. I don't think it's in Netbeans or Eclipse. It's amazing that it's taken this long to get into a major Java IDE, since it's a huge productivity boost.

And of course Eclipse still doesn't have tab completion. It's amazing how many tool developers can be stuck on stupid when it comes to implementing huge productivity gains for minimal cost.

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