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IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2: Smarter, Neater, and Faster

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JetBrains recently released IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2, the quarterly release of its flagship Java IDE. Trisha Gee's blog post about this release notes that there are many usability enhancements; new classes of warning like if you are creating empty collections or Strings or if a number is out of range on an array. It also has improved analysis around nulls.

One of the more innovative new features is chain completion; a form of code completion that recognizes and suggests subsequent method calls, based on how frequently they're used in your project. Note that this feature only works for Java, and you have to be using the IDE's compiler (not Gradle or Maven's).

IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2: Chain Completion

Java 9 enhancements include module diagrams and refactoring features such as replacing set construction with Set.of(items). Additionally, IDEA 2017.2 upgrades its support for Kotlin (1.1.4), Groovy (2.5.0), Scala (debugging in SBT), JavaScript (parameter hints), TypeScript (code arrangement features), and CSS (adds module support).

On the frameworks side of things, it adds a Run Dashboard and actuator endpoints in the Run/Debug tool window. You can learn about additional improvements for Spring Boot on the IntelliJ IDEA blog.

IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2: Spring Run Dashboard

For Scala enthusiasts, IDEA now supports Play Framework 2.6. UI developers might enjoy Angular Material enhancements, better code assistance when using webpack, and code coverage for Mocha tests.

Performance improvements largely revolve around indexing, which can slow development especially on large projects. With the experimental unloaded modules feature, you can specify the modules that you're actively working on, so that unloaded modules will not be indexed or scanned, saving memory resources and conserving CPU. Indexing can now be paused and files can be excluded by pattern.

To learn more about what's new, see 2017.2's What's New page. The IntelliJ IDEA blog has details on incremental improvements in 2017.2.1 and 2017.2.2.

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