Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NetBeans 6.8 bugs

Today I'll comment my favourite IDE for Java development - NetBeans.

Some may say that I'm a newbie and like less complicated IDE or that "true Java developers" use Eclipse - OK so be it, but I'm working on Eclipse at work and at home I'm using whatever I feel like using and NetBeans is what I like using!

So I've recently found a few bugs while developing a small application.

1. Swing forms editor bug

NetBeans is popular with its very well-made Swing UI editor and I agree with common understandings. UI forms are easy to use, can be configured in lots of ways (some of which I haven't tried yet), but satisfies my needs completely. It generates some code and locks it , so that future UI replacement/movements are still consistent with the rest of the class you are managing. Easy event handling methods and so on...

But I've had a few places I wanted to manipulate and configure the initialization of the components. NetBeans automatically creates a constructor with "init();" method call in it , but my case required to modify this init() method.

So you can click on the JComponent and click "Customize code" , which lets you modify the constructor called but not the declaration! I found this very restrictive and tried to trick NetBeans.

I had to change the place of a class from package "a" to package "b", but if I cannot change the declaration, I'm stuck. So I decided to use REFACTOR rename on the package of the problematic class. And it worked! ...
at first...

I refactored the name of the package and no problem in the UI created code.
But if you try to move 1 pixel of the UI form , it regenerates again the locked code and refreshes the metainf. xml in the netbeans project and my IDE shows an error of non-existing class/package...

I'm going to report this and get it fixed in NetBeans 6.9.

2. Main class in built .jar is missing

The next major bug I've found is already reported. I even reached the helpful guys in
You can find my question here ->  Main class in NetBeans bug

I'll rewrite the short description here:

You create a Java project in NetBeans 6.8 or 6.9 and build it to create a .jar file.
Even if you have set in the project settings which class contains the main() method to be executed, the build omits this configuration in the meta-inf/manifest file  after build and so the .jar is not executable.

This is easily fixed by :
- creating a file in root of your project
- the file contains something like

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Ant-Version: Apache Ant 1.7.1
Created-By: 16.3-b01 (Sun Microsystems Inc.)
Main-Class: com.example.MainClass
Class-Path: lib/lib1.jar lib/lib2.jar

- editing the nbproject/  file
- add
- save and rebuild

This solved my problem and thanks a lot to the NetBeans and stackoverflow society so quickly.


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