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NetBeans Open Project Dialog Woes ...

Posted by km on April 20, 2007 at 11:40 PM PDT

I use NetBeans. I like it. I encourage people to use it.

But I am not happy about their handling of "Open Project ..." Dialog. I have checked both NetBeans 5.5.1 RC1 and NetBeans 6.0 daily downloads.

The dialog looks like this (click to enlarge).

NB Open Project ...

I have seen several developers double-click a project folder expecting it to just open the project and finding that it just opens the folder because this widget is just a file chooser!

I mean it understands that the folder is a NetBeans Project Folder, but behaves like a normal folder. So, the only way to open the project is to click the "Open Project Folder" button. This is even worse when you have already double-clicked the folder, because you will have to go to the parent folder and then click the button.

Agreed, that there could be project folders inside project folders (and this is sort of (premature) optimization of using a simple File Chooser to do dual job), but that's a relatively rare case and I think it should certainly be discouraged or made hard to deal with. Instead of that we are making the usual case more difficult to deal with -- double clicking a Project Folder should just open the project in IDE, not open the folder.

Do you find it difficult too (i.e. if you use NetBeans Projects)?

You can suggest a work-around, but it needs to be intuitive enough.

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