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Nifty Capabilities in Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 Early Access, Part 1

Posted by marinasum on August 22, 2005 at 12:34 PM PDT

Recently, I asked Nathan Fiedler of the Sun Java Studio Enterprise engineering team for a rundown of the nifty capabilities that are new in Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8. Not only is Nathan Mr. Debugger, as evidenced by his bio on an article that we cowrote in May, Debugging Tips for Applications Built With Sun Java Studio Enterprise 7, he was also the primary contributor for the product tour of Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 Early Access. Any wonder that I leaped at the opportunity of leveraging his knowledge of the IDE?

I chatted with Nathan for barely half an hour last week and already have a series of topics to blog. Here is part 1. I plan to publish the remaining parts soon, probably on a weekly basis. Do check back!Welcome Screen: Salient Information at Your Fingertips

As soon as Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 starts, you're greeted by the welcome screen. Except for a few buttons (What's New, Get Support, Refresh), the rest of the screen is brand new. Of note are the following:

  • Recent Projects -- This section shows a hyperlinked list of the projects that you recently opened.
  • Tutorials -- In this section are a 15-minute product tour, quick start guides, and pointers to other documents that tell you all you need to know in order to use the IDE.
  • Sun Developer Network highlights -- On the right of the screen is a text pane that showcases the latest postings at Sun Developer Network, with hyperlink headlines that take you to the details. From the SDN portal, you can access information on product training, also user groups, events, forums.
  • Create New Project, Open Existing Project -- Self-explanatory, agree? Yet handy and useful.

Nathan's Take

In Nathan's words: "What I like about the new welcome screen is that it's much more likely to grab the attention of developers. The usability studies I watched last year showed that most developers closed that screen almost immediately because nothing there appealed to them. That's a thing of the past, I think. In fact, some developers may actually open the welcome screen deliberately just to read the latest SDN news. And of course, the headlines there take you to the IDE's developer portal and closer to our other community offerings, such as technical articles and forums."

Stay tuned for part 2 please.

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