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JavaOne 2008 - The new NetBeans Javascript editor

Posted by johnsmart on May 9, 2008 at 11:50 AM PDT

Personally, I hate Javascript with a passion. This is largely my fault - I just haven't taken the time to learn it properly. Unfortunately, there are still times when you just have to work with it. And the lack of syntax checking and code completion has always driven me crazy.

This morning, I saw a most impressive demo - the new Javascript editor in NetBeans. Now, when you work with Javascript in NetBeans, you get proper code completion, complete with lists of available methods and API documentation. The API documentation also includes information about browser compatibility for each function. Sweet!

Technically, all this is no mean feat. Since Javascript is typeless, code completion is inferred dynamically from the way you use the objects in the code. So if you create a class dynamically in Javascript, you get code completion for this as well! If you document your Javascript using Javadoc-style comments, you can also have the documentation appearing with the code completion

There is also real-time syntax checking, and also best-practice rules, such as confusing '=' and '=='. And you get a proper debugger, via a Firefox plugin, where you can step through the javascript, insert breakpoints, view variables, and so on.

A very nice piece of work. A longtime Eclipse user, I am really impressed by the progress NetBeans has made over the last few versions.

Comments

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