NetKernel IDE Feedback

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on what you’d like to see in a NetKernel IDE Plugin. This is a topic that has been on my mind for a couple of years now as various folks have dabbled with creating one, and as we have observed many development teams and how they use their IDEs to truly integrate all their tools.

So the feedback I received was pretty much in consensus in some areas and widely varied in others. So let me quickly run through the results.

Firstly everybody thought that for personal use IDE integration was important, pretty much evenly split between very and slightly. However 90% of you thought that it was very important for wider developer adoption.

There was a pretty even split between the IDEs you are using today with a third using Eclipse and a third using InteliJ (InteliJ wins by a small margin) I’m guessing more of you would be lured away from the command line if such a great IDE plugin was created!

In terms of desired core features the overall ranking is this:

  1. Create and deploy NetKernel modules
  2. Build Java based NetKernel modules
  3. Java level debugging
  4. Start and stop NetKernel instances
  5. Run XUnit module unit tests
  6. Visualizer integration
  7. Download and install NetKernel instances
  8. View and edit module documentation

I’m a little suprised by Java level debugging coming so high. So if anyone wants to tell me when and why they use this i’d love to hear!

For editor features pretty much everybody thought some kind of editor for module definition files was very important. DPML and nCoDE were not considered important and support for other scripting languages is pretty important with 75% of you saying very important and the rest quite important. It may be that this can be leveraged from existing efforts.

For the DevOp features I got quite mixed responses showing the variations in styles of projects you work in. Ranking them we get:

  1. Continuous Integration Support
  2. Transfer/Upload of modules to repository
  3. Connectivity to multiple Netkernel instances
  4. Transfer/Deployment of modules to staging server directly
  5. Management Console exposed through web interface inside IDE
  6. Notification of repository updates

To get an idea of your backgrounds and interests I asked about your use of TDD, Agile, GitHub, netkernelroc and stack overflow. I got a pretty even response across the board with a third of you using each of them frequently and half of you occasionally using them with. This was with the exception of of which 40% of you have never used.

Right! So how to proceed: unanimously rejection of Enterprise edition only, no suprise there and I think that reflects from your response to the first two questions that it will help adoption and ease of use in the wider developer community. Many of you made comments to suggest that some kind of collaboration between 1060 and the developer community is the way to go, leveraging what has already been done.

This being the case i’d like to suggest that we do this on (unless the reason many of you are not using it because it stinks ;-) ) Also if any of you know any wizards who are up to speed on developing IDE plugins for Eclipse/IntelliJ and/or know if their are tools for targeting both of them with one code base please let me know. I’m keen to move this initiative forward!

Send any comments directly to me or comment on this post - thanks!