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First Beta Release Of Netbeans Drupal Development Tool Version 2

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I just pushed out the first beta release of version 2 of the Netbeans Drupal Development Tool tonight. The source is here and you can grab the NBM here.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this version introduces Drush support. Nothing has changed with that since the initial release, so I won't go back into detail on the Drush side. There have been numerous changes since then though, which I would like to touch on.

First up is the API Tree window. That got some much needed love. Here's a screenshot of the new and improved window:

The top textfield, which used to function as a search for api.drupal.org, has been replaced with a quick find option. Simply start typing the name of a hook or themeing function and the tree will move to the first match. Hitting enter will move the selection on down the tree. You can also go to the next or previous item via the navigation buttons.

I also spent some time better organizing the tree items. Instead of going off what the source files said, I actually went through and categorized them as I saw fit. This was really useful on Drupal 6 items, which never really had categories.

Below the tree is now a help section. Currently the help appears only for hooks. The help is included with the module, but is generated from the same source as api.drupal.org. If you wish to still go to api.drupal.org, you can by right clicking on an item and selecting help. 

The context menu also has another option for hooks, implementations. If you have Drush installed and configured with Netbeans, then this will search your project for all implementations of a certain hook and provide you with a hyperlink that takes you to that file and line in the Drush window:

Drush Implementation

So what happened to the api.drupal.org search bar? Well that has simple moved back up to the top toolbar in Netbeans. It works the same as before, but with a new home.

There has also been a major change to the templating library. The option to use a different library has been changed in how it functions. The core library that ships with the plugin will always be used, but you can specify an extra library. In your extra library you can add new items or override existing ones. The templates for things like hooks and theme implementations has also changed. They are now XML based. Instead of going into detail here, check out the other new feature:

HELP!

Help is now included in the module under the Netbeans help system. In there you can find usage as well as directions on creating your own templates. The help was put together rather quickly right now, but I will be giving it more love as time permits.

The last new feature is the ability to set the Drupal directory on a per-project basis. This is located under project properties and is useful if you have Drupal in a subdirectory. If Drupal is in your root, then you don't need to worry about this configuration. In the previous release you had to set this option if you had your Netbeans meta folder in a separate directory outside of the source. That has also changed. The tool now knows where to look for your project source root without any further interactions.

I'm targeting to have a final release of Version 2 on December 1st. I don't anticipate adding any new major features before the final release. The more testers we get for the beta release, the more certain that release date becomes. Again, if you notice any problems please include all information possible in the support ticket, especially if the problem involves the Drush system.

I hope everyone enjoys the improvements and sorry about the changes to the template system, but this new system makes it much more flexible than before and means it shouldn't undergo any major changes anytime soon.