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New Drupal Development Tool For Netbeans

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After a couple of years of recompiling the old Drupal module for Netbeans, I finally decided to take some time and make a new module. I wasn’t the author of the original module and it hasn’t been maintained in years. On top of that the module only works for Drupal 6 and I wanted something for Drupal 7.

This has been a real learning experience. I haven’t programmed in Java since the 90’s, so I am basically relearning the language as I go. Not only that, but I also had to learn the Netbeans module API, which is a beast in itself.

Currently the module has two features:

  • Create new modules and themes
  • Insert hooks and template hooks into the editor.

I have created a documentation book for the module that goes into detail on the features and customizing it.

Unlike the old Drupal Module, this module doesn’t use the palette in Netbeans. Instead I opted for a toolbar icon, located on the editor toolbar:

This makes it quicker to get to and allows each instance of the dialog to be set per opened file.

Something else I wanted was an easy way to add in custom hooks and templates. That was my reasoning for going with a template system for code generation and new files. Instead of having to change code in the actual module and recompile then reinstall it, you can simply create your own set of templates and add and change them as you please (see: Customizing The Tool in the documentation).

I do have future plans on how to expand this tool, including form and menu generation. I hope to get to those in the near future, but right now I have a lot on my plate. If anyone would like to help contribute to this project, then please contact me either above or on GitHub. The module is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 so if you even wish to fork it, please feel free to. I made this tool to help with my development process so I decided to share it with everyone else so they can also utilize the great features inside of it.