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JetBrains Java IDE adds project analysis, build system improvements

JetBrains Java IDE adds project analysis, build system improvements

JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA 2021.2 checks Java code changes for errors before compilation and eases management of Maven and Gradle dependencies with Package Search plug-in.

Credit: Dreamstime

JetBrains has released version 2021.2 of its IntelliJ IDEA integrated development environment for JVM languages. The upgrade emphasises capabilities such as project analysis and easier management of build system dependencies.

Downloadable from jetbrains.com, IntelliJ IDEA 2021.2 was released on July 26. The update introduces project-wide analysis for Java projects, a new feature that checks every code change for errors before compilation. However, this feature is limited to the IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate edition.

In both the Ultimate and Community editions of the IDE, version 2021.2 also will initiate several actions when a project is being saved including reformatting code and optimising imports.

These actions are grouped in Preferences/Settings > Tools > Actions on Save. And version 2021.2 makes it easier to manage Maven and Gradle dependencies with a Package Search plug-in, which allows developers to find version updates for dependencies.

Other new capabilities in JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA 2021.2 for Java include a new two-step JavaFX project wizard has been introduced. Also, developers can mark public, protected, and private Java members (methods, fields, classes) in different ways. Additionally for Java, new inspections have been added for particular use cases in data flow analysis.

A migrate refactoring capability enables migration of a project or module from Java EE to Jakarta EE while by default, Kotlin code completion now works based on the machine learning mechanism. Also for Kotlin, support for WSL 2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and a Run Targets feature have been introduced.

For JavaScript, the IntelliJ Ultimate edition can rename useState values and functions simultaneously. In addition, Scala 3 support has been improved, with faster indexing and Scala 3 project creation enhanced. Also for Scala, developers can use compiler-based error-highlighting to avoid false error reports.

The Preview tab now works in the debugger and specific to editor, descriptions for inspections and quick fixes are more comprehensive and some include examples. Also in the editor, diagrams have become more informative, with a Structure view with a diagram map and a preview of the selected block and neighbours.

Markdown support now includes the ability to convert .md files to and from various formats, change image sizes, and use drag and drop to insert images.

From a user experience standpoint, IntelliJ now can automatically detect Eclipse projects stored locally from the dedicated folder on the Welcome screen. Tool window organisation has been made easier, with developers able to drag them by their name bar and drop them to the highlighted place within the main IDE window or in a separate window.

If a project is missing a plug-in for a specific framework, the IDE will alert the user and offer to enable it. Meanwhile, when previewing HTML files in a browser, the IDE will show saved changes made to an HTML file or the linked CSS and JavaScript files. Finally, developers can connect to Docker via SSH.


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