NetBeans 6.5 still coughs on spaces



I’ve been trying to slowly introduce NetBeans to my colleagues for over a year. I think they’d actually use it in our current products and projects, but NetBeans won’t make it easy for us. How’s that you ask?

It turns out that we have several projects named with spaces. For example, one project is Tag Server, and another is Agent Registry. Why spaces? Well, the original project was developed using Eclipse, and well…no one told the team that they shouldn’t use spaces. So they did, Eclipse doesn’t mind, and…. that’s the current situation.

I was really encouraged when I found out that NetBeans 6.5 has an Eclipse project importer. It slurped in our Eclipse workspace and projects in what appeared to be just an easy, casual task. It looked fine at first glance. I beamed with pride. My NetBeans was doing so well.

My smile didn’t last long. NetBeans soon began to sputter, gag, and choke. The problem is that NetBeans has had a long-standing problem with path and project names that contain spaces. NetBeans coughed up on the project when trying to compile and run it. It complained that my problem “might be because your user directory is on a Windows UNC path (issue #46813).” I don’t have a UNC path in this project; everything looks like very old-school paths. It’s all on my D:\workspace\… subdirectory. OK, yes, there are some spaces in those subdirectories. But spaces in file and directory names aren’t really special anymore.

Ugh. NetBeans is so close to being perfect in so many ways. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it could be my team’s IDE for most reasons, it cannot be our IDE for one reason. So why don’t we just change our paths and remove the spaces. One reason is that we have dozens of ANT scripts that work with these directories, and we’re on a short timeline ALL of the time. We just don’t have time to mess with it if it doesn’t work. So, NetBeans doesn’t get any traction here.

So, despite the fact that bug id#46813 is supposedly fixed in NB 6.5, something still apparently haunts the product when spaces are involved. Sigh…maybe I’ll try again another day.

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