This application is intended for all Perl enthusiasts who have been long waiting for a Perl IDE, on the NetBeans Platform. It aims at filling the void for Perl programmers in the NetBeans arena by providing an IDE that works out-of-the-box and provides all the features of a full-blown programming environment. This IDE is currently in very early stages of development and aims to be driven by the requirements of community. The features included now will be expanded accordingly.
Initially, the following are the features that are planned to be integrated with this IDE:
Perl File Type Support
Perl Project Type
Code Execution and Syntax checking
Perl Tidy and Perl Critic (Source code formatting and analysis respectively)
Real-time error parsing
Currently, all these features are not available. The available features are as shown in the Features section below.
This IDE requires the following to be installed on your system for the IDE to work properly:
Perl v5.8 or greater
Java 6 or greater
Perl Critic and Perl Tidy applications from my Google Code page (See “Web Links” section below.)
The Perl and Java binaries should be available in the PATH variable of your system.
The installation of “Perl On NetBeans” can be summarized in the following steps:
Downloading the IDE from Google Code
Extracting the downloaded archive file to any location
Downloading the Perl Critic and Perl Tidy executables
Extracting the Perl Tidy and Perl Critic executables to your Perl binary install location (e.g., C:\Perl\bin)
See “Web Links” section below for details of the URLs.
The IDE currently just has the following features.
- Start-up. Once the project is downloaded and extracted, you need to go to the folder perlonnetbeans/bin and use the perlonnetbeans executable. The start-up screen is as shown below:
- New Project. To create a new project, click on the “New Project” icon on the toolbar or select “File -> New project”. The following screen is displayed:
Select “Perl” in the category and “Perl Project” under “Projects”. The subsequent screen will ask for the location where you want the project to be saved and will create a folder by that name with the project sources. The IDE will also open the project for further activities.
- Open Project. To open an already existing project, select the “Open Project” icon in the toolbar or go to “File -> Open Project”. This opens up the project selection dialog box and enable you to select am existing Perl Project to be opened. Perl project have been assigned a different icon to distinguish them from other kinds of projects, as shown below.
- New File. A new file can be added to any project by Right Click on the project node and then by selecting “New -> Other” as shown below.
This opens-up the subsequent window for selecting the file type and locations. Select the “Perl” category and then select “Empty Perl File” as the file type.
The subsequent windows will ask for the location where the files should be saved. This should be ideally left on the IDE to decide as it selects the code folder automatically.
- Check Files for Syntax Errors. This feature enables you to check the syntax of the file that is currently selected in the editor. To execute any specific file that is currently selected in the editor, go to “Run -> Parse” or use the “Parse” button on the toolbar. This checking happens based on the version of the Perl compiler that is currently installed on your system.
- Execute Files. This feature enables you to execute the file that is currently selected in the editor. To execute any specific file that is currently selected in the editor, go to “Run -> Run” or use the “Run” button on the toolbar. This execution happens based on the version of the Perl compiler that is currently installed on your system.
- Tidy Files. This feature enables you to perform source re-formatting as per Perl::Tidy v20090616. To perform analysis, select the file in the editor and go to “Run -> Perl Tidy”. This will run the source code formatter against the selected source.
This will create a backup file (<filename.pl>.bak) of the selected file in the editor and format the selected file as shown below, first pic is "before", next pic is "after":
- Criticize Files. This feature enables you to perform source analysis as per Perl::Critic v 1.109. To perform analysis, select the file in the editor and go to “Run -> Perl Critic”. This will run the source code analyzer against the selected source.
The output of the analysis will be provided in the Output window, as shown in the screenshot below:
Since this is a community driven initiative, I would request everyone to log-on to my Google Code space for downloading the IDE. Also for any issues, please do log an issue with Google Code on my project space. And for any comments/suggestions, please do send a mail to my Google Groups group-id as mentioned in the “Web Links” section below.
My Google Code space – http://code.google.com/p/perl-on-netbeans
Perl On NetBeans user group – http://groups.google.com/group/perlonnetbeans
Google Groups mail-id - firstname.lastname@example.org
Perl Tidy and Perl Critic applications - http://perl-on-netbeans.googlecode.com/files/perlonnetbeans_tidy-critic.zip