Task Focused Interface for NetBeans IDE

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Task Focused Interface for NetBeans IDE

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When I first saw a Task Focused Interface in Eclipse, i.e., Mylyn, I became fascinated with the concept.  Maintaining files that are open as a task context was a very useful feature of that interface while switching between multiple tasks. 

I started searching for similar feature in my favorite IDE, NetBeans IDE.  I could not find a NetBeans plugin which can track all my open files as my task context.  I also found some references of people asking this feature at NetBeans Forums and Stackoverflow.

The urge for having such a NetBeans plugin motivated me to create a new module for NetBeans which I named NBTaskFocus.  This module is in working mode but still in alpha phase.  This project is available for review at:


The project NBTaskFocus provides one feature for now and that is tracking your editor files in the task context.  It is available in source format for download and review if you are interested in such an interface.

Let me walk you through the features offered by the NbTaskFocus project.  When you run the module project you get two panels from the Task Focus menu, and they are Task Explorer and Task Details panels.

 Menus for Task Focused interface

  1. Make sure you open the Task Explorer and Task Details panels by using the menu options
    1. Window > Task Focus > Task Explorer and
    2. Window > Task Focus > Task Details
  2. Right click on the Task List node of Task Explorer panel and choose Add Task to add one task, repeat this to add more tasks.  You can rename the task using the Task editor which opens after adding the task.  You can close the Task Editor after renaming the task.
  3. Right click on the Task node and select Activate Task to make it activated
  4. Now when one of the Tasks is active open some files in editor area.  You can use the Favorites panel to open any file which can be opened in NetBeans IDE.  All the files you open will get added to the Task Details panel and will be part of the active task context.  If you close any editor window that file will get removed from the task context and will not be shown in the Task Details panel.
  5. Now right click on another task in the Task Explorer panel and activate it by choosing the Activate Task menu option from the context menu.  This will remove all the opened files in the editor area and you will see an empty editor area as the next task is a new task not activated yet.  Open some more files and see them getting added in the task context and shown in the task details panel.
  6. When we activate the earlier task the earlier files which were open for that task are restored and the current task context is removed from the editor area.

NetBeans IDE with NBTaskFocus panels

I will be adding more features and improving the code base from the received feedback and suggestions from developers.  Please reply with your comments and you may also send me mail on tusharvjoshi [at] netbeans.org



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