IDE on JRE UI Review

Author: Ondrej Langr

$Id: index.html,v 1.8 2008/07/04 10:08:06 ondrej Exp $ (see full CVS history)

Table of Contents


This document reviews the process of installing, running and updating the IDE with JRE instead of the full JDK.

Related documents and bugs are:


A follow up of this document is a IDE running on JRE UI Specification, which suggests solutions to findings identified.

Review was done and screenshots were taken in NetBeans 6.5 Dev build 2008-06-23.

Findings and Recommendations

Installation Scenario

Finding 1

When components requiring JDK are selected in the installation customizer, the fact that JDK will be required but is not detected is not provided immediatelly, but 2 screens later.


We should inform the user right in the customizer panel (and also in the panel where selected components are shown) that JDK will be needed and seems not to be present.

Filed as #138227.



Finding 2

When only components running on JRE are selected, the label on the panel where NetBeans folder is customized still displays "JDK for the NetBeans IDE" despite that JRE is also sufficient here (tested with Base IDE + PHP).


Filed as #138230.


Running the IDE

This scenario covers running the IDE in configuration requiring JDK on a machine with only JRE installed.

Finding 3

When running an IDE distribution requiring JDK with only JRE available, the following message is displayed:

running IDE without JDK

The message does not clearly (=at the first sight) communicate the main problem - missing JDK. The overall layout and information structure should be better.


Filed as #138233.


Update Scenario - Plugin Manager

This scenario covers situations when a user it attempting to add JDK dependent features into the IDE running on JRE using plugin-manager.

Finding 4

Upon attempting to add Java development related modules (Java, GUI Builder, Java Debugger, Java Profiler) into the IDE running on JRE, a following message is shown:

error dialog

The issue with this dialog is that the name of the plugin (Form Editor and JPDA Debugger API in this case) does not reflect what user selected in the previous dialog. Thus, user may have the impression that they don't really need JDK for their selection, but for something NetBeans has decided to put on their computer without letting them know.

Further, for a PHP/Groovy/C++ developer unfamiliar with Java, it may not be obvious what action is required from them to proceed. A link to JDK download should be added to smoothen the update experience for these users.


Similarly to starting the IDE, we should have a separate dialog, instructing users that what they need is JDK and how to get it.

Filed as #138234.


Update Scenario - Installer

This scenario covers adding JDK dependent bundles(packs) to an installation which only needs JRE, using the installer.

Finding 5

In this situation, the installer proceeds with installation (despite that no JDK is available) and error is displayed at the time IDE is started. The error message does not clearly inform what is the problem and looks as follows:

start after installation of JDK-dependent packs


A dialog (probably identical to that of Finding 3) should be used to inform the user about missing JDK and providing advice on where to get it. At the same time, we may give the user possibility to manually locate the JDK installation folder on the current machine.

Will be solved by solving both Finding 1 and Finding 3. Not filed as a separate issue.


Project Features

About this Project

ui was started in November 2009, is owned by Jiří Kovalský, and has 45 members.
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