BlueJ features – where do we draw the line?

In a comment to an earlier entry on this page – “What’s happening with BlueJ?” – Peter Loborg mentioned a couple of features he misses in BlueJ: the ability to display the full UML details of a class in the diagram, and better support for packages.

This touches on a general point: what features should BlueJ support?

Most people agree that one of BlueJ’s main strengths is its small size (as seen by the user) and simple interface. At the same time, most people want us to include their favourite feature…

A few thoughts about feature inclusion in general and the UML feature in particular.

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To complete or not to complete

Some thoughts on auto-completion and auto-formatting.
At the BlueJ team, we regularly get requests for new features. Two of the most requested features are auto-completion (of method names, imports and fields) and auto-formatting (a.k.a. “pretty-printing”) of code.

We have had these discussion since the very first release of BlueJ. So far, I have always refused to include these features. Is it time to re-think?

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BlueJ Gets Teamwork Support

three BlueJsSo, I promised some updates on BlueJ development plans. Let’s see whether I can keep my good intentions at least for a day, and tell you something about what’s going on.

The most interesting new bit of functionality that we are working on for BlueJ is team work support. When this is done, student teams should be able to cooperate easily by using BlueJ.

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What’s wrong with syntax colouring?

Syntax colouring – the annotation of source code with different colours for keywords and other syntactic tokens – has become standard in just about all development environments. Yet, it often does not make sense.

I don’t mean to say that it does not make sense at all to use colour to annotate source code. On the contrary. What I am saying is that almost all syntax colouring systems colour the wrong things.

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