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Plugins

 
Greenhorn
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First off, love the IDE and I am amazed and how often IDEA plesantly surprises me. I wanted to participate and was kicked into action with the announcement of your Plugin competition back in Sept/Oct. I had the killer tool. Got the basic tool created soon enough and then went to integrate it into IDEA. On aspect of the integration sought to add an additional tab to the Run/Config dialog much like CodeCoverage or YourKit adds behavior to existing configurations.

That turned out to be quite impossible. As disappointing as that was since it seemed to me a natural enhancement path to augment current configs, the real pisser was how long I did this trying to come to that conclusion. Just documenting the API's and the trivial examples here seemed to fall short quickly.

Will your book assist the Plugin developer beyond what is presently available on your plugin page?

That would be nice, but I would think that Plugin development is crucial to perpetuating your client-base's enthusiasm and bolstering freely available plugin development information would be important.
 
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Hello Greg,

Just wanted to clarify that we're not currently promoting a book, but rather IntelliJ IDEA itself - we're giving away IntelliJ IDEA licenses to randomly selected forum posters.

I can admit that not all areas of our API are sufficiently documented. Unfortunately we don't have the resources to provide good quality documentation for the entire plugin API. However, we do have a forum where you can ask plugin development questions: http://intellij.net/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=23

The forum is monitored by JetBrains developers and a number of very helpful community members, so you can usually get the answers you need if you ask there.
 
Greg Moose
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Thanks for the reply. Just curious why it was made so difficult to alter current configurations? The YourKit folks had the inside scoop, so they were able to figure it out, so it's not impossible, I guess. It just seems to me that making folks completely redo their Run Configs to take advantage of a new runtime addition doesn't allow for an easy adoption of a new plugin of that type. Perhaps you make it hard on purpose since it could easily interfere with the very basic debugging aspect of the IDE...
 
Dmitry Jemerov
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Hello Greg,

It's actually the other way round. The architecture of the run configurations feature was made very flexible in order to allow plugging both new run configuration types (like "Applet") and new runners (like the "Profile" runner added by the YourKit plugin). However, because of all the flexibility, it's quite hard to figure out, and we don't have the resources to provide good documentation or examples for this part of the API.

Also, adding small extensions to existing run configuration types was not a design goal when the API was designed. Later we encountered a number of cases where such extensibility would be desired, so it's likely that we'll provide an API for this in a future version.
 
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