IntelliJ Beefs Up Java 9 Support
IntelliJ Beefs Up Java 9 Support
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

JetBrains Intellij IDEA has been updated with new features and better support for Java 9, including for Jigsaw, the element that makes Java 9 modular.

The improved Java 9 support in this version starts with features to support the Java Platform Module System. There's a new IntelliJ feature called the Java Module Diagram that shows the modules you have defined in your project in green; any automatic modules, (those modules that are dependencies on traditional jar files) in blue; and any JDK modules in yellow. The diagram works for JRE modules as well.


module diagram


Writing about the new diagrams in a post on the Intellij blog,JetBrains' Tricia Gee said:

"These diagrams give a clear picture of which modules have been defined and which modules they depend upon, and can help you either to create a clean separation when creating a modular system, or simply visualize what is going on with the new Java Platform Module System."


mod diag2


Elsewhere in the new release, smart code completion has been improved, specifically Chain Completion. .The suggestions are now displayed after the first call of Smart Completion, and they’re sorted by how frequently they’re used in the project. Control flow analysis has also been improved, and now detects a wider variety of problems in the code.

One nice addition for those developers moving code to Java 9 is support for refactoring to Java 9. The IDE finds the code where you construct sets and pre-fill them with data, and suggests replacing it with Set#of(String…items) where possible. It will also find loops spinning on a volatile field and suggest calling Thread#onSpinWait() inside such a loop. This call may significantly improve the performance of your code.

Alongside the Java 9 support, the new release has an improved debugger, and new inspections. The debugger now allows you to filter arrays and collections in Variables, Watches, Evaluate Expression and other similar views.

Support for Groovy 2.5.0 has been added, along with support for Kotlin 1.1.3. The Kotlin editor has been improved and supports semantic highlighting,  TODO highlighting, and hints for parameter names in method calls where the meaning of the arguments may not be clear from the context. It can also show type hints, displaying inferred types for variables, functions, and parameters.

The editor comes in two versions, a community edition that is free and open source for JVM and Android development, and the Ultimate edition. This is the one needed for Web development, and has a free trial version before the commercial license kicks in.



More Information

What's New In IntelliJ IDEA

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