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JetBrains Kicks Off Product Release Binge with New IntelliJ IDEA IDE

Software development toolmaker JetBrains, has been on a bit of a product-release binge that started on July 28 with the release of IntelliJ IDEA 2020.2, which was followed by the releases of the IntelliJ Scala Plugin 2020.2,  PyCharm 2020.2, CLion 2020.2, PhpStorm 2020.2, the EduTools Plugin 3.9, GoLand 2020.2, IntelliJ Rust 2020.2, the Space Beta, and TeamCity 2020.1.3.


Leading this pack of products promulgations, of course, is the venerable code-centric Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA. The company released version 2020.1, the first major update of the year, in April with support for the latest Java 14 release, as well as new features for several Web and test frameworks, an upgrade of the debugger with dataflow analysis assistance, and a new LightEdit mode. The company's newest product is Space, an all-in-one team collaboration environment.

IntelliJ IDEA 2020.2 comes with numerous updates, including the ability to review and merge GitHub pull requests from inside the IDE, navigate between warnings and errors in a file with the Inspections widget, view the full list of issues in a current file with the Problems tool window, and get notified if code changes would break other files. This release also provides new features for Jakarta EE, Quarkus, Micronaut, Amazon SQS API, and OpenAPI.

But the marquee feature in this release is probably support for Java 15, which is due in September. IntelliJ IDEA 2020.2 is fully ready for that release, said Zlata Kalyuzhnaya, JetBrains marketing manager, in a blog post. "We've updated our support for the Records feature, which is now in its second preview, added basic support for Sealed Classes, and provided full support for Text Blocks, which are a full-fledged feature in Java 15," she wrote.

The list of features Kalyuzhnaya highlighted in this release includes:

  • Inlay hint: If changes you make to a Java method or field will cause errors in other files, the IDE will notify you about it with an inlay hint. Click on the hint and the IDE will provide a list of the errors to fix.
  • Pinpointing runtime exception causes: In this release, JetBrains has supplemented exception stack trace analysis with dataflow analysis. Clicking on the stack trace takes you to the exact place in the code where the exception appears.
  • Improved autocompletion for Stream API methods: This release of the IDE is designed to work better with the Stream API. I allows you to start typing the stream method name within the collection itself, which will trigger IntelliJ IDEA to insert 'stream()'automatically. Also, the IDE now suggests chained calls of expected type in the autocompletion.
  • New Variable refactorings: This release introduces this feature, which allows you to replace occurrences of a variable in intermediate scopes, as opposed to only replacing one or all occurrences.
  • Regrouped Java Live Templates: This release groups the Java live templates under the Java node in Settings/Preferences to make it easier for developers to locate them among the live templates for all the other languages.

To learn more, visit the Java section of the JetBrains' what's new page.

Posted by John K. Waters on August 12, 2020