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Best way to introduce yourself to IntelliJ?

Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
Now that there's no looming deadlines and I can afford to spend some time checking out IntelliJ I'm wondering what the best way to get "introduced" to it is. What I mean by that is how to get acquainted with the most important and commonly used features, such as code completion, refactoring, version control (with CVS in my case), compiling/building, libraries, JDK, etc. I'm sure there's lots of documentation and good books around, but I'd like to avoid wading through pages and pages of information on features and options that are rarely used or only important once you're using IntelliJ daily and want to fine tune it's operation.

Any advice on what to do to get started quickly? I loaded up the evaluation version and was quickly overwhelmed, I don't have a week to devote to reading just to see if I like it better than Eclipse and should ask the company to spend $500.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Many developers have a small pet project that they develop again and again as a way of learning a new language or environment. Games are good for this, but in this particular case anything that you know reasonably well how to do in Java would be fine. I know somebody (we all do, he's a sheriff here...) who uses the game Mastermind for this purpose.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
Understood, but I'm asking if there's any sort of "quick start guide" resource on the web to help acquaint you with the most commonly used features, or do we just have to figure out what we need and go find the documentation for it? As IntelliJ promotes themselves as being developer-friendly I thought there might be something like what I'm looking for, but perhaps it's too hard to ascertain what is commonly used and important to the developer, or perhaps most just go straight to the documentation on various features rather than looking for a tutorial-like guide.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

This book?

I'm thinking hard trying to remember how I started using it, and I can't recall. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool IDEA user these days.

The built-in documentation isn't too bad, really. Start with "Help | Help Topics" and read the first few pages for a UI overview.
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
Oh well, I'll just stick with reading the tips and help topics then, thanks.
Theodore Casser
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Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

The way I got acquainted, back when I started with IDEA, was to just dive in, really. It's how I started with JBuilder and Eclipse too - just started with something slightly more simple (figure, something small and not quite so massive as perhaps whatever you're doing already) than what I was doing at work, and figured out how I could get the IDE to do all the things that I needed...

Seems to be the easiest way sometimes to me, to just get wet all at once...


Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

IDEA is really intuitive and follows a lot of similar conventions of other popular IDE's/Editor's for doing the same thing. It has just enough Wizards for project setup that most things are a snap. Context menu's mean pretty much what they say.

This page has links to PDF's of the keymappings for shortcuts for Windows, Linux, and Mac. I have one of these laminated and hanging on the wall.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
Yeah I found the keymap, that was a tremendous help. The problem I have with trying to look through documentation is in order to do so efficiently you need to know what you're looking for first. As a user considering migrating I don't know what all the most important features are. For example, live templates are a pretty important and useful code generation tool but I hadn't a clue they were meaningful to every day development until I saw them some place and looked purely out of curiousity. I was hoping there was something like a "Here's the most important tools for using the editor and here's how to use them..." kind of thing but since that doesn't appear to exist I'm taking Ernests's advice and reading the help topics one by one.

Thanks.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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