Tuesday, January 19, 2010

OpenBSD NC4200: Howto change the web browser for NetBeans 5.5 & other issues.

Hola. NetBeans 5.5 can be installed using OpenBSD's package. I got mine installed and after playing with it, found a few things that might be interesting fer those who're using OpenBSD + NetBeans.

First of all, by default NetBeans have a few web browser listed in Tool > Options > General tab. If you have either Mozilla, Firefox or Netscape installed; there should be no issue but if you're like me, who installed Firefox 3.5 instead, the will be some problem. If you choose Firefox in NetBeans option, you'll get the browser not configured error as Firefox 3.5 will be installed as "firefox35". Well, previously I just create a symbolic link for "firefox" pointing to "firefox35" like this:

# ln -s /usr/local/bin/firefox35 /usr/local/bin/firefox

and wallah! NetBeans can use the web browser feature happily. Then just now I found out another way round. In NetBeans's Tool > Options window, click on the Advanced Options's button. Go to Options > IDE Configuration > Server and External Tool Settings and then expand the Web Browser link. You'll see Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape and Swing HTML Browser listed there. Right-click on the Firefox link and choose "rename". Rename it to Firefox35 (basically this is optional, it's just a name). Then click on the Firefox link, change the "Browser Executable" option in the Properties window to the right from:

firefox -remote "openURL({URL})"


firefox35 -remote "openURL({URL})"

so that the "Process" option is changed from "firefox" to "firefox35" and leaving "Arguements" text intact. Then click "Ok" and "Close" the Advanced Options window. Then try selecting the NetBeans "Help" link and it should open the requested page from firefox35. But as the NetBeans version is lagged behind the current NetBeans version, you'll mostly get "Page Not Found" page from NetBeans's website. Oh well.

I also found another issue with NetBeans. I think this is a problem for a wide variety of OpenBSD + NetBeans user regarding of the NetBeans's version. The not-so-famous "garbled output text" issue. In my case, when I build any project, the first few build will display boxes in the Output window instead of readable build results. So I need to hit F11 a few times before the build result will display the correct readable text. But unfortunately the Run (F6) and Debug (F5) function is much worst. The Output's result is ALWAYS displaying boxes instead of readable text. Why is it not so famous? Well I guess there's only a handful of people using NetBeans on OpenBSD. If I managed to get any similar issue from Google, there's no solution whatsoever. There was one person using Ubuntu and NetBeans 5.5 who had the same issue but there seems no follow up on it. Maybe he managed to find a solution? I'm not sure. In OpenBSD's camp, a guy did put the issue in mailing list and then he opted to go for Eclipse instead. So, no luck to find the solution fer now. I downloaded Eclipse and whoa, with so many modules I can choose; I don't think I have the time.

Anyway, in NetBeans's Tools > Options > Miscellaneous > Ant, I noticed that if I change the "Verbosity Level" from "Normal" to "Quiet", building my project will not display any garbled / boxes text. But then any project which will display any result to Output (System.out.println( ) for example), Running / Debugging the project is as useless as Output with unreadable text because "Quiet" level will not display any output result, just a simple "Build Successful (Total time: x seconds)". *Sigh*. If not for this issue, NetBeans will be just perfect. I'm not sure if this is related to Ant or the 5.5 version of NetBeans. But I do know nearly all people who have/had this problem is using OpenBSD.

I read somewhere that a person suggested to another OpenBSD+NetBeans user to install "dejavu" font but there's no follow up after that. So I don't know if that will resolve the issue or not. Maybe I'll find something the more I play with NetBeans. But still, if anyone out there now any info / solution for this problem, please just comment on my blog here so I can test and share it. Any link/workaround/script/module worth trying is, well, worth trying.

That's it fer now. Yeah well I started learning Java programming a few days ago. Still a newbie. Later.

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