Why won't they bloody use SpringLayout!!!???
The Netbeans developers should know the answer, several ones are on the NB mailing list.
There's been a lof of talk about Matisse. I've just looked at it for a short time, it looked nice, but since it's pre-beta I disabled it again.
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scan the classpath
It happens every time i load NetBeans with an existing project. It is done on a background thread now, so really it just means most features aren't available for several minutes...
I then guess this isn't normal behaviour. For my small sized (hobby) projects it takes a few seconds and it's ready. Also, when I open the project I keep it open for the rest of the session. :-)
A while ago I've seen a corrupted cash container (from the classpath scan) and NB didn't like this. Can't remember the exact details, but deleting the cash folder in the NB config folder solved it.
I don't mean to be bashing it or anything. I *want* to use it instead of Eclipse. If only to avoid SWT for political reasons ;-). But I can't suffer the drop in productivity that the switch would cause at this point. One of the main things being the slow and cumbersome auto-complete, and the fact that I have to wait for Ant builds. With Eclipse I never have to wait at all for code to compile, unless I do a clean build or refresh the workspace to pull in external changes.
Avoiding SWT is wise.
Please don't hesitate to ask on the NB mailing list what's concerning your problems with NB. I think it's worth a try. They'll help, if they can.
Good luck, and please don't give up yet.
This last sentence has got some irony in it: the first time I tried Netbeans (4.0?) I've been shocked because it just didn't do what I wanted it to do and was so different to Jbuilder (which I used to use). I finally wiped NB from my harddisc. Some weeks later I again downloaded the same version and tried it again. Don't know why. I configured many options (to get used to the options menu is a bit tedious once, but it's well worth it) and then: NB worked like a charm for my purposes. Since then we're "friends". :-)
I don't use Eclipse so I can't compare NB to it. Jbuilder has been a responsive IDE for my/our taks, but NB does match it well. I also use Jedit as Java app and actually can't see any difference when typing concerning the responsiveness (sp?).
Code completion, well, there's a big difference between 4.1 and 4.2. For example for my classes using JOGL with all the GL_ definitions, this difference is very noticeable when hitting the code completion keys (it changed in 4.2_beta). In 4.1 it takes a long time for the classes using JOGL, in 4.2_beta it's just there.
Also there are several options to adjust its behaviour (like GKW said, I'm not even sure which ones I disabled and enabled exactly, I tend to always take the option files over from version to version. Some Javadoc popup I disabled definitely.