NetBeans 6.7 – New Debugger Features

I recently started testing some of the latest daily builds, especially since NetBeans 6.7 Milestone 2 release is so close (should be next week). One of the new features available is the ability to configure some debugger settings in the Options window. Users can now configure formatting for variables that appear in the Local Variables and Watches window. They can also specify a series of filters used when stepping through code being debugged…

In the Options window, select Miscellaneous. A new Java Debugger tab should be listed. Select it and you should see a several settings you can select. Click the Step Filters radio button. You should see a set of options, as pictured below.


The step filters let you specify code blocks to automatically skip while you are stepping through code. You can select a checkbox so that all constructors are skipped, which is a really nice feature for me. There usually isn’t any code of consequence in a constructor and it is annoying to step through when you are in a hurry (and not remembering you have a step over keyboard shortcut). You can also use the ‘filter classes matching’ section to add packages and specific classes to skip as well.

Currently several of the buttons in the Variable Formatters section didn’t seem to work at all, so it seems this feature is not completely ready. Hopefully when Milestone 2 is released next week everything will work as expected. In general I’m glad to see these settings added to the NetBeans debugger.

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