One of the things I do quite often is running PHP's regression test suite which is using a custom test format called .phpt. The PHP source distribution, and CVS checkouts, include a nice script for running them called run-tests.php.
run-tests.php gives a summary of failed tests in the end. As a developer I'm now interested for the reasons for the failures. The test system therefore produces a bunch of files, a file containing the expected output, one containing the actual output and a diff between these as relevant files. The problem there is that the diff, for being portable, is using a quite simple machnism which only shows the lines which differ without any context. This makes it quite hard to read. Therefore I usually diff the .exp and .out files myself for doing that I have a few simple shell scripts which I call with the test name and then get a proper diff.
Lately I've changed my way of working and use vim less, I still use it, but I use NetBeans as an IDE more and more. So I thought a bit about that test issue and searched my brain for my Java skills and started playing around to see whether I manage to write a NetBeans plugin which can run the tests and report the results in a usable way. Over the time it looked quite promising, so I registered a launchpad project and imported the code to a repository there. Now I think I've reached a true milestone which should basically work for interested folks. And released a version 0.6.0.
The module registers an menu entry and a toolbar icon to start a wizard. This wizard asks you for the PHP binaries to use and test directory to run. It will then run the tests and open a window with the results of each test. By double clicking or using a context menu you can then get the actual test code and a diff. If you have PHP support installed in NetBeans the code will also be highlighted.
There are still a few issues most importantly you need a special version of run-tests.php, which is bundled, and not all things, like redirect tests, are supported. There are certainly other issues, but the aim is mostly to help me. If you're interested feel free to report a bug and maybe I look into it. If you're brave you can also fetch the code and start hacking it - but keep in mind I'm no Java developer and had no idea what I'm aiming at and how to write NetBeans modules when I started, you can see that in the code
This code requires Java 6 (since I make use of SwingWorker) and I didn't test older NetBeans versions than 6.5 since that version has proper PHP support and there's little sense in having older versions installed.
P.S. The screenshot is a bit faked: The inner windows don't appear exactly like that, yet, but that's the aim and you can easily use Drag'n'Drop inside the IDE to arrange them till I found out how to that from within the code.
I recently wrote a few postings about great Sun stuff. The reason for that? - Well since joining Sun I get all the information about the things Sun does and there are tons of cool things, I enjoy OpenSolaris, especially DTrace and zfs (zfs snapshots!) - these are great pieces of technology. Ok, you can feel that OpenSolaris isn't finished yet, but it's a good step from a classic Unix to a quite usable system.
Now Sun is famous for another product family: Java. For me Java has always been a synonym for ugly and annoying applets and over-engineered "enterprise" applications which are close to being unusable. Being Sun I learned about a new technology for fighting the RIA wars against Microsoft's Silverlight and Adobe's Flex: JavaFX. After browsing a while over the different sites I found out that key part of JavaFX is a declarative scripting language for creating user-interfaces. That sounds quite cool - no annoying and over-verbose XML and no procedural coding for describing a GUI, but a syntax which looks quite sane for that. So I wanted to give it a shot. And that's where the trouble began ...
NetBeans 6.5 is soon to be released. After 10 years of NetBeans that's the first version of Sun's OpenSource IDE featuring PHP support. While 6.5 is waiting to be packaged the development didn't stop and the first features for the successor, NetBeans.next, are already being developed. David Van Couvering just showed a preview of a cool new feature: SQL completion in PHP strings, if it does what the screenshot promises that's a damn great addition in my opinion....