Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NetBeans plugin: Special copy/paste

The very little I've had to paste code into this fairly new blog, was enough to give me the idea of creating an extension to NetBeans which would help to remedy this formatting nightmare. Now, in my world, there's approximately a 100:1 ratio between idea and actual realization, so I'd have to salute the awesome OpenIDE API's for making this possible spending just a few late nights and taking just 200 lines of code. Without further ado, I present, my first NetBeans plugin.

Special copy/paste
The plugin will add a couple of new actions to the context-sensitive popup-menu of the source editor, which will allow you to copy the selected text as preformatted HTML, as well as a CSS version which will preserve the formatting used in NetBeans.

Using the "Copy as HTML and CSS" menu as in the above screen dump will result in you being able to paste it directly into a website/wiki/blog and have it display like this:

* @param args the command line arguments

public static void main(String[] args) {
// TODO code application logic here

For a larger example of what the output of the plugin looks like, take a look at the plugin's own source code.

It's supposed to be language agnostic, in that it should work with all types of sources NetBeans is able to tokenize. The plugin will try to mimic the formatting of the tokens in regard to font family, keyword and literal colors. It will however *not* be able to show member-wide variables in green as NetBeans does nor show method and class decelerations in bold. This is a limitation caused by the fact that I am only using the NetBeans lexer API rather than doing any kind of semantic analysis or parsing.

If you want to give the plugin a try, download it from NetBean's Plugin Portal. Source code is available here.

It has been made clear to me through the comments, that NetBeans already contains functionality to extract source code as HTML. You can find the feature in the "File" menu under the ill named item "Print to HTML". Since it would appear other people than just me did not associate "print" with that of exporting HTML content, I have filed an issue for the relocation and/or renaming of this.

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