Redesign of the appearance and use of the old Tasks window

In NetBeans 6.x and 7.0/7.1 the Tasks window has the following characteristics:

Tasks window in NetBeans
Tasks window default providers - mainly TODOs
Tasks window options - for TODOs only
  • Tasks window position is in the output area
  • Tasks window is by default open for all users as soon as a project is opened
  • Tasks window is also available via main menu's Window/Tasks (CTRL+6)
  • Tasks window's content includes items from several different providers:
    • TODO items (scanned from sources - e.g. TODO, FIXME,... in comments)
    • Compiler Errors (and warnings produced by compiler)
    • Issues (manually entered bugtracking items)
    • Hudson Tasks
    • Maven POM problems
    • White lists violations
  • Tasks window allows different filters (sets of task providers to be used)
  • Tasks window default filter includes mainly TODO items and Issues
  • Tasks window allows different scopes:
    • current file only
    • main project and opened projects depending on it
    • all opened projects (the default scope)

Tasks window with the original behavior and appearance has the following problems:

  • suitability of default scope for small projects only
    • the default scope of all opened projects causes the Tasks window to be quickly cluttered with TODOs and compilation warnings - the window shows only 100 items and then stops showing more, but the list in this case is useless anyway
  • performance impact on project scanning times
    • scanning all sources for TODOs (in the default filter) takes ~10% of the raw scanning time (#206026) as Tasks window is bound with its providers to the project scanning job to get its list of project files to go through - we were able to optimize the performance partially but to get down to ~0% we would need to change the default scope to the current file scope
  • future UI collision with new Task Dashboard introduced by Task-focused project
    • new Task Dashboard for manipulation with higher-level tasks (units of work like fixing one bug, implementing one feature, etc) will be introduced soon
    • old Tasks window is using "task" to name a very small unit of work (fix one TODO at a particular place in the sources, fix one compiler warning, ...)

Changes introduced in NetBeans 7.2:

  • "Tasks" window and the action in Window menu renamed to "Action Items", also all occurrences of "task" in the UI renamed to "action item"
  • the window closed by default
  • the default scope of the window's content changed to "Selected Project" (this new scope replaced the existing scope "Main Project and Opened Projects Depending On It")
  • all providers selected by default ("Show All" filter as the default)
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