IDE Wishlist: Library Installation for the Google Generation

Let’s say I’m coding in exploration (or “spike”) mode. Just tinkering a bit, playing around with some ideas. Or maybe experimenting with some new technologies. So it’s quite likely I’ll be downloading and installing some libraries. And I don’t want it to distract me … it should be as transparent as possible.

Even savvy IDEs offer limited support for this sort of thing. Maven can do some magic, but I don’t think it’s very well integrated into the IDEs (I can’t be sure though?). A few wishlist items:

  • Online import intentions When I add a class that’s not in the classpath, give me a list of all known matches in the world. Like what I’d get if I performed a Jarhoo search. ** A “library” database** Similar to the Idea’s plugin manager, which is immensely helpful as it automatically installs plugins, it would be possible to integrate a browser and searcher similar to Jarhoo.
  • Automatically download libraries Triggered by an intention or direct command by the developer of the library.
  • Drop ‘N’ Go Directory As with plugins and deployable components in many containers, let me specify a directory where all JARs are automatically included in the project. That way. I don’t have to go through the configuration hassles.