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Bug 232669 - Allow layer browsing even without a layer.xml
Summary: Allow layer browsing even without a layer.xml
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: apisupport
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Project (show other bugs)
Version: 7.4
Hardware: All All
: P3 normal with 1 vote (vote)
Assignee: Martin Kozeny
Depends on:
Reported: 2013-07-14 02:55 UTC by ebakke
Modified: 2013-07-14 02:55 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Exception Reporter:


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Description ebakke 2013-07-14 02:55:44 UTC
If a NetBeans module project contains a layer.xml file, it is possible to expand the node for the layer file and see a "<this layer in context>" node to browse the entire NetBeans layer system filesystem. This is a very useful feature.

The feature request: make it possible to browse the system filesystem without actually having a layer.xml file in the module.

Rationale: With annotations gradually taking over for layer files, most new modules won't actually have an explicit layer file. The developer could add an empty layer file just for the purpose of being able to browse the "<this layer in context>" node, except that would trigger an "inefficient to include an empty layer in a module" build error. There are ways around that, but much simpler would be if every module project simply had a node equivalent to "<this layer in context>" somewhere, or maybe a mock "layer.xml" node under the "Important Files" node if no layer file actually exists.

While Jesse Glick notes in a different RFE that "we are deemphasizing source layers as annotations are created" [1], that does not make browsing the system filesystem any less useful. For instance, to understand what @ActionReference(path = "Loaders/text/x-ant+xml/Actions") means, it is very instructive to be able to actually look in that folder and see what other actions might dwell there. Furthermore, the existing NetBeans codebase is still very much layer-based, making it essential to be able to browse the system filesystem in order to understand what is going on in existing components (a big part of the platform's learning path).

This should be equally useful in Ant- and Maven-based module projects (I use maven myself).

Thanks for your consideration!