Software development toolmaker JetBrains has released the latest version of its code-centric Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA 2018.3. The much-anticipated update of the popular development environment comes with a range of new features, bug fixes, and early support for features in the upcoming Java 12. This is the third major update of the IDE released this year.
Among those early Java 12 features is support for JEP 326, “Raw String Literals,” which provides a new way to declare strings without escape characters or Unicode escapes. (A raw string literal is a string literal that does not recognize escape sequences, such as \n.)
This release also comes with Java Stream API improvements, a new data-flow-based inspection that detects situations in which a first condition is unnecessary because its covered by a second condition, and the ability to see when a suppressed inspection no longer addresses warnings in an associated method body, class, or statement.
There are some significant improvements the editor in this release. The IDE now highlights the first and all subsequent TODO comment lines in the editor and displays them in the TODO tool window; a new indentation status bar displays the size of the indent in the current file; users of the IDE can create a scope to disable code formatting from being done on specific files and folders; and syntax highlighting and code completion are now available for EditorConfig files.
Version control has also been enhanced with a long list of improvements in this release. That list includes, among other enhancements: the ability to view GitHub pull requests in the IDE; support for Git submodules; the ability to navigate within VCS Log to the previous/next selected commit; and the ability of the History Up to Here action to show the full history. IntelliJ IDEA also has a new option to copy a file from one Git branch to another, the branch files are committed to is now displayed in the Commit dialog, the IDE updates Git multi-repository projects faster, and, by default, the IDE now uses the Native Git SSH Executable.
The complete list of enhancements in this release is available on the JetBrains Web site on the “what’s new” page.
Two editions of the new version of IntelliJ IDEA are available for download now from the company Web site: a community edition for JVM and Android development, which is free and open source, and an “Ultimate” edition for Web and enterprise development, which includes a free trial.
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