When the IDE reports "Insufficient memory to compile", we're directed to this page:
Here, we find instructions for the user to edit an obscure text file and add an obscure setting to an obscure configuration string. This is a MAJOR usability problem.
For something that arises often enough to have a FAQ entry, NetBeans really should do something automatically or nearly automatically to fix the issue. At worse, the IDE should ask the user if they want the VM memory cap adjusted, and then the IDE makes the adjustment and then restarts itself.
There are multiple reasons why this is a usability problem:
- The location of the config file is different on different platforms.
- The settings are overwritten every time the user installs a new version of the IDE.
- Settings like this are often confusing and easy to screw up.
- Making settings like this often simply do not work.
I've been asked several times, in the course of chasing down a bug, to make settings changes like this, and despite following precise instructions, there was no effect. Either the instructions were wrong, or the feature is broken. Either way, the user should not have to mess around with something so error-prone.
BTW, the ONLY time that the user should have to edit the config file is for debugging purposes. Certainly not for something this routine.
I agree that some ways of streamlining user experience in this regard would be better considered.