IntelliJ IDEA 12.1 on Java 7 on Mac OS X still experimental?

With Java 8 coming and Java 6 unsupported it’s quite surprising to find out that Java 7 is still not yet on a par with the mentioned versions for many tools.

I’ve been a passive user of IntelliJ IDEA for quite some time now, and I remember I made a few attempts to become more active with its use. But it’s quite recently when I decided to fully embrace the IDE as the IDE of my choice.

With the support of WebSphere Liberty Profile, Scala, Maven and many others, I’m into the IDE for April and perhaps for the months to come. I do think I should have made that happened long before, though.

I’m on Mac OS X 10.8.3 and Oracle has just released Java™ SE Development Kit 7, Update 21 (JDK 7u21). In the meantime, I came across the blog entry Setting up for scala development on Android where I read about developing Android applications in Scala with OpenJDK 7.

I fired up IntelliJ IDEA 12.1 to find out it still uses Java 6.

With the thread IDEA on JDK 7 – now that Mac OS X is officially supported I learnt that it’s possible to run IDEA with Java 7, but it should still be considered, well, experimental.

I changed /Applications/IntelliJ\ IDEA\ 12.app/Contents/Info.plist so it contained “JVMVersion” => “1.7*” (use plutil -p to inspect the settings).

It did use Java 7, but the flickering appears and it’s barely possible to display the About IntelliJ IDEA popup window – it shows up and almost instantaneously disappears.

about-intellij-idea-java-7

Any tips how to improve the situation? Are there use cases where IDEA with Java 7 should not be used at all?

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6 Responses to IntelliJ IDEA 12.1 on Java 7 on Mac OS X still experimental?

  1. mproch says:

    Interesting :)
    I remember that Idea was always reluctant to work with OpenJDK, but you mention Oracle version. Short googling shows this thread:
    http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-93710
    Could it be your problem?

  2. I have just tested Intellij Idea 12.1.5 with jdk7 u40. Result is owful. Ugly fonts, perfomance degradation (in comparison to Apple JDK 1.6), spurious hangups, flickering.

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