Pin Netbeans 6.9 to Windows 7 x64 Taskbar

netbeans-x64-bugIf you try to pin Netbeans 6.9 to the Windows 7 x64 taskbar and have the x64 JDK running, you get a new icon every time Netbeans runs. This is Netbeans bug 178273. The gist is that the netbeans.exe and nbexec.dll which bootstrap netbeans startup are 32-bit native binaries. Netbeans.exe can’t host the 64-bit Java so it copes by launching a child javaw process with a huge list of arguments.

nb-daughter-javaw-process

A possible solution would be to create a shortcut to Javaw with all the arguments for Netbeans and pin that to the Taskbar. Unfortunately, the list of arguments is so large that it isn’t possible to create a shortcut directly to javaw passing everything in. The list gets truncated and the shortcut doesn’t work.

A workable solution is to install the 32-bit JDK and make that the default platform for Netbeans. This works but you have to override the installer which prefers to put Netbeans into the x64 Program Files tree and use the x64 JDK if it is detected.

netbeans-32-bit-sdk-override

This does solve the problem but it’s not that pretty. The downside here is you have to maintain a second 32-bit JDK. You can still build applications with the x64 JDK but you have to fiddle around with registering the extra x64 platform in Netbeans and you have to reference the correct platform in each project.

SevenBeans Plug-In Does it Better

Jump ListSevenBeans is a Netbeans plugin that improves Netbeans Windows 7 taskbar integration. It adds jumplists, icon overlays and taskbar progress bar for background processes in Netbeans such as updating plugins. It fixes the taskbar integration whether you use the x64 or the x86 JDK

SevenBeans uses a native J7Goodies native DLL for integrating with the Windows 7 taskbar which it extracts  J7G<random-number>.tmp in your Temp directory and dynamically loads. If you are using AppLocker DLL rules, you need to create a per-user white list for C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\J7G*.tmp

Once SevenBeans is installed, launch Netbeans and then pin icon you have after Netbeans is up and running to the taskbar.

SevenBeans is cool and it is much nicer than dealing with an extra JDK installation that I didn’t want.

Fix Adobe’s broken PDF preview in x64 Windows

Adobe’s PDF previewer control doesn’t work correctly in x64 Windows because the Adobe Acrobat installer has a bug since June 2007. To be clear, the PDF preview handler works fine on x64 Windows but the Adobe Acrobat Reader setup program doesn’t install it correctly.

This affects previews in the Explorer shell and Outlook 2007/2010.

broken-pdf-preview

Fortunately, Leo Davidson has solved the problem and developed a little utility to fix the Adobe PDF preview control on x64 Windows.

fixed-pdf-preview

Wow. This installer defect has been there for what, 2 1/2 years. Seriously Adobe, this is just sad. Please fix it and while you are at it, send a nice thank you to Leo for solving the issue.

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