Netbeans - Improve speed by disabling local history

Netbeans is an IDE in and for Java. Netbeans has improved significantly since the last time I tried it, which was years ago. At the time of writing, Netbeans 8.0.2 is the latest stable version. Netbeans offers a number of useful features for integrating with version control systems, connecting with continuous integration servers, issue trackers and cloud services.

One of the features of Netbeans in its default installation is “Local History”. Local History is a plugin that tracks changes to files made over time while working on a project. It keeps a number of snapshots of a file that is being edited. You can also compare local snapshots that are stored.

For slower systems, typically virtual machines, storing snapshots of files can result in periodic and unexpected delays while working. I/O operations tend to be slower - or rather you may experience longer delays before writing is done - as the virtual machine host is shared by a number of users. If you disable Local History this decreases the number of unexpected delays significantly. This disables snapshots of recent local changes to files, but it does not affect the normal undo/redo operations. If you already use a version control system, such as git or svn, then you will still be able to compare against VCS revisions.

To disable Local History, go to Tools, Plugins, click on tab Installed then right-click Local History and click on Deactivate "Local History".

If you appreciate a snappy and responsive application, as I do, then this little tweak may improve your experience. I know it has for me.