If you haven’t tried the latest version of IntelliJ IDEA yet, there is at least one important reason to do it. While most of the excitement around the new release has to do with Darcula, the new dark look and feel, the most thrilling feature of IntelliJ IDEA 12 is its brand new compiler.
As we mentioned earlier, the new compiler is much faster and provides new options that were previously unavailable.
On the chart below you can see a comparison of compiler performance in IntelliJ IDEA 12 and IntelliJ IDEA 11. In this test we have measured the time of a complete rebuild of IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition project. As you can see, IntelliJ IDEA 12 is more than twice as fast as the previous version.
Note also the third column, called Parallelized. This is a new compiler option which allows you to use more than one core for building a project. In this case the compiler runs for multiple independent project modules in parallel. Since each compiler thread uses file system, the benefit of parallelizing highly depends on how fast you hard drive is. Still the average gain in performance is spread between 10 and 20 percent for large projects.
One more exciting compiler option added in IntelliJ IDEA 12 is automatic make. This is another time-saver, which triggers project make automatically on every change. Since the compiler runs in a separate process, it is able to compile modified files in the background, while you are doing something else. This means your project is in compiled state all the time, so you don’t need to wait any time you want to run it.
All compiler settings are available via Settings → Compiler. At the moment automatic and parallelized compiler options are disabled by default, so you need to enable them manually via Make project automatically and Compile independent modules in parallel correspondingly.
Stay tuned for more details about new features in our blog.