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Setup IntelliJ for development of Knora

Create an IntelliJ Project for Knora

  • Download and install a version of IntelliJ IDEA that supports Bazel, eg. version 2019.03.05.
  • Follow the installation procedure and install the Scala plugin

screenshot 'Install Scala Plugin'

  • Add Bazel Plugin: run InteliJ and install the plugin from inside IntelliJ.
  • Create a project for Knora: restart InteliJ and create a project for Knora using Import Bazel Project option.

screenshot 'Import Project'

  • Make sure that the Bazel Workspace points to the path of Knora and click next.

screenshot 'Workspace'

  • Select the Generate from BUILD file option and give the path to the main BUILD.bazel file of Knora, click next.

screenshot 'Bazel build'

  • Uncomment the Scala language and click Finish.

screenshot 'Bazel Scala'

At this point a .ijwb file is created for Knora project and added to the welcome screen of InteiJ. You can open the project by clicking on it.

  • Once the project is built and opened in InteliJ, make sure that project in synced with Bazel build files by clicking on Bazel logo Sync Project with Build Files. This needs to be repeated every time there is a change in a BUILD.bazel file.

screenshot 'Bazel sync'

Setup IntelliJ Code Formatter

Use Scalafmt in IntelliJ IDEA to format Scala code.

In IntelliJ editor setting (Preferences -> Editor -> Code Style -> Scala), choose Scalafmt as formatter and check the box for Reformat on file save as shown below:

screenshot 'setting tab size'

Use IntelliJ IDEA's Run/Debugger Configuration with Knora

First, you need to create an application configuration to run or debug a code. Here the configuration is explained using a test as an example, but similarly the application configuration of InteliJ can be used for building the webapi.

To run a specific test in a command line using Bazel, you would need to give the path of the test relative to its package as defined in the BUILD.bazel of the package. For example, to run the test GravsearchTypeInspectorSpec in the command line, you would need to enter bazel test //webapi/src/test/scala/org/knora/webapi/messages/util/search:GravsearchTypeInspectorSpec. Now to run or debug the same test and its underlying code in InteliJ, a new configuration should be set up:

  • Click on the 'Add Configuration' to create a new application configuration.

screenshot 'new_configuration'

  • Click on the + and choose Bazel Command

screenshot 'new_configuration'

  • Give the type of the command, i.e. test and the path parameter, as shown below. Then press Apply, and finish the configuration by pressing OK.

screenshot 'configuration_setup'

After the configuration is completed, it will appear in a drop-down menu that shows all available configurations.

  • To run a configured command, eg. to run the test GravsearchTypeInspectorSpec,
    1. choose its configuration from the drop-down menu
    2. click on the Run symbol, the results will appear in the a Run window. Note that, before running the test, the docker container of api should be stopped.

screenshot 'configuration_run'

  • To debug the code for example by executing a test:
    1. Click on a line-number to add a breakpoint.
    2. Choose the respective configuration from the drop-down menu.
    3. Click on the debugging symbol to start the application with a debugger attached, as shown below:

screenshot 'debug'

Profile Knora Using VisualVM in IntelliJ

First, download and install VisualVM.

Then, in IntelliJ, under Preferences -> Plugins, search for the VisualVM Launcher, click on "Search in repositories", install the plugin, and restart IntelliJ. IntelliJ's toolbar should now contain a button with a green triangle on an orange circle, with the tooltip "Run with VisualVM":

screenshot 'Run with VisualVM button'

You can use this button to run the class and profile it in VisualVM. The first time you do this, IntelliJ will ask you for the path to the VisualVM executable. On macOS this is /Applications/

When VisualVM starts, it will open a window like this:

screenshot 'VisualVM overview'

To use the profiler, click on the "Sampler" tab, then on the "CPU" button:

screenshot 'VisualVM sampler'

Now run some DSP-API operations that you're interested in profiling, preferably several times to allow the sampler to collect enough data. Then click on the "Snapshot" button:

screenshot 'VisualVM snapshot

In the snapshot, you'll see a list of threads that were profiled:

screenshot 'VisualVM snapshot'

You can then browse the call tree for each thread, looking for Knora method calls, to see the total time spent in each method:

screenshot 'VisualVM call tree'

Last update: 2022-01-18