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Why is IDEA 400 bucks?

Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
I downloaded and istalled intellij's IDEA IDE, thinking it would have to be the most feature rich kick butt IDE out there for it's price tag. After playing with it for a while I don't see why this IDE costs so much? I guess it has to be to the refractoring it can do, but for my day to day work this IDE doesn't seem that great. The editor doesn't seem nearly as customizable as NetBeans. Actually I'm still sticking with JEdit from
www.jedit.org is my primary IDE. I've used NetBeans, Eclipse, JDeveloper, a little bit of IDEA, and JEdit seems to do all I need and is much more customizable as an editor than all of the above. I urge developers to give it a try. With the plugins you cna have almost any feature you want.
[COMMENTS LATER:]
My above comments were in too much haste. I am loving this editor. Glad the guys below convinced me to try it more. 400 bucks is still a huge sum of money for me since I'm poor right now. But man this IDE is sweet. My biggest gripe was that it didn't seem to customizable but I was wrong.
Ok, back to eating crow See ya.
[ June 26, 2002: Message edited by: Rick Reumann ]
Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173
Perhaps you could post a few of the features that you didn't find in IDEA. Then, all of the avid IDEA users here could correct you where you may be wrong about a missing feature, and we could learn if we're missing features that we ought to have.
Thanks,
Craig
Ilja Preuss
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Rick Reumann:
I guess it has to be to the refractoring it can do, but for my day to day work this IDE doesn't seem that great.

So are you saying that you don't think about refactoring as your day to day work?
Did you try the very intelligent template feature? The structure sensitive searches?


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
Well, first off the onus I think is on the IDEA community to explain why it's $400 price tag is warranted over NetBeans or Eclipse. In other words IDEA should be providing awesome features that these other IDEs don't have, not the other way around.
Despite the above, there where still some features that I didn't see IDEA have. I aplogize if these features do exist. I admit I didn't look that hard so I'm sure some are there.
Here are a few things I didn't immediately see:
1) I couldn't see how to customize the editor. To me this is pretty important feature. In other words how do I change shortcuts for common editing tasks? (ie. deleting a line, etc.) Actually a lot of the IDEs are very weak in this regard. NetBeans was pretty customizable but JEdit offered even a lot more features- copying to a register so you can copy/paste from different clipboards etc.
2) I'm sure this can be done, just didn't find it ... how do you have the project menu docked to the left and then have my screen I'm editing not hidden by it?
3) I didn't see a way to collapse code between brackets.
4) Customizable macros?
Anyway, possibly the features above do exist and possibly it's worth the 400 dollars, I would just like some more convincing.
And actually, no, I don't seem to have to refractor code on a day to day basis, although the refractoring capabilities of IDEA are probably awesome. I was just wondering if this alone is why it's 400 dollars.
Thanks for more feedback on this IDE.
Rick
Frank Carver
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Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I'm not an IDEA user, and although I'm still trying to get to grips with Eclipse it still frustrates me on a day to day basis. Yet I would love to use an editor with good refactoring support.
What I've found after a few weeks of attempting to use a refactoring tool is that there are a whole class of bugs and compilation halts which are really just refactoring errors. Except that without automated refactoring support we are all so used to making such changes "by hand", we don't realize it. If you find yourself using search and replace across multiple files, for example, the chances are you are actually refactoring.


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
I agree a refractoring tool would be nice. I just can't afford spending 400 dollars for one right now.
I also was frustrated with Eclipse (the way projects are set up, configuring, etc). The only thing I really liked about it was that it was written in SWT so it was pretty slick on a windows platform. Overall I'm really impressed with NetBeans, I just need a better machine.
Ilja Preuss
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Rick Reumann:
And actually, no, I don't seem to have to refractor code on a day to day basis[...]

So, how do you keep your code clean?
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
So, how do you keep your code clean?

Well, I guess I must be writing to simple of applications since it never really has become a big issue for me. I'm sure I could fine tune after it's completed and make it much better and then yes I'd love a good refactoring tool. I admit this would be great. Unless I'm missing the main point of refactoring I thought it enables you to make changes in your code and that these changes won't cause bugs in the rest of your code as the refactoring tool will make the other necessary changes in other parts of the code.
So, that being said, yes I think a refactoring tool would be great, but is that what most are looking for as the major feature of the IDE? Maybe so and I'm wrong.
I guess you are saying then it's 400 dollars because it's a great refactoring tool? If so that's fine. I just thought it would have a bit more other bells and whistles, that's all.
Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173

1) I couldn't see how to customize the editor. To me this is pretty important feature. In other words how do I change shortcuts for common editing tasks? (ie. deleting a line, etc.) Actually a lot of the IDEs are very weak in this regard. NetBeans was pretty customizable but JEdit offered even a lot more features- copying to a register so you can copy/paste from different clipboards etc.

The editor can be customized via the Tools | IDE Options menu. Virtually all other options are here as well.

2) I'm sure this can be done, just didn't find it ... how do you have the project menu docked to the left and then have my screen I'm editing not hidden by it?

In the upper right corner of the title bar of the Project menu, click the left arrow that is bounded by a box. If you hold the mouse there for a second or two, a tooltip will appear whose text is "Dock."

3) I didn't see a way to collapse code between brackets.

I believe code-folding will be available in version 3.0, which is in development as we speak. It may already be in one of the early access releases provided to people who freely register to be part of the Early Access Program (EAP).

4) Customizable macros?

I'm not sure on this one. I've never desired such a feature for my work to date. Anyone else?
I hope you'll reconsider IDEA if you look for another development environment in the future. I agree that the price tag of a tool like Eclipse can't be beat, but IDEA has countless other features that make coding a joy. For now, the automated refactoring can't be beat. I do plan, however, to try Eclipse later this week when Release 2.0 is finished.
Regards,
Craig
[ June 26, 2002: Message edited by: Craig Demyanovich ]
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
Originally posted by Craig Demyanovich:

I hope you'll reconsider IDEA if you look for another development environment in the future.

Thanks Craig! I'm going to go back to trying it right now. (I'll tell you one thing, I immediately liked IDEA better than Eclipse). If I do purchase IDEA (which yikes is 1/3 of the price of a new computer , I hope I can get free updates and new versions for a pretty long time. Do they plan on releasing a new version real soon that I need to be aware of?
Jessica Sant
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Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

just my 2 cents... I love IDEA. When I went by their booth at JavaOne, my colleague and stopped by just to tell them what a kiss a** product they had.
Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173
Rick,
I don't recall the timetable for 3.0; it could be August 2002.
Here's a snippet from their How to Buy page:
"What do I get when I purchase IDEA? By purchasing IDEA you automatically get a 8-month maintenance subscription package. The package entitles you to receive free upgrades to any versions we release during this period (either minor or major) and email support.
When your subscription ends, you will be able to purchase additional packages at a discounted price of about 50% off the new user price."
Furthermore, there's support via a community of users and developers on the newsgroups at news.intellij.net.
All in all, a fine package for my employer's $400. Actually, though, my employer purchased a license during last Christmas when it was on sale for $200. There was a sale during Easter as well. Is there a trend here?
Craig
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
Thanks to all your comments guys. I'm giving it another serious look. I'll use it for a few weeks and ask questions as I go along if you all don't mind.
One question I have... when I start it up it says it doesn't recommend I use jdk1.4. Does it matter if i use 1.4? On the site it says it's set to work with 1.4 maybe they just didn't remove the warning?
Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173
I believe that it doesn't run well on 1.4 yet. However, it can use the 1.4 compiler for your projects. Finally, EAP builds starting with #630 will require 1.4 to run.
Craig
Ilja Preuss
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Rick Reumann:
Well, I guess I must be writing to simple of applications since it never really has become a big issue for me. I'm sure I could fine tune after it's completed and make it much better and then yes I'd love a good refactoring tool. I admit this would be great. Unless I'm missing the main point of refactoring I thought it enables you to make changes in your code and that these changes won't cause bugs in the rest of your code as the refactoring tool will make the other necessary changes in other parts of the code.

You are probably right that refactoring brings more advantages the bigger the application gets. OTOH it is my experience that when you get used to it, you will start refactoring your code from day one. As Ron Jeffries likes to say: "When you can say how much of your time you spend refactoring, you aren't doing enough of it..."
So, probably you just aren't infected yet...

So, that being said, yes I think a refactoring tool would be great, but is that what most are looking for as the major feature of the IDE? Maybe so and I'm wrong.

Well, it's *one* of the major features, *I* am looking for. Other features are good code browsing and low compile times.

I guess you are saying then it's 400 dollars because it's a great refactoring tool? If so that's fine. I just thought it would have a bit more other bells and whistles, that's all.[/QB]

No, I didn't want to say that - it certainly has more other bells and whistles. For example, I found the code formatter to be very good. It also seems to have a very intelligent template mechanism. I can't say much more, as I have decided to use Eclipse instead.
In fact, I just was curious about your thoughts about refactoring. :-)
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:

I can't say much more, as I have decided to use Eclipse instead.

Curious, why Eclipse? I really do like IDEA now after using it for about two days, but unfortunately I just can't spend 400 dollars right now. Could you give some advantages/disadvantages Eclipse has compated to Netbeans? I'm turn between which one to use as my 'big dog' IDE. I'm really comfortable with NetBeans but if their some good reasons to give Eclipse another shot I'd love to hear them.
Thanks again for your thoughts.
Rick
Ilja Preuss
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Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Rick Reumann:
Curious, why Eclipse? I really do like IDEA now after using it for about two days, but unfortunately I just can't spend 400 dollars right now. Could you give some advantages/disadvantages Eclipse has compated to Netbeans? I'm turn between which one to use as my 'big dog' IDE. I'm really comfortable with NetBeans but if their some good reasons to give Eclipse another shot I'd love to hear them.

I can't say anything about Netbeans - I never tried it. I can provide some points about Eclipse vs. IDEA:
- Eclipse is *not* a java ide, it's a platform which comes with a java plugin. There are also plugins (in different states of development) for other languages like C/C++ and Ruby and for things like Database-Modeling, UML, XML - even Minesweeper... (See http://eclipse-plugins.2y.net/eclipse/index.jsp for more.)
- Eclipses Project Model is better suited for Multi-Project work. We have more than a dozen interrelated projects - it's my impression that it would have been nearly impossible to manage these in IDEA.
- OTOH, because of the flexibility of Eclipse, the learning curve is probably also slightly steeper.
- IDEA has the more advanced refactoring browser and code assist.
- Eclipse comes with an incremental compiler (that is, it compiles automatically every time you save your code, most often a part of a second).
These are the things I currently can think of.
Gerry Giese
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Joined: Aug 02, 2001
Posts: 247
- Eclipse comes with an incremental compiler
(that is, it compiles automatically every
time you save your code, most often a part
of a second).
I use Forte for Java, based on Netbeans, and whenever you compile, it saves first, so instead of ever saving, I always hit F9 to compile (and save). Same thing.
Forte/Netbeans is a bit of a hog resource-wise, but it does have some nice tools and options and a pretty good library of plug-ins to connect with various libaries, servers, and other software. Eclipse seems to be catching up in that regard. I haven't tried out the lasted Forte yet, but it's supposedly a good deal faster and a bit 'cleaner'. I plan to try it and Eclipse 2.0 at the same time next month.
I'd personally love to try using IDEA, but our brain-dead PVCS version control system absolutely HATES file renaming and other common things one might do in refactoring. If I weren't forced to use PVCS then getting IDEA would become my top priority, because I love to refactor code -- probably too much, like a race-car mechanic always tweaking for that extra 0.05% improvement.
OTOH, I have a project that I'm doing entirely with a free syntax-coloring text editor called Editor 99 and batch-files to build with. Doesn't take up any resources, is fast, and stays out of my way!
[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Gerry Giese ]

CJP (Certifiable Java Programmer), AMSE (Anti-Microsoft Software Engineer)
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Frank Carver
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Gerry Giese wrote: I use Forte for Java, based on Netbeans, and whenever you compile, it saves first, so instead of ever saving, I always hit F9 to compile (and save). Same thing.
Except that it isn't. Eclipse has a truly incremental compile process, so that it automatically compiles individual classes (and fragments of classes? it can compile and run code with syntax errors as long as you don't try to use the broken code!) as they are saved. Even though the popular java compilers like javac and jikes try to avoid recompiling more than necessary, there is still a hit as they analyse all the files to see what has changed. Eclipse is a lot quicker than this, believe me.
Also, and I didn't even know I was missing this until I used Eclipse, it is continually parsing your source code in the background and keeps a notepad of "tasks" which includes every syntax error, deprecated method call, type mismatch etc. As you type. Without compiling. This is an unbelieveable speedup, and something I really miss when I use other editors.
I'm still fighting to configure and understand Eclipse, but when I manage to do things the Eclipse Way, I really do notice a development speedup. I guess I gotta try IDEA, as well, though
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
I've now started using Eclipse for a while now and overall I really like it. The parsing and compiling very quickly is super nice. A few things are driving me crazy though and this is picky I'm sure. If someone can help with this let me know:
1) Is there a shortcut to get back to an open page you were just working on? (like ctrl-tab that other editors use or any key combination).
2) Is there a way to have the tabs for the open files to span multiple lines. If you have a lot of files open the tabs become pointless and I have to use the editor window (ctrl shift w ) which I'm starting to get used to but would still like the tabs.
3) Where is the default txt that maps all the keyboard shortcuts? I can't seem to find it.
Thanks for any help. I know these questions are better asked on the Eclipse newsGroup but I haven't downloaed a news reader yet and hate outlook.
Rick
Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173
Rick,
Check the Window | Keyboard Shortcuts menu for details on some keyboard shortcuts.
I'm not sure about the layout of many editor tabs.
For more information on key bindings, consult the help: Workbench User Guide | Tasks | Customizing the Workbench | Changing the key bindings.
HTH,
Craig
jeffrey z. lee
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Joined: Mar 21, 2002
Posts: 40
could you tell me where to download plugin for IDEA ? thanks


jeffrey z. lee
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Originally posted by jeffrey z. lee:
could you tell me where to download plugin for IDEA ? thanks

I don't know about any plugins for IntelliJ. But you could have a look at the Ariadne project. Maybe what you need is already developed?
The newest version: Register at the Early adopter's program on www.intellij.com/eap
Jamie Young
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Joined: Jun 19, 2001
Posts: 31
Why 400 bucks...
I did not read the many responses that have been posted with your comment, but here is my opinion why it cost so much money. The JDK is free to the world. They have to make money some how. If software was cheap and free I would be out of a job. Grin and bear it!!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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