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any good free Java IDE + debugger

Harpreet Kaur
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 16
Hi
I am using JCreator at present
Pretty good Does not have a debugger though
are there any other such tools on the net
any suggestion welcome
Mathusuthan NK
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 4
Hi,
Check out
1.Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org)
2.JDeveloper (http://otn.oracle.com/software/products/jdev/content.html)
3.Sun One Studio (http://wwws.sun.com/software/Developer-products/ffj/buy.html)
JDeveloper is free for non commercial uses.
All three are good though everyone has their opinions..
Regards
NKM
[ December 19, 2002: Message edited by: Mathusuthan NK ]
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

"seekingjava cert"-
Three things...
1st thing:
Welcome to the JavaRanch! Please adjust your displayed name to match the JavaRanch Naming Policy.
You can change it here.
2nd thing:
I've heard good things about Eclipse, but never used it myself. I use IDEA by IntelliJ -- absolutely love it.
3rd thing:
I'm moving this to the IDE's forum -- you should get some good responses there.
Thanks! and again welcome to the JavaRanch
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
http://www.netbeans.org
Free and very good, a nice combination


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Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
I agree with Marcus, NetBeans is great. Eclipse is ok too but is not quite there yet. I like the name Eclipse though it is catchy, and it does not hurt to have the big names behind the project. But the NetBeans open source community together with Sun is all heart, and will take more than a catchy name and sheer IBM dollars and a Rational brain to eclipse.
Brusk Baran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 15, 2001
Posts: 132
UltraEdit
is in fact I love it a lot...
javac and j2sdkee beneath works fine.
Otherwise NetBeans is quite favorible.
Sun ONE is better, based on NetBeans has some more skills, but too heavy for my biweekly crashing poor laptop :_(=
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4339
    
    2

the only one ive tried is Forte. it seems pretty good but it is huge (as in very slow on my P1).


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David Hibbs
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 374
Originally posted by Sam Kebab:
I agree with Marcus, NetBeans is great. Eclipse is ok too but is not quite there yet. I like the name Eclipse though it is catchy, and it does not hurt to have the big names behind the project. But the NetBeans open source community together with Sun is all heart, and will take more than a catchy name and sheer IBM dollars and a Rational brain to eclipse.

I'd like to know what you think is lacking in Eclipse. Have you tried 2.0? IMHO Eclipse rules.
I learned Java on Netbeans/Forte for Java, and for a long time I wouldn't use anything else. I tried VAJ and found it to be fugly, esp since your files aren't readily available on the file system. I later used it at work, and came to like a lot of its features while hating that I was tied to the JDK that came with it.
I later d/l'd a new version of Netbeans, and found it highly unstable to the point of unusability. As a result, I was quite soured on it.
I've now moved on to eclipse both at home and at work (in the form of WSAD) and have become quite entrenched. It's stable, has a world class editor and debugger, and has fantastic plug-ins and CVS integration.
I certainly wouldn't resort to pointing to the names of the sponsors for quality or to pick on it either way. I think this distracts from the real topic involved--the quality and usability of the environment. Besides, like NetBeans/FFJ, Eclipse is open source. If you have a complaint, fix it, submit it, and move on!


"Write beautiful code; then profile that beautiful code and make little bits of it uglier but faster." --The JavaPerformanceTuning.com team, Newsletter 039.
Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
Sometimes experience leaves a lasting impression.
Three days ago I downloaded to update my eclipse. The ide Crashed. Null Pointer Exception, etc. Ok so I click cancel, and when i went back to my workbench - all my files on the workbench are gone (but thank god all i have there are hello world type of code).
You asked: what i find lacking in Eclipse? For a free tool I'm not complianing but if i had a wish list it would be the following:
1) On the client side: RAD Gui tools. It does not even have to be swing - they can use SWT.
2) On the web side: JSP, xml, code completion - Sensitivity to the methods exposed by the new java beans that you just wrote. Filters, Listeners, even Servlet productivity code. NetBeans even has the lazy programmer capability of writing the Web-xml for you.
3) (i can't seem to find this in eclipse) Code completion short cuts for the variable names i've just written. For example, in NetBeans after typing the first one or two letters of the variable you want, you then press ctrl-K if you are referring to the variable before this line or ctrl-L if you are referring to the variable name after this line. This saves me a lot of time and less errors from typing. NetBeans is so intuitive. Even the jsp pages are intuitive and code completion sensitive. A scriptlet in NetBeans opens the page to all the java docs you need. New capabilities like JSTL are easily integrated. While a jsp page in Eclipse feels like plain notepad or dos.
4) Database work. Graphical tool to be able to create, manipulate, and test the database/tables. With NetBeans i don't even need Oracle Manager, Oracle sql plus, or Toad. I can connect to any database including MySQL, and MSSql.
5) UML Design tools for the architect. Professinal looking documentation.
6) EJB. Rapid deployment tools that sync with the leading servers including JBOSS.
Okay. Let me stop here. As far as the eclipse third party plug-ins are concerned, my experience has been awful. I've been suckered into downloading really bad software. You know the feeling of getting your hopes up when you read the specs, then when you run it - terrible!!! I am sure there are good plug-ins, i probably just had bad judgment in choosing my plug-ins.
What I like about eclipse. Crisp and responsive interface. Smaller memory footprint. Debugger. Refactoring. Scrapbook. Built-in CVS like capabilities to go back to your previous code. RAD Creation of Getter and Setter methods. Definitely many other features not yet discovered by me.
Tracy Woo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 113
I was in the same boat looking for a free IDE a couple of months back. I was a die hard VA fan (I still am) but I had to give it up because it does not have JDK 1.4 support.
So I tried NetBeans first and then Eclipse. I am finally using Eclipse now.
NetBeans: The main reason I did not like NetBeans was the lack of an "export" feature. Furthe, it maintains all the versions of a file in the same place and it is really difficult to export the classes or java files into a jar (or war as the case may be). I played with it for many days but was disappointed by too many NPEs.
So, I think it is good but needs a couple of more versions to be useful (for me, that is).

Eclipse: I don't like and use the GUI builders, so that was no issue for me. Eclipse GUI is definitely a lot more crisp and responsive than NetBean. I have been using it for past month now, and never got an NPE. The basic version, the one without any pugins is overall good.
Originally posted by David Hibbs:

I'd like to know what you think is lacking in Eclipse. Have you tried 2.0? IMHO Eclipse rules.

Problems with Eclipse:
1. I tried to get the Lomboz plugin to work and finally got it to work too (after a week of banging my head) but didn't like it at all. It needs so many settings and is so finicky. It seems, it needs more care than your own application that want to work on. So finally, I got rid of the Lomboz plugin and decided to sacrifice the Servlet debugging (there is no jsp debugging yet). I now use external Tomcat.
2. Eclipse has an export feature but it is tooo stupid (as compared to VAJ). In VAJ I can just click on a node and export just that whereever I want. Eclipse, however, exports the whole freaking directory structure. For example, In my project TestProj, I have src and bin for sources and classes. So when I export a java/class file to say c:\tomcat\webapps\testproj\WEB-INF\classes, it creates c:\tomcat\webapps\testproj\WEB-INF\classes\TestProj\bin\...
So, I am having a real pain in exporting the classes to my WEB-INF\classes directory.
Further, it does not even remember the previous "types" that I exported. So everytime I have to click more than a couple of controls to specify that I want to export only the class files.
3. Eclipse has TONS of plugins. However, I am not sure how useful they are. The only one that I needed was Lomboz for JSP/Servlet development and I didn't like it.
So, overall, neither NetBeans nor Eclipse is that great as some fans might claim. But then you can't complain...it's free. I hope it gets more
useful after a couple of versions.
BTW, JBuilder Enterprise 6.0/7.0 is pretty good. I use it at my office. It has internal Tomcat (for which don't have to set anything, it just works) and has EXCELLENT JSP debugging. Of course, it is not free. And looks like it can't be run on any other machine even with the license file
I think the Java World really really needs a powerful and smart IDE. MS VisualStudio?
Sudharsan Govindarajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2002
Posts: 319
IMHO, JDeveloper is pretty stable though it needs 256MB RAM. It has all good features, J2EE development, deployment, Debugging, Profiling, etc., I'm happy with it.
For non-GUI development there is a new kid on the block called 'GEL'. Developed in Delphi, this is much faster and most importantly comes free. you can find it at Gexperts.com
Sudharsan
Tracy Woo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 113
Originally posted by Sudharsan G'rajan:
IMHO, JDeveloper is pretty stable though it needs 256MB RAM. It has all good features, J2EE development, deployment, Debugging, Profiling, etc., I'm happy with it.

Is it free?
Sudharsan Govindarajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2002
Posts: 319
yeap! It is a free download for OTN members. But becoming a OTN member is free :-).
BTW, here is a sniipet of their License.
License Rights
We grant you a nonexclusive, nontransferable limited license to use the programs only for purposes of developing and prototyping your applications, and not for any other purpose. If you use the applications you develop under this license for any internal data processing or for any commercial or production purposes, or you want to use the programs for any purpose other than as permitted under this agreement, you must contact us, or an Oracle reseller, to obtain the appropriate license. We may audit your use of the programs.

-sudharsan
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
"I think the Java World really really needs a powerful and smart IDE. MS VisualStudio?"
Is it free?
Tracy Woo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 113
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
"I think the Java World really really needs a powerful and smart IDE. MS VisualStudio?"
Is it free?

Are you kidding
On a serious note, it would be worth buying even if it were not free. I wish MS had not played the cheap trick of windowizing Java in VJ++.
Sudharsan Govindarajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2002
Posts: 319
come on! What is the conclusion?
-sudharsan
Kaijin Lv
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 26, 2002
Posts: 1
Originally posted by seekingjava cert:
Hi
I am using JCreator at present
Pretty good Does not have a debugger though
are there any other such tools on the net
any suggestion welcome

I'm using IntelliJ IDEA 3.0,powerful and tiny!
www.intellij.com
[ December 26, 2002: Message edited by: Kaijin Lv ]
Sudharsan Govindarajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2002
Posts: 319
But that is not free buddy! The topic of this discussion is "any good free Java IDE + debugger".
David Weitzman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
Originally posted by Sam Kebab:
You asked: what i find lacking in Eclipse? For a free tool I'm not complianing but if i had a wish list it would be the following:


1) On the client side: RAD Gui tools. It does not even have to be swing - they can use SWT.

True, nothing's built in. I don't make GUI apps, so it isn't a problem for me. A GUI maker plugin would receive a warm welcome by many people though.

2) On the web side: JSP, xml, code completion - Sensitivity to the methods exposed by the new java beans that you just wrote. Filters, Listeners, even Servlet productivity code. NetBeans even has the lazy programmer capability of writing the Web-xml for you.
...
6) EJB. Rapid deployment tools that sync with the leading servers including JBOSS.

If you want J2EE built into the IDE, you must pay. I can't blame IBM for wanting to make money, but then we're not talking free anymore. There are plugins that try to do this, but I haven't tried any of them.

3) (i can't seem to find this in eclipse) Code completion short cuts for the variable names i've just written.

I don't know about JSP stuff, but variable name completion has been in Eclipse for quite a while. Perhaps you were using version 1? If so, I highly recommend trying version 2. I have never had a problem with the editor pane itself--it works quite nicely.

4) Database work. Graphical tool to be able to create, manipulate, and test the database/tables. With NetBeans i don't even need Oracle Manager, Oracle sql plus, or Toad. I can connect to any database including MySQL, and MSSql.
...
5) UML Design tools for the architect. Professinal looking documentation.

I don't know if a plugin exists for database stuff (there is stuff for UML), but certainly other open source software for this exists. Is there any reason you need the features integrated into the IDE? Perhaps you are looking for autogenerated diagrams and reverse engineering.
David Hibbs
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 374
Originally posted by Sam Kebab:
Sometimes experience leaves a lasting impression.
Three days ago I downloaded to update my eclipse. The ide Crashed. Null Pointer Exception, etc. Ok so I click cancel, and when i went back to my workbench - all my files on the workbench are gone (but thank god all i have there are hello world type of code).
I tried a similar upgrade, and also had similar problems. I've come to the conclusion that it's a bad idea to install one version over the other--it's not an update, it's a brand new build. You should be able to use the same workspace without issue, but beware that once you update your workspace it will not work with the older version of eclipse!

You asked: what i find lacking in Eclipse? For a free tool I'm not complianing but if i had a wish list it would be the following:
1) On the client side: RAD Gui tools. It does not even have to be swing - they can use SWT.

I suspect this is in the works, but this is the one field that I would agree NetBeans is superior. The GUI tools are impressive.

2) On the web side: JSP, xml, code completion - Sensitivity to the methods exposed by the new java beans that you just wrote. Filters, Listeners, even Servlet productivity code. NetBeans even has the lazy programmer capability of writing the Web-xml for you.

Plugins. IBM's WSAD has all the above, and then some. Scan SourceForge, I know there are a bunch of these in the works publicly.

3) (i can't seem to find this in eclipse) Code completion short cuts for the variable names i've just written.
Classic 'I just can't find it' -- it's simply CTRL-Space.

4) Database work. Graphical tool to be able to create, manipulate, and test the database/tables. With NetBeans i don't even need Oracle Manager, Oracle sql plus, or Toad. I can connect to any database including MySQL, and MSSql.
I must confess, I haven't used this in NetBeans so I can't discuss this. But there's a cool freeware tool DB Visualizer for this purpose.

5) UML Design tools for the architect. Professinal looking documentation.
I only wish. This is a for-sale option for pretty much any IDE.

6) EJB. Rapid deployment tools that sync with the leading servers including JBOSS.
Frankly, I don't need to build EJB's with a freeware IDE.

What I like about eclipse. Crisp and responsive interface. Smaller memory footprint. Debugger. Refactoring. Scrapbook. Built-in CVS like capabilities to go back to your previous code. RAD Creation of Getter and Setter methods. Definitely many other features not yet discovered by me.
All true. And then some. The thing is really loaded. It also comes with ANT and CVS integrated as well.
Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
Here i found a feature list of the NetBeans ide. Hard to believe it being free. Just imagine what this ide can do for you.
http://www.netbeans.org/about/ide/product_comparisons.html
If you can find another open source ide as feature rich as this one, do let me know.
Tracy Woo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 113
Originally posted by Sam Kebab:
Here i found a feature list of the NetBeans ide. Hard to believe it being free. Just imagine what this ide can do for you.
http://www.netbeans.org/about/ide/product_comparisons.html
If you can find another open source ide as feature rich as this one, do let me know.

It might have a big feature list but it lacks one of the most basic features - exporting the resources (java files, classfiles, etc) from it's directory structure to another location (or as a jar file). Does it have that feature? I could not find it. I switched to Eclipse just because of this. If you know how to do that in NetBeans, please let me know.
As I mentioned earlier, it dumps all the versions of a file ( the ~ files) in the same directory. How am I supposed to get rid of them when I want to create a jar/war for deployment???
David Weitzman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
Originally posted by Sam Kebab:
Here i found a feature list of the NetBeans ide. Hard to believe it being free. Just imagine what this ide can do for you.
http://www.netbeans.org/about/ide/product_comparisons.html
If you can find another open source ide as feature rich as this one, do let me know.

That list is clearly marketting propaganda though.
Consider refactoring, for example. I find no documentation anywhere else on the site saying anything about refactoring except a plugin that intergrates a $200 commercial product -- and so they claim to support refactoring? One of the most popular features of IDEA is that it has stellar refactoring built in. It's about the same with their claim to support UML, I gather, only Posidon Community Edition can be obtained for free. And where's the feature that says, "This IDE has a snappy interface"? Isn't it funny how neither JBuilder nor IDEA has a single feature Netbeans doesn't?
As a rule, it's good to take product comparisons with a grain of salt. Just my two cents.
Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
Happy New Year everyone.
Refactoring on Netbeans? Of course!!! http://www.netbeans.org/catalogue/12-all.html
If you have a low powered pc (like mine) but want a snappier NetBeans interface - you might consider turning off some modules. e.g. web module, xml module, corba module, and others. It is easy to switch on and off, simply point and click.
Ok i also played with Eclipse over the holidays and downloaded Lomboz, Omondo, and DbEdit. Very nice. Although i had problems with the ejb portion in Lomboz (the web portion works fine).
David Hibbs
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 374
Originally posted by Tracy Woo:

It might have a big feature list but it lacks one of the most basic features - exporting the resources (java files, classfiles, etc) from it's directory structure to another location (or as a jar file). Does it have that feature? I could not find it. I switched to Eclipse just because of this. If you know how to do that in NetBeans, please let me know.
As I mentioned earlier, it dumps all the versions of a file ( the ~ files) in the same directory. How am I supposed to get rid of them when I want to create a jar/war for deployment???

NetBeans does have that feature, or at least it used to; I used it quite extensively in the past. It's an extra module--look for the Jar Packager. IIRC (although it's been a while) you can add it to the toolbar through the regular toolbar customization options. I don't remember if I had to explicitly enable it or not, but regardless my knowledge is probably outdated.
:roll:
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: any good free Java IDE + debugger
 
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