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Java IDE comparison chart

 
Brian Pipa
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Hi all,
I've been looking for a comparison chart of IDEs and their major features. I found this chart http://mindprod.com/jgloss/ide.html but it just lists OS, price, and if the IDE is still supported or not.
I have been poking around for a new IDE and think I have found the one I will use and thought I'd make a chart of the ones I tried, but there are certain things *I* desire of an IDE that may or may not be something you want/need or they may be something someone new to Java would want. I'm thinkng about putting a comparison chart online covering all the IDEs I can and I'm curious what features in an IDE are absolutely necessary for you.
*My* needs/wants in an IDE are as follows:
Free/cheap
Works on Windows
CVS integration would be nice but not absolutely necessary.
Inline compiling (shows errors as you type) would be nice but not necessary
Has code templates (type in a few characters and it expands to a oft-used code statement)
I'd like for others to contribute to the chart too so I don't have to do all the research and install every IDE to find out what each does. I may make the chart into a servlet/JSP combo so it can be edited by me (and others) online or I may just accept emails with updates/info to add. I own my own website(s) so it won't be hosted on GeoCities or Yahoo or anything like that.
I will definitely add these IDEs to the chart:
JCreator (LE and pro)
Gel
JawaBeginner
Eclipse
The columns I will definitely have are:
Price
OS
Supported
Support method (forum/mailing list/etc.)
CVS integration
Inline compiling
Code templates
Refactoring
and maybe a few others if I think of some more. What other columns would *you* like to see?
If nobody wants to contribute info on other IDEs, it may just have info on those few IDEs I mentioned above
Any thoughts/suggestions on this whole thing? Has this already been done and I just didn't find it?
brian
 
Brian Pipa
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Here is what I have so far:
http://filenabber.com/java/ides/
brian
 
Lasse Koskela
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Eclipse has both refactoring (context menu) and code templates (Preferences -> Java -> Editor -> Templates).
 
Chris Mathews
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IntellJ Idea
Price $500 (best $500 you'll ever spend )
OS Windows/*nix/OS X
Supported Yes
Support method (forum/mailing list/etc.) Forum, Wiki, and direct support.
CVS integration Yes (along with VSS and Starteam out of the box)
Inline compiling Yes (and much more)
Code templates Yes
Refactoring Yes (no question IDEA has the best refactoring support available)
One thing to keep in mind is that feature set is not everything in an IDE. You really need to try it on for size to see if you like it.
For example, Eclipse is at least a match for IDEA in a terms of feature set however I much prefer to use IDEA. In Eclipse everything always feels like it is always another menu-choice away. While in IDEA everything feels like it is right where I want it to be. By all means, continue your compiling your chart but know that while you may capture the various supported features of an IDE... you will never capture its essence.
 
Maarten Vergouwen
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What are people's opinions about NetBeans?
It is the only Java IDE I've tried so far, and I'm quite pleased with it.
That said, I come from a programming environment where there is no such thing as an IDE, so I'm easily satisfied
So what do experienced Java developers think is the best IDE ?
 
Lasse Koskela
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Originally posted by Maarten Vergouwen:
So what do experienced Java developers think is the best IDE ?
Here we go again...
The preferences would probably go pretty even among the top guns: Eclipse, IDEA, NetBeans, JBuilder, and JDeveloper. The order I listed them is *my* guesstimate and should not be taken as any kind of proof of one IDE's superiority over another. It's mostly a question of habit -- the feature sets are so close to each other that it's between the keyboard and chair that counts most.
 
Brian Pipa
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Chris,

IntellJ Idea

Can you run it with no files open and no projects open and tell me how much memory it takes up? And tell me what OS you do this on. Thanks!

One thing to keep in mind is that feature set is not everything in an IDE. You really need to try it on for size to see if you like it.
For example, Eclipse is at least a match for IDEA in a terms of feature set however I much prefer to use IDEA. In Eclipse everything always feels like it is always another menu-choice away. While in IDEA everything feels like it is right where I want it to be. By all means, continue your compiling your chart but know that while you may capture the various supported features of an IDE... you will never capture its essence.

*I* know all of this. I have already settled on which IDE I am going to use.
My quest is to help others. I needed a light-weight IDE since my system is not top of the line and lacking in memory, so I can't use a memory hog like Eclipse (for example). I needed a lightweight IDE that was free and I also wanted code templates. I couldn't find a comparison so I had to install and try each IDE myself til I found what I wanted. If I had seen this chart ahead of time, I could have saved myself the time of installing an uninstalling a few IDEs.
Obviously this chart won't point you to the one magic IDE that is perfect for you - you'll have to try some and see what you like, but if it can narrow your choices down a bit, it will be helpful.
Keep sending/posting your other entries for the table!
Brian
 
Ken Krebs
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I started with NetBeans but switched to Eclipse because I couldn't live without the built-in refactoring.
I still use NetBeans sometimes for it's Swing gui building.
I hear the next version of NetBeans is supposed to support refactoring and Eclipse is going to support gui building with Swing or SWT.
Cooperation and competition are both nice
[ January 15, 2004: Message edited by: Ken Krebs ]
 
Edwin Keeton
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I've used several. My vote goes to IntelliJ. It just feels right, no other way to explain. This is the one you're looking for, whether you realize it yet or not.
Eclipse is my next favorite. I used it until just recently when I could finally afford IDEA. It's not hard to learn but you need a guide to show you the way at first. A lot of features are not intuitive.
JBuilder is great but very pricey. I think the price could possibly be justified on a large project where you can utilize the GUI builder and other built-in "wizards". In other words, I'd be happy to use it if you supply it to me.
I want to like NetBeans. It seems to have just about everything you could want but it has always managed to frustrate me for one reason or another. What really kills the deal for me is that you can't modify the automatically generated code. Maybe the next version will pull everything together.
Finally, it's not an IDE but I still use JEdit quite a bit for all those times when all you really need is just an editor.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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