I think we may expect different things from an IDE... I don't want my IDE to be a build tool. Frankly, I think builds should ALWAYS be done with Ant, even if your IDE can handle it. Ant integration is as far as the IDE should go. I don't want a wizard for every function or a widget for every situation. That is for the boys over in M$ land. I don't want my IDE to deploy my applications for me or start and stop my servers... again Ant handles that just fine. Most of all, I don't want my IDE to hide the details for my own protection. I want my IDE to only do one thing... help me write code. However, I expect it to do that one thing extremely well. In this respect I am entirely blown away by IDEA. It helps me write code better than any other IDE I have used. Most of the time I feel like IDEA knows what I want to do before I do. Many people have said it before, IDEA just "feels" right. It is one of those things that can't be easily explained. It has to be experienced for yourself... and what an experience it is! I was a bit skeptical about the latest release of IDEA because they added a lot of these features that I didn't think were particularly useful (AspectJ Support, EJB Support, WebLogic Integration, etc.) and I wondered if JetBrains had lost sight of why I (and others) loved IDEA. I figured the addition of all these features would result in an even greater memory footprint than before (never a strength of IDEA). However, I have noticed quite the opposite... IDEA 4.0 is actually much more efficient in terms of memory use than 3.0. I also realized that they have added a lot of little features that enhance my coding experience even more than before. In short, I am impressed. [ February 16, 2004: Message edited by: Chris Mathews ]
Ok Chris. I will try and adjust my mind set from IDE to Advanced Editor and see if I am more pleased with IDEA. I think the editing features are truly awesome though. And I really like the approach they took with the Form Designer(vs GUI Designer) unlike a lot of people on their forums. It defintaly leaves more control over the UI to the user. It's almost like sketching your forms on paper and then assembling them in code. They just give you that peice of paper in the editor. Thanks Chris.
When I first started using IDEA back in the olden days (3 weeks ago or so) I really missed this feature. The more I use IDEA, the more I really like the Ant integration for performing builds. I am in the process of setting up several file templates with my various build files so that I can easily add them to my project.