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What's the best development tool?

Renato Veneroso
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 18, 2004
Posts: 12
Hi everybody,
Although not new to the Java language I'm new to Java development tools. I need to develop applications with J2SE and most of them will have GUI in either AWT or Swing. Developing such components using a simple text editor is not an easy task so I'll need a development tool.
It seems I can use Forte For Java, NetBeans or JBuilder to develop my applications but I would like to know what is (are) the best choice(s). Which ones are available for free download? Which ones have good documentation (I'll have to learn how to use the tool by myself)?
Thanks in advance.
Paul Santa Maria
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 236
Netbeans and Eclipse are the two leading "Open" IDEs.
Eclipse has more momentum, Netbeans is more "Java-centric". Netbeans has a GUI forms builder, Eclipse (last time I looked) doesn't - you would have to purchase 3rd party plugins.
Another issue to be aware of is that proprietary tools make it seductively easy to inadvertantly lock yourself in to proprietary code. Eclipse encourages "SWT" (over Swing); I understand that JBuilder tends to do some Jbuilder-centric stuff (if you're not careful).
Besides JBuilder, you might also wish to consider IntelliJ IDEA:
www.intellij.com/idea/
I hope that helps .. PSM


Paul M. Santa Maria, SCJP
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Eclipse definitely has the most mindshare right now. Note that while Eclipse uses SWT internally (and for 3rd party plugins), it does not force you to use SWT in any way in your own projects.
IDEA is definitely a great tool as well, although it's commercial. Considering the price, though, it's a good change that that's the best $500 you'll ever spend on an IDE


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Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
There's a free version of JBuilder aimed at the students and others using it non-professionally.
Excellent for your GUI work.


42
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
There's a free version of JBuilder aimed at the students and others using it non-professionally.
Excellent for your GUI work.

Yeah, Jeroen Wenting, I used to use JBuilder University Edition, when I was in the university... At that time, JBuilder was at 3rd edition... Now it's tenth already...
IMO, I do recommend others to use JBuilder, if they can afford JBuilder...
For me, I can use JBuilder at my office... I used to use NetBeans also... But I feel that NetBeans is extremely slow in response...
So I vote for JBuilder..


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Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Ko Ko Naing:
Yeah, Jeroen Wenting, I used to use JBuilder University Edition, when I was in the university... At that time, JBuilder was at 3rd edition... Now it's tenth already...

I own a license to JBuilder 4 professional, switched to Eclipse because I couldn't afford the upgrades anymore.

IMO, I do recommend others to use JBuilder, if they can afford JBuilder...

Hehe, good wording

For me, I can use JBuilder at my office... I used to use NetBeans also... But I feel that NetBeans is extremely slow in response...
So I vote for JBuilder..

Doesn't everyone who's used both say that, my experience was identical.
Jeff Langr
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 762
Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:
IDEA is definitely a great tool as well, although it's commercial. Considering the price, though, it's a good change that that's the best $500 you'll ever spend on an IDE

It seems like this discussion crops up weekly. It would be interesting to see a good feature-by-feature comparison, or even better a "feel-by-feel" comparison. But it's hard enough to find a good unbiased, comprehensive review of even one of the main IDEs. I was appalled at how useless the "review" of IDEA 4.0 was in the latest Java Developers Journal (I guess you get what you pay for--they don't pay their writers). Anyone up to the task?
IDEA is a great tool. But as I've mentioned elsewhere, Eclipse is very comparable from a feature standpoint; for most people, the difference boils down to personal preference. Sure, you will spend a lot of time in the IDE, so IDEA's $500 boils down to pennies per hour, but it's still a princely sum.
Also, I didn't care as much for JBuilder, but the last version I used was perhaps a year old, which in JBuilder time is about 27 versions.
-Jeff-
[ March 31, 2004: Message edited by: Jeff Langr ]

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