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Eclipse vs IDEA?

Warren Dew
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I'm scheduled to start a new contract where it looks like I'll have a choice between using Eclipse and using IDEA. I'm already being lobbied as to which to use. I figured I'd come here for an unbiased review (or at least reviews with biases from both sides).

So what are the advantages of Eclipse? What are the advantages of IDEA?

Some specific questions:

- What is the support for multiple file display like? I like to work with two or three separate files open at the same time beside each other, preferably in separate windows that can be independently minimized.

- This client uses StarTeam. IDEA seems to have StarTeam integration. How good is it? Does Eclipse have StarTeam integration? This is not necessarily a big deal, just a question.

- How well does each deal with C++ code, especially MSC++? The project is a port from MSC++ to Java.

Note that cost is not likely to be an issue.
Lasse Koskela
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Joined: Jan 23, 2002
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    5
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
So what are the advantages of Eclipse? What are the advantages of IDEA?
In general, Eclipse has a bigger community and thus a better chance to find a plugin for something you'd like to incorporate into your IDE. Then again, IDEA's plugins are better centralized into JetBrains' server so you don't need to surf the web and pounder on which of the 3 similar plugins you should choose...

Originally posted by Warren Dew:
What is the support for multiple file display like? I like to work with two or three separate files open at the same time beside each other, preferably in separate windows that can be independently minimized.
I'm not really too familiar with IDEA, even though I have a personal license for it, but as far as I can see they're pretty much even with this kind of features. Others seem to like IDEA's user interface better so it might be just my being more knowledgeable with Eclipse than IDEA...

Originally posted by Warren Dew:
This client uses StarTeam. IDEA seems to have StarTeam integration. How good is it? Does Eclipse have StarTeam integration? This is not necessarily a big deal, just a question.

Apparently, Borland used to provide an Eclipse plugin. I can't find a recent download from their website, though.

Originally posted by Warren Dew:
How well does each deal with C++ code, especially MSC++? The project is a port from MSC++ to Java.
Eclipse has a toolkit for C++ development, similar to JDT, named
CDT. I have only used it for some quick protoing so again I can't comment on it beyond that it's there.


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Dirk Schreckmann
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I've found CVS integration with IDEA is easy, intuitive and easy. Did I mention that it's easy?


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Craig Demyanovich
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Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 173
Since you're accepting biased resources, have a look at Migrating to Eclipse: A developer's guide to evaluating Eclipse vs. IntelliJ IDEA from IBM developerworks, from whence Eclipse was born.

Craig
[ September 27, 2004: Message edited by: Craig Demyanovich ]
Gregg Bolinger
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I prefer IDEA for a few reasons.

  • Out of the box J2EE support - Eclipse has some nice plugins for this, but it's nice to just have it there.
  • - Out of the box XML support - Again, I have to go find a plugin for eclipse.
  • - CVS is easy
  • IDEA as a whole seems more intuitive than Eclipse because everything is already there. So I don't have to go install plugins and then set them up, maybe define some more key mappings for tasks, etc.


  • What I find interesting is that you have a choice to use an Open Source solution or a commercial solution.


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    Alexandru Popescu
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    Joined: Jul 12, 2004
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  • Out of the box J2EE support - Eclipse has some nice plugins for this, but it's nice to just have it there.
  • - Out of the box XML support



  • agree. for the moment there is no J2EE plugin, but the guys are working hard on this and soon it will be there.
    XML support is available from many plugins (free and/or commercial), and just having it there comes in fact from the fact that you must pay for IDEA.


  • - CVS is easy



  • same in Eclipse. I do not see any big differences in CVS support.


  • IDEA as a whole seems more intuitive than Eclipse because everything is already there. So I don't have to go install plugins and then set them up, maybe define some more key mappings for tasks, etc.



  • This is really a matter of taste. For me working for about 2 years with Eclipse it seems more intuitive than IDEA . Trying out the IDEA v.4.5.0 it took me a while to figure out how to organize my project ;-). So I am sure this is a taste problem.

    ./pope


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    Gregg Bolinger
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    Trying out the IDEA v.4.5.0 it took me a while to figure out how to organize my project ;-). So I am sure this is a taste problem.

    Probably is. But the nice thing about IDEA is that I organize my project anyway I want. And IDEA conforms.
    Ilja Preuss
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    Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

    Probably is. But the nice thing about IDEA is that I organize my project anyway I want. And IDEA conforms.


    In which way does eclipse not allow you to do so?


    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
    Alexandru Popescu
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    Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
    Probably is. But the nice thing about IDEA is that I organize my project anyway I want. And IDEA conforms.


    I think this is also a matter taste. For me is more intuitive to configure a single project structure than to define a set of modules and their building order. Moreover I kindda remember I have found a limitation about modules and source folder location (I cannot remember exactly now - but I wasn't able to make IDEA understand my project structure - which is not special ).

    ./pope
    Warren Dew
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    I should have started this thread a month earlier!

    One question: does either IDEA or Eclipse have a built in diff tool?
    Alexandru Popescu
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    Originally posted by Warren Dew:
    I should have started this thread a month earlier!


    Why?

    One question: does either IDEA or Eclipse have a built in diff tool?


    Eclipse offers a Compare to each other action which gives the diff. Moreover comparing Java sources will give you also a diff of the Java structures and not only a line by line comparison.
    Currently I don't have an IDEA installation to give you the complete answer :-(.

    ./pope
    Hussein Baghdadi
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    I agree with Greg 200% !
    I really like IntelliJ, it supports Java development very well (J2EE, XML, GUI desinger..) and the most important : refactoring
    (Eclipse also supports refactoring)
    AFAIK, Eclipse has copied a lot features from IntelliJ.
    I like eclipse also, but not as IntelliJ
    eclipse doesn't provide support for XML and I don't like lomboz too much.
    it is just MHO.
    [ September 28, 2004: Message edited by: John Todd ]
    Eric Clayberg
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    AFAIK, Eclipse has copied a lot features from IntelliJ

    I'm curious as to which features you think Eclipse "copied" from IntelliJ? And which of those features do you think IntelliJ copied from someone else?


    Eric Clayberg
    Software Engineering Manager
    Google
    Alexandru Popescu
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    Originally posted by John Todd:

    AFAIK, Eclipse has copied a lot features from IntelliJ.


    It sounds like an acusation (and I guess nobody will be able to proove it).


    [...]eclipse doesn't provide support for XML


    Too many people use this example to criticize Eclipse. If you agree to pay for IDEA, why wouldn't you agree to pay (less, more less) for an Eclipse plugin for XML? (I am telling you that XMLBuddy Pro brings into Eclipse more support for XML/XSL/DTD than IDEA has).

    ./pope

    PS: I am not an Eclipse zealot, nor I have some interest in promoting XMLBuddy.
    [ September 28, 2004: Message edited by: Ali Pope ]
    Lasse Koskela
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    Regarding the copying of features, it doesn't really matter who invented what as long as they haven't patented it. For the users of said products, it's best if Eclipse and JetBrains continue picking up good ideas from each other.

    Regarding Eclipse's XML support, I'm more than happy with XMLBuddy's free edition, which is more or less syntax highlighting and simple auto-typing. What I do miss is a JSP editor but you can get that by paying $30 for MyEclipse. I don't really need any J2EE "wizards" although they would be nice for quick prototyping.
    Mike Evans
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 16, 2002
    Posts: 8
    Hiya,

    Just to note with respect to Eclipse and J2EE.
    The original spec. stated that 'cost is not likely to be an issue'.
    If J2EE and XML functionality is high on the agenda why not purchase IBM's WSAD (http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/studioappdev/) which is Eclipse with lots of additional plugins. Of course it focusses on Websphere as the backend J2EE server but this might not matter.
    Another approach if the plug-in jungle is too daunting is to let someone else choose the best for you - see http://www.myeclipseide.com/.

    Mike E.
    Alexandru Popescu
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    People tend to compare a commercial product with a free product, not taking into account to invest some bucks on the free product. So if the free product misses some features (that can be bought in some ways), than definitely the free product is doomed. Moreover, guys evaluating a free product tend not to analyse the possibility to involve themselves in improving that product.

    The scenario is real simple for some guys:
    - I need features a,b,c
    - the product X cost me xxx buks and has this features
    - the product Y is free but misses the feature c (it is offered at a small price but this doesn't count)
    => I'll go for X.

    ./pope

    PS: Hi Lasse! Thanks for the link in your signature (improving the way you ask questions)! Very nice and good one.
    Anonymous
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    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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    If cost is not really an concern you might want to have a look at IBM Websphere Application Development Studio. It is based on Eclipse and comes with quite a number of nice enhancements (like a struts designer). You can download a trial from IBM's site.
    :-) stw
    Alvin chew
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    is IDEA support struts without any plugin ?
    Alvin chew
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    can eclipse or IDEA IDE do something like netbeans's mount filesystem ? or something similar ?
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
    author and iconoclast
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      34

    Originally posted by Warren Dew:

    One question: does either IDEA or Eclipse have a built in diff tool?


    Yes, both have powerful diff features.


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    Hussein Baghdadi
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    Knock knock....

    It sounds like an acusation (and I guess nobody will be able to proove it).

    Please note that I wrote :
    "AFAIK" not it is the absolute truth.
    please go on.....
    Lasse Koskela
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    Originally posted by Alvin chew:
    is IDEA support struts without any plugin ?

    No, it doesn't. The supported features are listed at the official site.
    Lasse Koskela
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    Originally posted by Alvin chew:
    can eclipse or IDEA IDE do something like netbeans's mount filesystem ? or something similar ?
    At least I'm not aware of Eclipse having that possibility. Then again, I haven't felt a need to do such things with Eclipse (or IDEA).
    Hussein Baghdadi
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    Joined: Nov 08, 2003
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    I not against Eclipse, actually I like Eclipse alot (Eclipse 3.0 great).
    the perfomance of eclipse is the best.
    one thing I don't like in eclipse is, it is somehow a generic IDE.
    I mean I want an IDE that is targeted at Java development like Netbeans of IntelliJ...
    it is just MHO.
    Alexandru Popescu
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    I am not against IDEA solution which is the 2nd best imho ;-), but I like to sustain the open source solutions and also to correctly evaluate things. Moreover I sincerely believe that the evolution of open projects is important and the community needs are more taken into account.

    ./pope

    John Todd no insult was intended. sorry
    [ September 29, 2004: Message edited by: Ali Pope ]
    Ilja Preuss
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    Originally posted by Alvin chew:
    can eclipse or IDEA IDE do something like netbeans's mount filesystem ? or something similar ?


    Is that something like this? http://help.eclipse.org/help30/topic/org.eclipse.platform.doc.user/concepts/concepts-13.htm
    Alvin chew
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    mount filesystem in netbeans actually doing a map to existing source folder to ide, so that we can edit/modify the source file in the existing source folder ..

    i have go though the link provided by Ilja Preuss, which is quite similar but i can't click the finish button as it disable and generated error code like "Cannot create linked resource a. Linked resources must have a project as their parent.", i do add it by create a new folder and click on advanced and already select the folder path, but as mentioned finish button was disable

    another alternative i try was import which is very similar also, but then lot of errors shown as not correct class path was imported in class
    Alexandru Popescu
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    Netbeans is the only IDE of the 3 that isn't based on a project organization (up to version 4.0 - if I am not wrong). Instead of using a project structure Netbeans offers this mount functionality which in fact will define a project classpath. This may seem very open to organizing your sources, but as long as you are not able to export this, I consider it useless (in a multi developer team for example).
    IDEA and Eclipse instead are organized on projects. Each project is considered to have a commond root directory for its sources. In order not to be so limited Eclipse offers a link directory (allows inclusion of an outside dir to the current project).
    So, there are 2 different ways to see the project organization. I do not consider the mounting functionality a necessary one. (my 2c)

    ./pope
    Pradeep bhatt
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    Theserverside discussion on the IDE's
    http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=29099


    Groovy
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Eclipse vs IDEA?