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IDE "Wars" - choosing the right tool

Vinnie Jenks
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2004
Posts: 207
I'm not trying to start a flame war here...I'm hoping to get some clear opinions on why people use the IDE (for those of you that *do* like IDEs) that they do.

I've been using Java now for about a year, more so recently as our company is looking to standardize on a single, cross-platform language/platform. I love Java, I'm excited about the whole thing.

I've been evaluating Eclipse 3.x and Netbeans 5.x and have been sort of bouncing back and forth, trying to select the one that was the "best overall".

After using Eclipse + Webtools for about 2 weeks, ripping most of my (already receeding) hairline out, and nearly screaming out loud in frustration...I gave up on eclipse altogether. I then began using netbeans and got particularly interested in 4.x+ - especialy 5.0 as a lot of improvements had been made (though mostly on the Swing side of things.) I should also mention that I tried IntelliJ IDEA 5.0 and JBuilder 2006...I found them immediately unintuitive and not nearly as user-friendly as Eclipse or Netbeans (coming from a VS/VS.NET background).

Netbeans has a lot going for it and everything seems to "just work" which is much more than I can say for Eclipse + Webtools...where everything "almost" works and usually falls short...leading to great frustration. I love everything about Netbeans except the editor(s) - which just feel cheap. Javascript editing is non-existant and CSS only goes as far as syntax highlighting. The Java editor leaves a little to be desired also...it just isn't "there yet".

Today I tried MyEclipse 4.1 (w/ Eclipse 3.1.2) and I'm *seriously* impressed. This thing seems to do it all! I'm considering purchasing it immediately and thought I'd get some opinions on MyEclipse vs Netbeans.

Also, I'm aware that Netbeans has an awesome new layout manager called Matisse, I've used it, it's nifty...but I'm not a Swing programmer, nor will I be for the forseeable future...I'm a web apps developer, period.

All comments are appreciated!!
Tony Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2005
Posts: 77
I absolutely love IntelliJ. However, my $100M company can't afford the $500 pricetag. :roll:

I'm using Eclipse now, it's ok.
Vinnie Jenks
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2004
Posts: 207
Originally posted by Tony Smith:
I absolutely love IntelliJ. However, my $100M company can't afford the $500 pricetag. :roll:

I'm using Eclipse now, it's ok.


I *tried* to like IntelliJ but the simple task of building a web project and deploying it to Tomcat was, IMO, really cumbersome. It felt really clunky to me but there must be something to it, all I hear from its users is how fantastic it is.

Regardless, $50/yr. is a lot more appealing than $500.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16158
    
  21

Originally posted by Tony Smith:
I absolutely love IntelliJ. However, my $100M company can't afford the $500 pricetag. :roll:

I'm using Eclipse now, it's ok.


Check around. JetBrains has been know to offer special deals, though usually it's to groups like apache developers rather than to commercial clients.

I prefer Eclipse myself, but they make me use IntelliJ.

Mostly, I find Eclipse is better at big complex projects with lots of server options and multiple JVMs involved. IntelliJ OTOH is well-equipped for JSP design and some say that it's more co-operative on suggestions, though I haven't noticed either of the above being so smart as to understand that when you type "MyClass xyz = new " and hit control-space it will limit suggestions to valid constructors for a "MyClass" or its subclasses.

I guess JBuilder is on its way out, NetBeans and Oracle JDeveloper both do decent JSF, but JDeveloper isn't as transparent as Eclipse or IntelliJ.

I still use Emacs or Notepad occasionally. As recently as yesterday, as a mater of fact.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Michael Duffy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2005
Posts: 163
Originally posted by Tony Smith:
I absolutely love IntelliJ. However, my $100M company can't afford the $500 pricetag. :roll:

I'm using Eclipse now, it's ok.


I used to use Eclipse when I worked for a company that didn't buy tools. I was grateful to have something so good for so little.

But my current employer has made IntelliJ available to me. I was skeptical at first, because I genuinely liked Eclipse. But now I'll never go back. IntelliJ is, hands down, the best IDE I've ever used. Brilliant stuff.


%
Alex Nedelcu
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 06, 2006
Posts: 15
I recently switched from MyEclipse to NetBeans 5.
Up until now I don't regret the choice I made, as NetBeans 5 kicks ass
Dave Tuttle
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 34
I use NetBeans 5 on OS X. It's simple and attractive, and generally works the way I want it to. It also feels more 'open' to me, where Eclipse feels 'closed'. It also has a better xml editor than Eclipse.
Vinnie Jenks
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2004
Posts: 207
I thought netbeans was pretty cool too...until I tried MyEclipse. Netbeans just feels cheap...I don't know how to explain it. The editor is poor and IMO, even anti-aliased fonts don't look so hot in the editor. Swing, while getting better, still just feels like a proof-of-concept UI implementation...it just lacks polish...especially w/o anti-aliased fonts!! I can't believe Swing devs will still have to wait until Java 6 to have such a long-standing feature on any other platform!

Netbeans completely lacks JavaScript editing capability beyond plain text...which in this day and age...makes the product pretty lacking.

Netbeans completely lacks a visual editor for JSP/JSF/HTML, etc....MyEclipse has an excellent visual editor for such files.

Netbeans lacks modules for Spring, Hibernate, and many of the other features that come "out of the box" with MyEclipse.

Overall I think that Netbeans is beginning to "catch up" to Eclipse + MyEclipse but it's still got a long ways to go...especially if the MyEclipse folks keep up w/ the progress they've made already.

If you're comparing Eclipse+Webtools to Netbeans, Netbeans just flat out hands webtools its ass...there's no competition...but I'm not comparing webtools...I've been using MyEclipse for about a week now and am completely in love w/ it.

While Netbeans can definitely do the job...the experience is just lacking that "wow" factor that I get w/ MyEclipse.
Kevin Galligan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2005
Posts: 70
I'm currently going through the decision process. I've evaluated netbeans, jbuilder (dead product), eclipse with wtp, myeclipe, exadel, Bea's (formerly M7's) Nitro tool, and intellij Idea. I've settled on the tool that nobody in this thread seems to even consider, that being the Bea tool with eclipse.

I've used Idea for years. I think they peaked with the 3.0 version. I still consider that to be one of the best ide's ever, in a tie with visi studio 6 c++ editor (you know it was good, come on). I just never liked Idea 4 or 5. At this point I think they'd do better to build plug-ins on top of eclipse. Idea lacks in the jsp department. I only say that in comparison to what the bea tool does with code completion and templates.

What the bea tool does that nobody else does in a competent manner is jsp el completion for the standard taglibs. It also does a very good job with struts and jsf editing. The struts and jsf add-ons are expensive, but if you're working with regular jsp's, the plug-in is free. Does anybody have a suggestion that would beat that tool's jsp editing?
Kevin Galligan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 10, 2005
Posts: 70
Some more followup to my post. I've also converted everything in my source base to maven, which with eclipse, makes for a nice package. The other thing I really, really like about eclipse is the stuff that's available out there. For example, if you want to create/edit an xml schema, just open the thing that the WTP project has a great editor for it. Then you want to create an xml file from your schema? No problem. It'll even validate it for you. Have a strange custom file format? Well, if you have a little time, write yourself a plugin. Surprisingly not that difficult, as I've learned recently.

I know, IDEA has plugins too. However, as much as I used to love them, there's no way you could convince me that those guys could keep up with what's going on in the eclipse world.

I used to hate eclipse, and I've tried it over and over on several occasions. When I finally sat down and really learned it, I understood what everybody was going on about. I think it suffers from the accesible nature of the plugins because of quality control, but as long as you're careful with what you install its good. Also, the 1.0 release of WTP was bad. Grab one of the maintenance releases.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: IDE "Wars" - choosing the right tool