I get the feeling myself that there are a lot more plugins for Eclipse than for IDEA, but then again, I also get the feeling there are more folks using Eclipse who are inclined to write plugins or contribute them.
We (my office) switched to IDEA with the 3.2 version, so I think we've been using it for about three years. I don't quite know what the breakdown of useage of IDE by brand would be, but I have to imagine it has at least some appreciable market share.
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
I'm not sure that one should look at amount of plugins as an evidence of better IDE. Yes, there are a lot of plugins for IntelliJ although not as much as for others. But to my opinion, IntelliJ is fine without any plugins and that is what makes it wonderful. Besides, why would you need more than one plugin - tetris - I love that thing! But anyway, I have only few plugs installed - tetris, regex, and simpleUML. Have I ever needed more? No, not really; and I'm doing development in all areas ranging from complex real-time servers and web apps to simple applets and text parses.
And so you know, yes, I've tried using Eclipse, and yes, I'll do my best not to use it ever again.
There might well be more plug-ins for Eclipse than IntelliJ IDEA. I've never seen numbers or statistics.
In my experience, every enterprise Java developer I know who has fairly tried both Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for a time has gravitated to IDEA. It just features a wide array of features that are useful, intelligent, and easy to use. Everyone will form their own opinion based on their own personal needs, of course, but in my experience, the results have shown a distinct tendency.
Remember too that Eclipse is not solely an IDE, but also a framework, and has its own merits (and plugins) on that front.
Co-author, IntelliJ IDEA in Action - <a href="http://www.manning.com/fields3" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.manning.com/fields3</a>
While the plugins concept of eclipse has many plus but it brings big minuses. The workspace can only be opened with exactly plugins installed. That means you are stuck (the workspace tightly integrated with plugins).
on the other hand, IntelliJ comes with most features you need out of box. If you want some plugins than you can install it, but your project is not so tight coupled with plugins. That means without those plugin you can still open your project without any problem.
I dont think using Eclipse as an IDE causes a tight integration of your project with eclipse plugins, It may seem so because of the way Eclipse has been developed with a very thing core layer and everything else (specific to your project) is layered over it as a plugin - If you think about it, it work really well, say if you are only working on J2ee projects in that case you dont have to install Eclipse Perl plugin, moreover if you do switch to Perl you can install that plugin.
I have used JBuilder since version 2 till 10 and then I switched to IntelliJ (since that is what they used in office), over the last few months I have been looking into Eclipse then I was interested in Eclipse RCP - felt that the framework/toolkit was excellent for created professional looking native desktop applications, but then comparing SWT with Swing I found that Swing is very flexible (particularly when the users are quite demanding in terms of visible desktop application features e.g adding a progress bar to a table cell - this is something that can be done using Swing - I dont think any of the native SWT components provide those).