same for me, XEmacs for typing the code Netscape for viewing the API a terminal window to type the command So far that's the best method I could find. The problem with IDEs is that they tend to keep you away from the code and the compiling and running commands. I think that if you are learning the language you shouldn't be using an IDE at the beginning because you won't have a good contact with the code. (This topic is not really related to SCJP, someone might move it soon ) my $0.02... [ February 08, 2002: Message edited by: Valentin Crettaz ]
I agree with Valentin that when you're new to Java, it's a better for your education to use a no-frills editor so you learn for yourself many of the things that a good IDE will do for you. After you have mastered the concepts, then you can use the IDE as a tool for simplyfing your work. I use JBuilder. It's the most stable IDE I have ever used (I've tried Visual J++, Symantec Cafe, Code Warrior, and Forte). It's crashed on me ONCE in almost 2 years. And it's written in Java. So that gives you some idea of what you can actually do with a Java application. I like the code-helpers...you start typing a few characters and a little box pops-up on your screen with all the API calls that are accessible in your current context, then you can just scroll to the one you want, and even copy the prototype parameter list. It's a great time saver, and saves me from looking up API calls AND simple typographic mistakes. I don't use the debugger much as I find it's rather slow...I debug the old fashioned way with println() calls and log files. I hear Net Beans is getting a lot reviews so I might check that out. But for now, JBuilder is my tool of choice.
Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Igor, If you are experienced, then yes, an IDE is a good choice because it may increase your productivity, but if you are just starting to learn Java, an IDE is not really a good choice because it will chew most of the work for you and you won't learn anything at all. For instance, an IDE creates a class declaration for you and as the programmer you don't really care about what is going on. You just got your class declared and you are happy since writing class declarations is boring anyway. Well, that's a not a good approach of learning Java. I'm well-aware of what IDEs can do for you, but there's a time for everything. Well, it's matter of taste, but I wouldn't recommend an IDE to a beginner. I would let him at least spend several weeks before encouraging him to get an IDE.
I use UltraEdit and NetBeans ( NetBeans is what Forte is built on and they work the same, but NetBeans is updated more frequently and it's a bit of a less memory hog). Even for newbies I highly reccommend using UltraEdit. It's not an IDE in the sense of providing code completion and all those frills(?), but it will help you do away some mundane things (like having to execute all your java commands from the command line ) plus you can modify syntax hightlighting if you want to and it matches up brackets nicely and all that jazz. It won't help you do coding for you, but it certainly will speed some of the mundane stuff about it. I can't praise UltraEdit enough. I know the wrong forum, but the program is awesome. It's lightweight, very customizable, and I use it for everything. The only time I switch to NetBeans is when I'm on a project at work that involves a lot of classes because the code insight is a huge time saver (You know you need a particular method in x class, but you can't remember the name of it, so it's nice having the list pop up automatically for you).