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What's the BEST java IDE? (Preferably Free)

Will Carpenter

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 26
...I'm using CodeWarrior right now, but I'm going to be getting a new PC soon and have lost the CodeWarrior disks. I wouldn't mind paying for one if it was worth the money.
(...running for my life to avoid the avalanche of replies that is sure to follow...)
Amy Phillips
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Joined: Apr 02, 2003
Posts: 280
Hi Will,
I use JEdit and then compile through the command line which works fine for me. I have used JBuilder which is also pretty good although you now have to build your files into a JBuilder project before you can run them which is a pain.
Tim West
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Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 539
The three IDEs I've used or seen are Sun One Studio, Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA.
In my opinion IntelliJ is far and away the best - it's the most responsive and has a lot of great features that remove some of the mundanities of coding. I imagine their website (Google for it) will tell you in detail The downside - it's something like $400.
The battle of the free IDEs comes down to NetBeans (the free version of Sun One Studio) and Eclipse (free edition), sponsored by Sun and IBM respectively. I haven't used Eclipse but I've heard good things about it; currently I'm using NetBeans. Until you get to huge projects, either will do the job fine. Sun One / NetBeans has often been criticised as being slow but in my experience recent versions don't have this problem. It's also maintained and updated fairly rapidly to keep up with latest Java developments.
As I say, I have no experience with Eclipse but I've heard good things.
Hope this helps - who else has an opinion?

Chris Harris
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Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 231
I use Eclipse for both work and at home. It is free and easy to use. If there is something that you want to do that can not be done with the default download then you can normally just download a plugin (there are loads around and free).
I used to use JBuilder but I found that if you want to real power then you need to pay.

chi Lin
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Joined: Aug 24, 2001
Posts: 348
my choice is Jcreator LE & it is free

not so smart guy still curious to learn new stuff every now and then
Tom Blough
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Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Posts: 263
Eclipse. Latest is 3.0M7 with some excellent code browsing improvements and JUnit integration.
Tom Blough

Tom Blough<br /> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.<hr></blockquote>
Jeff Langr
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Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 799
Originally posted by Tim West:
In my opinion IntelliJ is far and away the best - it's the most responsive and has a lot of great features that remove some of the mundanities of coding. I imagine their website (Google for it) will tell you in detail The downside - it's something like $400.

IntelliJ IDEA is $499.
I prefer Eclipse; while in general the feel of IDEA is a bit better, it's not $500 better. And the feature set in Eclipse is improving rapidly.

Books: Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java, Agile Java, Modern C++ Programming with TDD, Essential Java Style, Agile in a Flash. Contributor, Clean Code.
David Weitzman
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Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
Eclipse is a clear winner for best free IDE, but IDEA may be worth the cost depending on how you like to code. If you're the kind of programmer that likes to exploit keyboard shortcuts and narrowly focused but powerful features for all they're worth, IDEA will give you the feeling that you're really in charge of your coding experience.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

Another vote for IDEA.
Eclipse ain't too bad, but if you will be staring at your IDE all day, IDEA is worth every penny of the price. You can get a 9" black-and-white TV for 50 cents at a tag sale, but that don't stop folks from plunking down $4000 for a big-screen, do it?

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
dav mccartney
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Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 45
I generally use Netbeans or jEdit, with a preference going to jEdit... which I use on both my PC and Mac. For quick coding where I just want some standard IDE features, I don't think jEdit can be beat for speed.
However... I haven't tried Eclipse, but I haven't had a reason to, either
[ March 21, 2004: Message edited by: dav mccartney ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
And there we go once again into an IDE war
I've used a LOT of different editors and IDEs over the years, and all are at least decent except VisualAge for Java which is terrible to the point of uselessness
If you're starting out, stick with a text editor with syntax highlighting like jEdit, jExt, or VI.
If you know the language well, use Eclipse or JBuilder (heard good things about IDEA but never used it).

Brian Pipa
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Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 299
Gel - been using it for 3 months or so - it's great. Works on Windows only (not written in Java) and it's free. http://www.gexperts.com

My Java Freeware:<br />MACCC - <a href="http://maccc.pipasoft.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://maccc.pipasoft.com</a><br />Nator - <a href="http://nator.pipasoft.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://nator.pipasoft.com</a>
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
subject: What's the BEST java IDE? (Preferably Free)
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