I've heard Netbeans is now slightly superior to Eclipse. Is it so, and if yes, is the difference big enough to migrate? What exactly would such migration buy me? I've been using Eclipse since it was Visual Age for Java.
Wouldn't it make more sense to just *try* it? An IDE is a very personal choice--if you see there's only a "slight" technical merit for the switch, then only you could decide if it was enough to go through the learning curve.
Joined: Mar 28, 2009
I tried it for a couple of hours; needless to say, it was a major pain in the neck. It feels very awkward, as all the hot keys and all the things we do on an autopilot need to be consciously thought about. Sure, hot keys can be redefined I am sure, but you know what I mean, there is a lot more to an IDE than that, there is a substantial learning curve. For someone who's been using Eclipse (and its predecessor) for 11 years, the switch is painful. I don't want to go through the pain without knowing what's at the end of the tunnel and whether going though it is worth it.
Personally, when I evaluate an IDE, I mostly ignore key bindings, and focus on actual functionality.
Joined: Mar 28, 2009
It's not just binding; after all, one can always point and click. It's almost like learning a new language. Sure, it's fun to learn a language, but you want to know whether it's worth it before you start (if you, like me, have time constraints and deadlines and such and your interest is not sheer curiosity). Has anyone traveled this path before me?
Question you should be asking yourself is what do you expect out of your IDE? For me the biggest and probably only advantage is refactoring. I never never use any kind of features which automatically generates code for me. What is it that IDE x can do better than IDE y? If you are contemplating switching IDEs because of some tutorials geared towards a specific IDE, then you are definitely on the wrong path. You will end up learning the IDE than the new language/technology stack.
Switching between IDE's is pain... I remember when I switched from IntelliJ to eclipse I did not really like it... I think once you become comfortable with one IDE it doesn't make much sense to switch in case you are attaining some significant cost other benefits.
The other thing to ask yourself before choosing NetBeans as an IDE is how committed Oracle will be to maintaining and enhancing it. From what I have seen, Oracle prefers that you use their own JBuilder and has been lukewarm in regards to NetBeans.
And yes Netbeans is open source and the community could pitch in where support from Oracle wanes, but how far do you think it would go without corporate sponsorship? Especially since Eclipse is sponsored by IBM.
Oh, and I have tried NetBeans a few times. Every now and then I download the latest and give it a whirl. And each time I find that it is missing a key feature that I have come to reply on in Eclipse. Years ago it was source code formatting. NetBeans does that reasonably well now, but I have nowhere near the control that Eclipse offers. My latest foray into NetBeans left me scratching my head on how to get "called by" graphs. I use those all the time, especially when working on a project that extends some other code that I have not written.
I use Eclipse mostly and NetBeans once in a while. Yes, keyboard shortcuts/different locations/doing this differently is annoying. But what bothers me is that NetBeans requires me to think about the IDE differently. For example, I need to have a "main project" selected to run a build. Why? This isn't a Java concept. It doesn't help that the features NetBeans is strong at (such as GUI builder) aren't those I use.
Also, Eclipse has more plugins that NetBeans. Make sure everything you want/need is available for NetBeans.
At our company maven support is the main reason that the developpers switched to netbeans.
There are a lot of functionalities included, that don't require an additional plugin to install.
There's an eclipse shortkey profile, you can continue with your known shortkeys.
I think "called by graphs" is hidden behind "call hierarchy" now.