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Using multiple IDEs

Charles Bradley
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 04, 2009
Posts: 25
To what extent is it safe to use different IDEs on the same system, either simultaneously or one after the other. In my case I want to try several before deciding on one for a project. Someone else might work on several projects, each of which uses a different IDE. I can imagine conflicting symbol values, incompatible extensions to libraries, and so on, and there are probably many other ways that I have no idea of. If there are problems, which IDEs are best at playing nice with the competition? Thanks.
Greg Brannon
Bartender

Joined: Oct 24, 2010
Posts: 557
I think that once you try several, you'll decide you like one the best, and you will either:
1. have answered your question during the exercise, or
2. decide on using a single IDE, so that you don't need to know the answer.

If one uses special IDE plug-ins or capabilities that act upon the source code in ways specific to that IDE, sharing the source code with another IDE might become impossible. I'm thinking of trying to edit code in Eclipse that was generated by the NetBeans GUI builder. You'll be able to edit it, but I suspect it will quickly become more of a spaghetti mess than it already was and will be rendered broken and unfixable, maybe even if you take it back to NetBeans.

I keep my source code Java-native and swap it easily between my main editor, Eclipse, and my occasional editor, Geany, without a problem. I would think that managers of large projects built by several people would require a common IDE among the team or would have specific source code requirements so that source code from one could be used by anyone else on the project.


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Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3476

Just be sure that project's building process isn't dependent on the IDE, make it IDE dependency free.
Use Ant, Maven or Gradle for example.
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

John Todd wrote:Just be sure that project's building process isn't dependent on the IDE, make it IDE dependency free.
Use Ant, Maven or Gradle for example.


Big time.

I use three or four different IDEs for Java development. I have IDEA, which is my favorite, a clean Eclipse, Spring Tool Suite (Eclipse with Spring plugins), and NetBeans. I also have XCode for iPhone development, but that doesn't affect this question.

I use each for different reasons, purposes. But as long as the project has an ant or maven or gradle script, I can jump between them, and all projects should be decoupled from an IDE. If you have a project that can only be built by Eclipse, you have a major problem. You are too dependent on the tool, and the project won't stand alone. Just like IBM RAD tightly couples your code to IBM, which is a maintenance nightmare, hence costing you lots and lots of money.

Mark


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Charles Bradley
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 04, 2009
Posts: 25
Thank you all. The tips about how to run a project are helpful. Mark came closest to answering my particular question. Do you have all those IDEs on the same system at the same time and can switch between them with no problems? No reboot? No command procedures to run? The same Java machine and standard libraries? Thanks.
Joachim Rohde
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2006
Posts: 423

Yes, you can run them parallel. You can even have two different IDEs open. Only your hardware will be the limit since IDEs are not very lightweight.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15950
    
  19

I had no choice, really. The corporate standard IDE was not capable of doing all I needed on some projects, so I would have 2 IDE's running at the same time and be switching windows all day long. Where possible, I even had my projects set up to be able to work under either one of the 2 IDEs, since they no conflicts in their project file definitions.

The biggest issues, in fact, were that since IDEs are real memory-eaters, you need a lot of RAM, and of course, the more windows you have open, the busier your screen display is. Not that that ever stopped me.

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Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3476

Tim Holloway wrote:I had no choice, really. The corporate standard IDE was not capable of doing all I needed on some projects, so I would have 2 IDE's running at the same time and be switching windows all day long. Where possible, I even had my projects set up to be able to work under either one of the 2 IDEs, since they no conflicts in their project file definitions.

The biggest issues, in fact, were that since IDEs are real memory-eaters, you need a lot of RAM, and of course, the more windows you have open, the busier your screen display is. Not that that ever stopped me.

Do you employ a unified keyboard shortcuts for the both?
Charles Bradley
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 04, 2009
Posts: 25
Thanks for the information. It is nice to know that at least some of the IDEs play nicely together. I'll install some and start comparing. The title of this thread seems general enough that some of you might want to keep it open and discuss how to use multiple IDEs at the same time. Thanks again.
 
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