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Do you use Eclipse or a separate IDE?

+15 votes
Eclipse is the IDE we use in our studies, as it's recommended by professors, but has anyone branched out to use any different IDEs? I've been looking into NetBeans and Intellij IDEA, both of which are apparently much better (read: faster) alternatives to Eclipse. NetBeans offers amazing Maven support and suggestions for code that blow Eclipse out of the water (suggestions to change loops and similar code into Java 8's new lambda code just to name something), and Intellij IDEA is really solid with built-in database management and smart completion that rivals that of NetBeans. Also, the ultimate edition is free for students!

I'm currently downloading each and I'll be trying them in the coming weeks, and I suggest you do too if you haven't already!
asked Oct 25, 2016 in CSC 285 (F16) by Kyle McCaw (100 points)
edited Oct 25, 2016 by Kyle McCaw

3 Answers

+2 votes

One advantage of IntelliJ is that Android Studio is based on it, so after using IntelliJ, you'll probably feel more at home creating Android apps.  Just this year IntelliJ's popularity overtook Eclipse (for the first time).  See: http://zeroturnaround.com/rebellabs/java-tools-and-technologies-landscape-2016/

That said, I think Eclipse is still an excellent IDE, and still has about 41% market share, to IntelliJ's 44% (according to one poll).  I think Eclipse is a solid choice in general.  If the tide continues to shift toward IntelliJ, the CSC department could decide to make the switch in that direction.  I doubt that we would go with NetBeans, although it does have much better JavaFX support than Eclipse as I recall.

In the end, the choice of IDE, no matter how many "intelligent auto-complete" features it has, is not nearly so important as the ability of the programmer to write good quality code and design good-quality software.

answered Oct 25, 2016 by Forrest Stonedahl (100 points)
+1 vote
I was always under the impression that eclipse's main draw, at this time in our education, was how many functions and possibilities it has, without sacrificing those aspects that make it effective for teaching computer science and coding fro the first time. A lot of you probably coded in high school, but when I took 211, I had never coded at all and had no idea how to approach it. Eclipse's auto-fill functionality and wide array of resources and tutorials allowed me to figure out the organization of programs and the language quickly.

Now that I have done a good amount of coding in Python, I would consider that a much more effective "learning" language, but Spyder does not have the support that Eclipse has always given. In conclusion, I think we use it as a solid baseline before branching out to find our own preferred IDE's or ways of doing things in general.
answered Oct 25, 2016 by Keenan Odenkirk (100 points)
+1 vote
When I was in high school I was taught to use just a basic text editor and then run all of my code through a separate java compiler. It made me learn like all of the writing conventions of Java but I do like eclipse better
answered Oct 25, 2016 by James Compere (100 points)