[ACCEPTED]-Is Eclipse the best IDE for Java?-ide

Accepted answer
Score: 74

Let me just start out by saying that Eclipse 35 is a fantastic IDE for Java and many other languages. Its 34 plugin architecture and its extensibility 33 are hard to rival and the fact that it's 32 free is a huge plus for smaller teams or 31 tight budgets.

A few things that I hate about 30 Eclipse.

  • The documentation is really lacking. I don't know who writes the stuff, but if it's not just flatly missing, it's incomplete. If it's not incomplete, then it's just flat out wrong. I have wasted many precious hours trying to use a given feature in Eclipse by walking through its documentation only to discover that it was all trash to begin with.
  • Despite the size of the project, I have found the community to be very lacking and/or confusing enough to be hard to participate in. I have tried several times to get help on a particular subject or plugin only to be sent to 3 or 4 different newsgroups who all point to the other newsgroup or just plain don't respond. This can be very frustrating, as much smaller open source products that I use are really good about answering questions I have. Perhaps it's simply a function of the size of the community.
  • If you need functionality beyond the bundled functionality of one of their distros (for instance, the Eclipse for Java EE Developers distro which bundles things like the WTP), I have found the installation process for extra plugins excruciatingly painful. I don't know why they can't make that process simpler (or maybe I'm just spoiled on my Mac at home and don't know how bad it really is out in the 'real' world) but if I'm not just unsuccessful, oftentimes it's a process of multiple hours to get a new plugin installed. This was supposedly one of their goals in 3.4 (to make installation of new projects simpler); if they succeeded, I can't tell.
  • Documentation in the form of books and actual tutorials is sorely lacking. I want a master walkthrough for something as dense and feature-rich as Eclipse; something that says, 'hey, did you know about this feature and how it can really make you more productive?'. As far as I've found, nothing like that exists. If you want to figure out Eclipse, you've got one option, sit down and play with it (literally play with it, not just see a feature and go and read the documentation for it, because that probably doesn't exist or is wrong).

Despite these things, Eclipse really 29 is a great IDE. Its refactoring tooling 28 works tremendously well. The handling of 27 Javadoc works perfectly. All of features 26 we've come to expect of an IDE are their 25 (code completion, templates, integration 24 with various SCMSs, integration with build 23 systems). Its code formatting and cleanup 22 tools are very powerful. I find its build 21 system to work well and intuitively. I 20 think these are the things upon which its 19 reputation is really built.

I don't have 18 enough experience with other IDEs or with 17 other distros of Eclipse (I've seen RAD 16 at work quite a few times; I can't believe 15 anyone would pay what they're charging for that) to 14 comment on them, but I've been quite happy 13 with Eclipse for the most part. One tip 12 I have heard from multiple places is that 11 if you want Eclipse without a lot of the 10 hassle that can come with its straight install, go 9 with a for-pay distro of it. My Eclipse is a highly 8 recommended version that I've seen all over 7 the net that is really very affordable (last 6 I heard, $50 for the distro plus a year 5 of free upgrades). If you have the budget 4 and need the added functionality, I'd go 3 with something like that.

Anyway, I've tried 2 to be as detailed as I can. I hope this 1 helps and good luck on your search! :)

Score: 68

IntelliJ IDEA was awsome. Now it is just 13 "better than Eclipse". You can 12 code in IDEA several times faster than in 11 Eclipse in my experience (I moved from being 10 an Eclipse early-adopter to IDEA and haven't 9 looked back) but IDEA has a number of flaws:

  • Full version is not free.
  • It hogs memory
  • Project management is not great
  • Jetbrains keep bringing out minor enhancements and calling them major releases. IDEA is now slower and buggier than it was a few years ago. And you get charged for the pleasure! (IDEA now has a free Community Edition)

I 8 still wouldn't go back though; the code 7 refactorings and intentions in IDEA are 6 just too good.

A major version of Eclipse 5 came out a while back and it took me about 4 an hour of searching on the website to figure 3 out what was actually contained in the release 2 which might persuade me back into the fold. Visit 1 JetBrains to see how to sell an IDE!

Score: 33

There is no best IDE. You make it as good 1 as you get used using it.

Score: 27

Eclipse can't remotely be called an IDE 18 to my opinion. Okay that's exaggerated, I 17 know. It merely reflects my intense agony 16 thanks to eclipse! Whatever you do, it just 15 doesn't work! You always need to fight with 14 it to make it do things the right way. During 13 that time, you're not developing code which 12 is what you're supposed to do, right? eclipse 11 and maven integration: unreliable! Eclipse 10 and ivy integration: unreliable. WTP: buggy 9 buggy buggy! Eclipse and wstl validation: buggy! It 8 complains about not finding URL's out of 7 the blue even though they do exist, and 6 a few days later, without having changed 5 them, it suddenly does find them etc etc. I 4 Could write a frakking book about it. To 3 answer your question: NO ECLIPSE IS NOT 2 EVEN CLOSE THE BEST IDE!!! IntelliJ is supposed 1 to be MUCH better!

Score: 18

Eclipse was the first IDE to move me off 5 of XEmacs. However, when my employer offered 4 to buy me a Intellij IDEA license if I wanted 3 one it only took 3 days with an evaluation 2 copy to convince me to go for it.

It seems 1 like so many small things are just nicer.

Score: 13

IntelliJ is good one but its not free!!Then 2 NetBeans is also a good option.Also if you 1 are IBM suite WSAD is good

Score: 12

I'd have to vote for Netbeans as the best 2 one currently. Eclipse is decent, but right 1 now Netbeans is better.

Score: 9

I used IntelliJ for almost 5+ years (from 36 v1.5 to v7) and around 8 months ago I migrated 35 to IBM RAD (which is built on top of old 34 eclipse platform) and around 3 months ago 33 I settled down with Eclipse (Ganymede).

I 32 used IntelliJ on a mid size projects (with 31 10k classes) and I'm using Eclipse on one 30 with just few hundreds of classes.

I found 29 both of these IDEs (IntelliJ and Eclipse) to 28 be good. IBM RAD is just a waste of money 27 (ofcourse one could be stuck in an IBM shop 26 without choice).

IntelliJ has far superior 25 refactoring capabilities and keyboard shortcuts 24 for most of the features compared to Eclipse. It 23 supports importing projects from Eclipse. It 22 has better built in xml handling capabilities 21 (with refactorings applicable almost like 20 for the java code). Built in Intelli Sense 19 is also very good.

Eclipse is a great tool 18 and its free. It took me around 1-2 months 17 to get used to Eclipse from IntelliJ (lot 16 of unlearning of shortcuts), but I got hang 15 of Eclipse, it has been pretty smooth. I 14 havent used Eclipse on mid size project.

Both 13 IntelliJ and Eclipse have active plugin 12 communities and both integrate well with 11 version control systems, unit test frameworks, application 10 servers and profilers.

IntelliJ started becoming 9 slow and bloated starting from v4.0. It 8 was slow with mid size projects. I would 7 not use IntelliJ unless its performance 6 can be improved.

I havent used these two 5 IDEs for anything other than java development.

If 4 you are a java developer and your company 3 pays for IntelliJ and if your project is 2 not too big, go for it. Otherwise, dont 1 despair: Eclipse is always there.

Score: 8

I gave Eclipse a 3 months ride at my new 36 work, but after that I found out that normal 35 Maven project can be run in IntelliJ IDEA 34 too (unless it's Eclipse plugin/EMF/something 33 of course ;-)). 3 months are not enough 32 to compare it with 8+ years with IDEA, but 31 it's enough to claim I gave it a fair try. I 30 decided to live with its perspectives (other 29 IDEs don't need them), with its poor debugger 28 (doesn't show date values unless you click 27 on them! etc.), with its comparatively worse 26 completion than IDEA has.

Now after all those 25 years IDEA is also free (community edition) and 24 I use it without much trouble. Of course 23 I miss some of those "Ultimate" features 22 of paid version, but it's far better than 21 Eclipse. Biggest difference is the whole 20 mindset needed for both of these IDEs. But 19 after you master the mindset of either I 18 can't understand what can anyone hold to 17 Eclipse - unless you need its plugin ecosystem 16 or you have some serious investments there.

Example 15 of "mindset" differences: You 14 have to save in Eclipse, not in IDEA, and 13 I don't care what is better or worse - but 12 you have to save in Eclipse to let him clean 11 up underlined errors that are not errors 10 anymore, etc. ;-) You have to save there 9 in order to get rid of errors in other files 8 too, because other file doesn't see the 7 changes otherwise.

I blogged much more about 6 this topic - and yes, I'm biased, though 5 I tried to be as little as possible. But 4 after some time it wasn't simply possible: :-)

And 3 no, not even IDEA is perfect, I know it. Because 2 I use it a lot. But it is the best Java 1 IDE if you ask me. Even the Community edition.

Score: 7

[This is not really an answer, just an anecdote. I 15 worked with guys who used emacs heavily 14 loaded with macros and color coded. Crazy! Why 13 do that when there are so many good IDEs 12 out there?]

if you know you way around emacs 11 you can code 100x faster then an IDE. And 10 it can handle bunch of diffrent languages 9 so you do not need to change your coding 8 enviroment if you need to code in another 7 language. Works on all operating systems, you 6 can custimize/add anything you want. Even 5 edit files half way across the world over 4 ssh.(no downloading or uploading). Before 3 calling them crazy you gotto use it first. i 2 am sure they are calling you crazy for using 1 an IDE :).

Score: 6

It is often said that there are better IDE's 7 for various languages (eg Java) than Eclipse.

The 6 power of Eclipse is that it's basically 5 the same IDE for many languages, meaning that 4 if you know you'll have to code in several 3 programming languages (Java, C++, Python) it's 2 a huge advantage that you only have to learn 1 one IDE: Eclipse.

Score: 5

Eclipse! It can be slow at times and uses 1 a lot of memory but it works well.

Score: 5

I don't know if Eclipse is THE BEST Java 19 IDE, but it is definitely very decent and 18 my favorite IDE. I tried IntelliJ briefly 17 before, and found that it's pretty similar 16 to Eclipse (IntelliJ might offer some nicer 15 features, but Eclipse is free and open source). I 14 never really tried NetBean because I know 13 Eclipse before I know NetBean.

Eclipse is 12 my favorite because:

  • Free
  • Extensible (to a point that you can turn it in to C++ IDE or DB Development IDE)
  • Open source
  • I know how to write Eclipse plugin
  • You can develop a product easily with Eclipse (exp. Lime Wire is Eclipse under the hood)

If you are used to using 11 conventional Java IDE like JCreator you 10 might need some time to get used to Eclipse. I 9 remember when I first learned Eclipse, I 8 didn't know how to compile Java source...

I 7 would suggest that in order to find the 6 best IDE FOR YOU, try what people recommended 5 (NetBean, Eclipse, and IntelliJ), and see 4 which one you like the most, then stick 3 with it and become an expert of it. Having 2 the right IDE will boost up your productivity 1 a lot in my opinion.

Score: 4

I am going to have to recommend Oracle JDeveloper. I personally 12 thought that Eclipse was the best Java IDE 11 too at one point. Then I was introduced 10 to Oracle JDeveloper by my job. I find the UI design much 9 better than Eclipse. Also it comes with 8 an incredible amount of features built in 7 including great support for EJB3, JSF, WebServices, etc. It 6 is essentially an IDE for the entire JavaEE 5 stack (and the Oracle ADF framework as well). - All 4 of the tools you will (probably) need for 3 JavaEE development come with this IDE right 2 out of the box, no plugins required (unless 1 you download the minimalist version).

Score: 3

Talking about java Ide it is better to go 6 for NetBeans.In My opinion it is better 5 and provide great advantage over other ide 4 but it has disadvantage over Eclipse that 3 it grabs more more while working but do 2 to its features and support i suggest Netbeans 1 than any ide

Score: 2

Agreeing with the others. Netbeans is a 7 pretty good IDE which also caters for other 6 languages (PHP, Ruby, C/C++) if you're prone 5 to using any of those. Then you get the 4 added benefit of knowing your way around 3 the IDE when deciding to pick up a new language.

To 2 be fair however, I haven't had much time 1 with the eclipse IDE.

Score: 1

This is subjective... I find it to be a 5 good tool.

It depends what kind of development 4 you're doing - for EJB stuff, many folk 3 would favour Netbeans. It also depends how 2 much you want to spend - I assume you're 1 talking about free IDEs?

Score: 1

In my opinion if you got the resources to 6 use, then go with eclipse. NetBeans which 5 is awesome like eclipse is another best 4 option, these are the only 2 I've ever used 3 (loved, needed, wanted)

Eclipse is hands 2 down the most popular, and for good reason!

Hope 1 this helps.

Score: 1

I'd agree with some of the others out there 24 saying that NetBeans and IntelliJ are both 23 good IDEs. And I'd say that in using all 22 three (Eclipse + other two), that Eclipse 21 is by far my favorite. I found some of 20 the documentation out-dated, but also found 19 the support community very helpful. I started 18 using Eclipse by jumping into the deep end 17 of the pool: writing an RCP before ever 16 learning the IDE. The IDE was intuitive 15 to use, and when I found the right news 14 groups to post to - most of my questions 13 were already answered. The hardest thing 12 for me (and frustrating, admittedly) was 11 knowing how to phrase my search terms in 10 order to get to the answer that was already 9 posted.

Remember that Eclipse is still "relatively 8 new" as an IDE player, though given that 7 - it's pretty darn robust.

My only complaint 6 about Eclipse is that with each new release, it 5 seems to hog up more resources. With a 4 mid-sized project/workspace, it takes seemingly 3 forever to build (or rebuild) the project. Compared 2 to IntelliJ, it's faster and more intuitive 1 to use.

Score: 1

Don't forget that Eclipse Platform was started 16 by IBM. There are few platforms out there.

  • IBM Websphere Application Developer (WSAD) and/or Rational Application Developer (RAD) which is a Eclipse-type IDE from IBM (actually, that's Eclipse with IBM specialized libraries/plugins).
  • MyEclipse (never used it but it's another Eclipse-type IDE)
  • Sun Microsystem's NetBeans. It's too Java-centric as it's designed to create applications purely in java (NetBeans runs in Java).
  • IntelliJ (to name but a few)
  • Oracle JDeveloper (I never really liked the directory structure layout JDeveloper creates).

The 15 advantage with Eclipse is that it can be 14 customized to your development pleasure, plugins 13 can be written for Eclipse to conform to 12 your needs (e.g. The Eclipse "Easy Explorer" plugin 11 for browsing the directory of your source 10 in Windows Explorer). Eclipse allows you 9 to also incorporate other languages/SDK's, such 8 as C++, Silverlight projects, Android Projects 7 for development. You can also easily manage 6 resources in Eclipse.

In my experience NetBeans 5 are resource intensive. Oracle JDeveloper 4 and IntelliJ aren't free though. Oh yes, If 3 you have issues or bugs with Eclipse, Eclipse 2 has the ability to restart and submit the 1 crash to Eclipse servers.

Score: 0

This is not really an answer, just an anecdote. I 4 worked with guys who used emacs heavily 3 loaded with macros and color coded. Crazy! Why 2 do that when there are so many good IDEs 1 out there?

Score: 0

I have experience with using JCreator LE. I like it 2 because it is easy to use and it is free. Give 1 it a try if it interests you.

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