Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
Eclipse was the first IDE that was powerful enough to pull me away from good old trusty and ubiquitous vi. I had worked on a couple IDE projects, including Object Factory at Rogue Wave and HAHTsite at HAHT, and I had tried almost every Java IDE in existance, but I couldn't find an IDE that could tempt me away from vi. But, when I tried Eclipse in 2002 I was sold. What did I like about Eclipse at that time? Take a look at a My Eclipse Review to read my review of Eclipse from September 2002.
After seeing lots of cool demos of Java Studio Creator at JavaOne, hearing about Netbeans 4.0 release, and remembering to eat the dogfood, I decided that I had to take another look at Netbeans. I downloaded the Netbeans 4.0 demo over the weekend and I've been working with it all week. If you've used Netbeans before, you will notice some drastic changes. The Netbeans UI is much more clean, simple, and easy to use. Gone is the clunky filesystem mounting stuff and the complex options dialog is much more streamlined and easy to grok.
Here is a screenshot of Netbeans 4.0b1 showing the Versioning view:
There are still some shortcomings that will keep me going back to Eclipse, but there are also some areas where Netbeans seems to outshine Eclipse. Here are some of the things that impressed me:
And here are the things that will keep me going back to Eclipse:
It is cool to see such great improvements in Netbeans and it is great to have so many excellent Java IDE options. I've also spent some time recently with Visual Studio C#.Net and I'm here to tell you, Microsoft has some major catch-up work to do. The current crop of Java IDEs blow Visual Studio away.