Eclipse vs Intellij Idea

Once I used to love Intellij Idea. At the time it was the most insightful java development environment. It was clearly created by people who knew about Java development. Then I started working with Eclipse, and at first, the switch was hard. At the time, Idea had so many nice features that I was used to, and I was quite frustrated to see that many of them did not exist in Eclipse.

In time I got used to Eclipse, and it introduced a huge amount of features. Yesterday, I had to download Idea to take a look at Apelon’s source code, and I’ve found it to be a really nice environment after all this time. (We are talking about 3, 4 years). However, Eclipse has come a long way, and I found out that I was now looking for things that I am used to in Eclipse. Idea provides a GUI designer, and this is one major problem where Eclipse is not providing any free solutions, but again, Idea is not a free IDE either.  The community and effort around Eclipse has grown so large that it is now able to compete with high quality commercial solutions, but seeing Idea still reminds me of the comfort of a polished IDE created only for software development. Eclipse is a platform, though most people do not need to go beyond its use as an IDE.

To be honest, if Eclipse can somehow deal with the SWT/Swing problems, it will probably be the king of the tooling and development arena. Of course till that time, we’ll all have to suffer.

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