IDE Suggestions

G

gregarican

I am looking to get more into Java development, but would like some
suggestions as to the most suitable IDE. I know this is a subjective
question, but here's where I am coming from. I have worked in Ruby and
C# extensively. The point being:

1) Ruby was easy (fun dare I say?) to work in syntactically, but
lacked a solid IDE for GUI development. I have seen a few offerings,
but they lacked the drag and drop widget feature to easily create GUI
apps.

2) C# development is pretty straightforward using Visual Studio 2005.
GUI apps can be created quickly and efficiently. But it lacks the
cross platform ability I am looking for now. I have looked into
MonoDevelop, but getting this working on Mac OS X and Linux platforms
isn't a no-brainer.

So far for a Java IDE I have looked at Eclipse with the WindowBuilder
plug-in from Instantiations. It looks pretty good, although I'm not
sure about FOSS licensing. Right now I have a 14-day time bombed trial
install. What about Netbeans and some of the others out there?
Preferably I would like to try out a FOSS solution. Emphasis on quick
drag and drop GUI features.

Any suggestions? Keep it clean :)
 
T

Thomas Kellerer

gregarican said:
Preferably I would like to try out a FOSS solution. Emphasis on quick
drag and drop GUI features.
Then I would definitely look at NetBeans. The GUI editor is really nice
and is even better with the upcoming 6.0 release.

Thomas
 
G

gregarican

I moved over from jBuilder to Netbeans and I found it quite easy to pick up.

Thanks for y'all's insight. I downloaded Netbeans 5.5.1 and am scoping
it out now. So far it looks very good! Thanks again!
 
M

mich

gregarican said:
Thanks for y'all's insight. I downloaded Netbeans 5.5.1 and am scoping
it out now. So far it looks very good! Thanks again!


I tried Eclipse, but never figured it out. Seems to me that since Eclipse is
supposed to be a platform for everything it's not really that good at
anything, being much too generic.
 
D

Daniel Pitts

I am looking to get more into Java development, but would like some
suggestions as to the most suitable IDE. I know this is a subjective
question, but here's where I am coming from. I have worked in Ruby and
C# extensively. The point being:

1) Ruby was easy (fun dare I say?) to work in syntactically, but
lacked a solid IDE for GUI development. I have seen a few offerings,
but they lacked the drag and drop widget feature to easily create GUI
apps.

2) C# development is pretty straightforward using Visual Studio 2005.
GUI apps can be created quickly and efficiently. But it lacks the
cross platform ability I am looking for now. I have looked into
MonoDevelop, but getting this working on Mac OS X and Linux platforms
isn't a no-brainer.

So far for a Java IDE I have looked at Eclipse with the WindowBuilder
plug-in from Instantiations. It looks pretty good, although I'm not
sure about FOSS licensing. Right now I have a 14-day time bombed trial
install. What about Netbeans and some of the others out there?
Preferably I would like to try out a FOSS solution. Emphasis on quick
drag and drop GUI features.

Any suggestions? Keep it clean :)

I actually use JetBrains' IntelliJ IDEA.
It has *great* support for refactoring, which is very important to my
development style. Most of my work is either webapps, or if it is a
GUI, its simple enough that I can hand code the Swing components, so
I'm not sure how good/bad/existent the GUI builder in IDEA is.
From what I've heard, Eclipse is pretty decent too, but I don't have
much to base that on.
 
T

Twisted

I actually use JetBrains' IntelliJ IDEA.

WARNING to OP: IntelliJ IDEA is not free to download and use
arbitrarily unlike Netbeans and Eclipse. Daniel Pitts neglected to
mention this, perhaps intentionally, but it is a significant entry in
the "minus" column nonetheless, especially if you are of limited means
as seems likely given you're a student. Beware of attempts to stick a
hand in your pocket and take hundreds in return for something that has
a marginal cost somewhere in the vicinity of zero! Beware of ads for
commercial products that have free alternatives masquerading as advice!
 
?

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?=

gregarican said:
So far for a Java IDE I have looked at Eclipse with the WindowBuilder
plug-in from Instantiations. It looks pretty good, although I'm not
sure about FOSS licensing. Right now I have a 14-day time bombed trial
install.

Eclipse is open source.

You can download it freely and use it as long as you want.

You probably have gotten one of the commercial packages built on
top of Eclipse.

Get it from www.eclipse.org !

Arne
 
D

David Segall

gregarican said:
I am looking to get more into Java development, but would like some
suggestions as to the most suitable IDE. I know this is a subjective
question, but here's where I am coming from. I have worked in Ruby and
C# extensively. The point being:

1) Ruby was easy (fun dare I say?) to work in syntactically, but
lacked a solid IDE for GUI development. I have seen a few offerings,
but they lacked the drag and drop widget feature to easily create GUI
apps.

2) C# development is pretty straightforward using Visual Studio 2005.
GUI apps can be created quickly and efficiently. But it lacks the
cross platform ability I am looking for now. I have looked into
MonoDevelop, but getting this working on Mac OS X and Linux platforms
isn't a no-brainer.

So far for a Java IDE I have looked at Eclipse with the WindowBuilder
plug-in from Instantiations. It looks pretty good, although I'm not
sure about FOSS licensing. Right now I have a 14-day time bombed trial
install. What about Netbeans and some of the others out there?
Preferably I would like to try out a FOSS solution. Emphasis on quick
drag and drop GUI features.

Any suggestions? Keep it clean :)
I have what I believe to be a complete list of "full featured" Java
IDEs at <http://ide.profectus.com.au> but given your emphasis on GUI
development and preference for FOSS I would agree with the NetBeans
recommendations. As a bonus, NetBeans 6.0 (in pre-release) supports
Ruby development.
 
G

gregarican

Eclipse is open source.

You can download it freely and use it as long as you want.

You probably have gotten one of the commercial packages built on
top of Eclipse.

Get it fromwww.eclipse.org!

Arne

I got the main Eclipse install as a free download. The WindowBuilder
plug-in was indeed something that costs to register once the trial
period expires. Kind of a side (off) topic, but I got the plug-in from
a site called http://www.eclipsepluginscentral.com. It in turn linked
to the Instantiations website that sells WindowBuilder. The
EclipsePlugInCentral site tried to infect me with the Windows ANI
animated cursor exploit. I was patched and have updated AV software so
it didn't do anything (thank God). Does anyone know if this site is
reputable or not? Perhaps they just got 'sploited by a third party and
aren't aware of it...
 
G

gregarican

I got the main Eclipse install as a free download. The WindowBuilder
plug-in was indeed something that costs to register once the trial
period expires. Kind of a side (off) topic, but I got the plug-in from
a site calledhttp://www.eclipsepluginscentral.com. It in turn linked
to the Instantiations website that sells WindowBuilder. The
EclipsePlugInCentral site tried to infect me with the Windows ANI
animated cursor exploit. I was patched and have updated AV software so
it didn't do anything (thank God). Does anyone know if this site is
reputable or not? Perhaps they just got 'sploited by a third party and
aren't aware of it...- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

Oops. I meant http://www.eclipseplugincentral.com (minus the plural
's'). Beware though if you're using a unpatched Windows PC!
 
?

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?=

gregarican said:
I got the main Eclipse install as a free download. The WindowBuilder
plug-in was indeed something that costs to register once the trial
period expires. Kind of a side (off) topic, but I got the plug-in from
a site called http://www.eclipsepluginscentral.com. It in turn linked
to the Instantiations website that sells WindowBuilder. The
EclipsePlugInCentral site tried to infect me with the Windows ANI
animated cursor exploit. I was patched and have updated AV software so
it didn't do anything (thank God). Does anyone know if this site is
reputable or not? Perhaps they just got 'sploited by a third party and
aren't aware of it...

Eclipse also has a free GUI Builder plugin called VE. Why not try
that ?

Arne
 
D

Daniel Pitts

WARNING to OP: IntelliJ IDEA is not free to download and use
arbitrarily unlike Netbeans and Eclipse. Daniel Pitts neglected to
mention this, perhaps intentionally, but it is a significant entry in
the "minus" column nonetheless, especially if you are of limited means
as seems likely given you're a student. Beware of attempts to stick a
hand in your pocket and take hundreds in return for something that has
a marginal cost somewhere in the vicinity of zero! Beware of ads for
commercial products that have free alternatives masquerading as advice!

Excuse me. I did forget to mention the cost, since it doesn't affect
me directly. The company I work for dealt the the license.

I find your response somewhat offensive. You, who has been known to
take simple comments as personal affronts, should know how to phrase
your comments in a way that isn't a personal attack. I have
absolutely no vested interest in JetBrains. I was simply expressing
my personal opinion about a product that I use nearly every day.
 
T

Twisted

I got the main Eclipse install as a free download. The WindowBuilder
plug-in was indeed something that costs to register once the trial
period expires. Kind of a side (off) topic, but I got the plug-in from
a site calledhttp://www.eclipsepluginscentral.com. It in turn linked
to the Instantiations website that sells WindowBuilder. The
EclipsePlugInCentral site tried to infect me with the Windows ANI
animated cursor exploit. I was patched and have updated AV software so
it didn't do anything (thank God). Does anyone know if this site is
reputable or not? Perhaps they just got 'sploited by a third party and
aren't aware of it...

Well, let's see. Instead of pointing you to free, more-valuable-to-you
stuff they pointed you to crippled expensive less-valuable-to-you
stuff and tried to virus your PC. Maybe not deliberately, but their
security is obviously shoddy even if their ethics are clean. This site
is at best of poor quality, and at worst actively malicious and self-
serving, attempting to extort money from you at every turn whether via
spyware and other surreptitious means or just by straightforward if
crass methods like gratuitously crippled software.

I'd recommend looking elsewhere. Does the main Eclipse site not
provide links to plugins, or to a reputable plugin-catalogue site? (A
reputable one should run a tight ship so nothing, exploit or
intentional, tries to hack your browser, and should clearly
differentiate and list as separate categories free software versus
software with strings attached.)
 
M

mich

Daniel Pitts said:
Excuse me. I did forget to mention the cost, since it doesn't affect
me directly. The company I work for dealt the the license.

I find your response somewhat offensive. You, who has been known to
take simple comments as personal affronts, should know how to phrase
your comments in a way that isn't a personal attack. I have
absolutely no vested interest in JetBrains. I was simply expressing
my personal opinion about a product that I use nearly every day.


The guy is simply a jerk and I KF'ed him as should everybody else.
 
G

gregarican

Excuse me. I did forget to mention the cost, since it doesn't affect
me directly. The company I work for dealt the the license.

I find your response somewhat offensive. You, who has been known to
take simple comments as personal affronts, should know how to phrase
your comments in a way that isn't a personal attack. I have
absolutely no vested interest in JetBrains. I was simply expressing
my personal opinion about a product that I use nearly every day.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

No doubt. It's not like you work for them. What's up with that? It's
not like your last name is JetBrains :) Seriously though, I
appreciate the feedback. Right now I'm trying out Eclipse and Netbeans
back and forth to see which one will fit the way I work the best. That
and looking forward to getting my Sams book on Java to get my feet
under me.
 
L

Lew

gregarican said:
No doubt. It's not like you work for them. What's up with that? It's
not like your last name is JetBrains :) Seriously though, I
appreciate the feedback. Right now I'm trying out Eclipse and Netbeans
back and forth to see which one will fit the way I work the best. That
and looking forward to getting my Sams book on Java to get my feet
under me.

Wisdom indicates to have an Ant-based command-line build for Java and
Java-based projects. Character development arises from familiarity with the
process. Integrating Ant with a versioned source repository is /de rigueur/.

Both NetBeans and Eclipse adore Ant and version control. Both also risk
imposition of IDE-dependent artifacts in your code library. Nice if you want
that, but annoying if it's a surprise. Having an automated build-and-test
protocol using Ant off CVS or Subversion is the way to go.

As a developer it behooves one to play with Ant-based builds outside of any
IDE in order to grok the process. Reading the IDE-generated build.xml and
related files is also quite the educational journey.
 
J

Joe Attardi

Twisted said:
WARNING to OP: IntelliJ IDEA is not free to download and use
arbitrarily unlike Netbeans and Eclipse. Daniel Pitts neglected to
mention this, perhaps intentionally, but it is a significant entry in
the "minus" column nonetheless, especially if you are of limited means
as seems likely given you're a student. Beware of attempts to stick a
hand in your pocket and take hundreds in return for something that has
a marginal cost somewhere in the vicinity of zero! Beware of ads for
commercial products that have free alternatives masquerading as advice!

WARNING TO OP: Twisted likes to stir up trouble.

Not all software products have free alternatives that are comparable in
quality. Don't get me wrong; in this case I agree with Twisted. I've
used IntelliJ and like it very much, but the bottom line is that Eclipse
is free and is just as full-featured, if not more.

Other free software categories...not so much. I recently tried to switch
from Microsoft Money 2007 to GnuCash. GnuCash on Windows is pretty good
but lacked important features out of the box - integration with my
banks' online systems, automatic stock price updates, etc.

Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

But, as to not confuse the OP: Eclipse is my recommendation. I've used
it every day for years and has yet to do me wrong.
 
T

Twisted

No doubt. It's not like you work for them. What's up with that? It's
not like your last name is JetBrains :) Seriously though, I
appreciate the feedback. Right now I'm trying out Eclipse and Netbeans
back and forth to see which one will fit the way I work the best. That
and looking forward to getting my Sams book on Java to get my feet
under me.

Nothing I wrote was intended to make a definitive claim that anyone
here was definitely a corporate shill, or in any way dishonest; if it
was misread that way I apologize for that. However it is important
that newcomers here be somewhat skeptical of suggestions. Anyone
suggesting a particular product or service *might* be a corporate
shill or otherwise have an ulterior motive. It is likely that some
here *are*, even if we have no clue who in particular might be. Any
suggestion that happens to involve spending a substantial chunk of
change needs to be viewed with suspicion, as it may be to the
suggester's financial benefit at your expense if you follow such a
suggestion. It could be perfectly honest; then again it might turn out
not to be. The fact that someone makes money if the suggestion is
followed creates an automatic taint of suspicion. Recommendations for
stuff you can freely use on the other hand seem unlikely to benefit
anyone at your expense and so can probably be viewed as honest;
there's no danger it's a salesman in disguise about to rip you off.

Obviously, the key thing to do is to a) not assume that things people
suggest are free, even if they don't warn you otherwise (lack of such
a warning is however reason for suspicion, though proof of nothing);
b) see if there are free alternatives; and c) see if there's any broad
consensus that the unfree thing suggested is superior. In the case of
IDEs there's no such consensus, and the top two popular ones appear to
be NetBeans and Eclipse, both free. Tutorials is another area to be
wary about. N00bs looking for introductory materials often get two or
three responses trying to sell books to them before anyone deigns to
mention the excellent and freely readable Java tutorial maintained by
Sun themselves on their own Web site. There's no point blowing hard-
earned money on thick bundles of dead tree unless you feel the need
for further basic help beyond what Sun's tutorial provides, and even
then, asking specific questions of this newsgroup where there are gaps
in (your understanding of) the tutorial is probably a better bet --
somewhat slower but much less expensive given you already have net
access and already posted here once requesting pointers to
introductory materials.

As for those providing helpful responses, I would recommend that you
disclose up-front if something you suggest is unfree, and that if the
thread has no reference to the applicable freebies yet you include
them and explain why your suggestion might be better and under what
circumstances; this will indicate to others that you are acting in
good faith, and help ensure that nobody gets ripped off. I see no
logical objection to those suggestions unless your intent was in fact
to rip someone off; only then is there a logical reason why you would
not want them alerted to the existence of free alternatives to your
suggestion.

Of course, when a suggested product's price tag is clearly massively
inflated compared to its marginal cost there is additional cause for
suspicion of an attempted ripoff. Where is the rest of the money (most
of it) going to go? To line someone's pockets as pure profit, no
doubt. Using such a thing instead of Eclipse is at best like buying
Perrier water instead of using tapwater (the former may actually be
superior in some respect, but the latter is adequate and a darn sight
cheaper) and at worst like buying Dasani (bottled tap water at
inflated prices).

To recap:
* Newbies looking for common Java aids are suggested to always check
into Eclipse, NetBeans, and Sun's Java tutorial and other
documentation before resorting to paying for any software or books.
* People answering questions are advised to disclose up front in their
own posting if something they are recommending costs money or has
other strings attached.
* People answering questions are advised to disclose up front any
affiliation they may have with the purveyors of same.
* People answering questions are advised to suggest the appropriate
freebies in their post if they aren't already suggested elsewhere in
the thread.
* People answering questions and suggesting something unfree are
advised to explain, honestly, what (if any) advantages their
suggestion has over said freebies and under what circumstances.

This should serve dual purposes:
* Newbies don't get incomplete information and then perhaps spend hard-
earned money they could have saved. Newbies make their spending
decisions with full knowledge of alternatives.
* The disclosure suggestions for those suggesting unfree things will
also help reduce any cause for suspicion of their motives. People
shilling for a company probably won't read any of these suggestions,
or give a hoot if they do read them, so it will also be easier to spot
any shills that might be present when the non-shills by and large
follow such suggestions.

A parting note: some people seem to just suggest unfree things off the
cuff not with any ulterior motive but because they use it at work and
didn't pay, or they have no real problems themselves with making off-
the-cuff purchases in the three-figure range because they make six
figures a year, or whatever. They do wise to keep in mind that most
people coming here with these types of questions will be students and
therefore of starkly limited means, and suggestions that they should
spend those kinds of sums will not be particularly welcome. In the
worst case, a poor student may get the impression that there's no
viable alternative and, unable to afford the sum, give up on Java
entirely as "too expensive to develop in"! This would clearly be a
travesty. In the best case they get the impression that advice is
sometimes unreliable or suspect, or maybe even given with the primary
purpose of drumming up business for various corporations rather than
the primary purpose of helping, even in the cases where that isn't
true.

It is also the case that many of the individuals asking for such help
will not be Americans, and may not be Westerners at all in many cases.
As such they may not have convenient access to any payment methods
accepted by any of the corporations selling any of the unfree
products. They may have no local bookstores selling any of the books
you suggest and no easy way to get them shipped; Amazon may not accept
any payment method they can use. Nor might a software vendor have a
local presence where they are or accept online purchase methods they
can use (if they accept online purchases at all). Most American
businesses don't do COD, especially with international shipping; they
may accept cheques drawn on American banks and American money orders
that are nontrivial to get as close by as Canada let alone in Europe
or even Asia; they usually accept credit cards but the vast majority
of people picked at random from the planetary population don't have
one. Supposing they had access to a payment method they'd likely have
to jump through many extra hoops to use it from outside the USA;
currency conversion and exchange rates would be an issue, at minimum.
And if they happen to be in North Korea they're completely out of
luck. By contrast if they have broadband net access, a computer, and
nothing else they can use Sun's tutorial and download Eclipse and/or
NetBeans, barring Great Firewall type problems.

So suggesting an unfree product or service of an American company also
makes your suggestion worthless to, at a guess, roughly 18/19* of the
population of the planet. Oops; some help you turned out to be. :)

* Using the approximations of US population 1/3 billion (maybe a touch
low), world population 6 and a third (definitely lowball, but offsets
the former), and the very liberal assumption that everyone inside the
US can afford the price asked. In actuality, it's probably an option
worth considering to maybe 1/50 of the world population or less, while
the freebies are an option for as many as 1/3, the current estimate
for worldwide internet access penetration by population.
 

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