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NetBeans or Eclipse?

2002-12-29 2 min read Comparisons marco

There is your expert nerd again! This time the question is: should I use the IBM IDE or Sun’s?

The question is tricky, since the philosophy of the two engines is different. Sun’s NetBeans is a pure Java IDE with support for everything under the sun (pardon the pun). Eclipse is a common IDE for any language, and support for Java and C/C++ is currently under way.

I use my IDE only for Java. C and C++ happen in separate IDEs that are more suited for the environment. This means, currently, that all development on Windows happens in Visual C++ and all development on UNIX on KDevel 2.0.

I have been working with NetBeans extensively, and it has made wonderful progress. Still, it is a resource hog (over 150MB in development mode), debug is slow (but that may come from the socket debugger I use) and the responsiveness of the IDE leaves a lot to be desired (and this on a machine with 512MB).

Eclipse is much faster, from the first impression I got. Still, there are obvious holes in the development process. You can’t easily debug an applet, or even make it run. How do you create graphical applications?

In the end, it is probably a wash-up. If I’d have to choose I would love NetBeans with dynamic support of features, so that it loads only the stuff I am actually using. Then I’d have the advantages of Eclipse and those of NetBeans, and I’d be happy.

Oh, yes – the UI engine of Eclipse eclipses the really ugly UI sported by NetBeans. Eclipse looks like an application should look like. NetBeans is 1998 at best.