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Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

On 09/07/2016 04:44 PM, Ned Twigg wrote:
Anyone else have any stories from switchers?  Not forum trolls, but technical decision makers?
I talk to both, regularly. I have to admit I enjoy it by the way.
I'll try to explain a few things I was told that were quite interesting.

Decision makers feel like there is an ROI with IntelliJ: developers spend less time caring about their IDE and maintaining it (finding plugins, setting preferences...). If you count the time most people need to spend tweaking or fixing their IDE, it can easily reach a cost of 500$/person/year. However, I'm not sure this time spent in configuring the IDE is time that would be turned by developers into value anyway, or if it's just more time to spend on Twitter or Facebook (I don't believe a modern IDE is the bottleneck of developer productivity).

Developers who switched to IntelliJ usually enjoy the ergonomics, as mentioned in the article. IntelliJ (and NetBeans) have a better culture of who's the average user and a better "empathy" than we have in the Eclipse community. The result is Eclipse IDE has very powerful unusable tools, whereas IJ has weak tools that everyone can use. If you calculate (number of users able to deal with this feature) * (value of the feature), in many cases in an organization, IJ shows a better score.
If we want it on the Eclipse side, then it means everyone has to start really listening to users, reduce their level of patience and knowledge when designing interactions. Just being "dumber" when being a user gives great ideas of how to make bet UX.

Another thing I've heard, from "real-life forum trolls" who changed on their own without a company push is that they just changed "to see" without particularly any reason against Eclipse IDE, just to follow the hype; and liked it enough to stay. However, those ones might easily switch back to Eclipse IDE as soon as they get bored by IntelliJ.

Another reason is that the HTML and _javascript_ (and Typescipt and CSS) editors of IntelliJ are much better in every mean. Some people started to buy WebStorm because of that, really got a productivity boost when coding and that raise the entry barrier for coding thanks to good completion, error report, navigation... (this is only for Web, false for Java). Obviously they kept it and since they started to understand the IJ way, they naturally adopted it also for Java, since there is more pain than value for having 2 distinct IDEs in most cases.

And finally, a big reason is many people were entering into Eclipse because of ADT. Now that the official tool is Android Studio, that's a big amount of users missing from Eclipse, and that are trained to IntelliJ and family. So IntelliJ becomes their "natural" IDE for about anything and some new Android developers nowadays will never even know about Eclipse IDE.

Somes user have already noticed that the performance was no more a criteria for one or the other, but it takes some time to make everyone aware of it and forgive for their previous bad experiences.
Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer at JBoss, by Red Hat
My blog - My Tweets

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