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Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

I’ve written a few responses to this thread but I don’t think there are any easy answers to these complaints and missing features. Leaving product development in the sole hands of developers is fraught with peril. We love working on technical things, solving hard problems, or making workflows smooth as silk. Few enjoy writing about it.

At the same time, as developers, we have grown a mistrust in traditional marketing. (BTW, I’m pretty sure localhost isn’t dead. I can still ping it.). I think most of us agree with Stephen O’Grady’s thesis that developers are the new kingmakers. Developers decide which IDEs to use based on their own personal feelings and use the ones that get in their way the least and has cool features that really help accelerate their development. The best marketing we can do as developers is make a great product that these people will want to use. If we do the job right, our users will become our best marketers.


From: <ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx> on behalf of Ned Twigg <ned.twigg@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: Discussions about the IDE <ide-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 10:44 AM
To: Discussions about the IDE <ide-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

A couple months ago I was at Gradle Summit.  I was asking a Netflix tooling engineer what their IDE distribution was, and he guessed off the cuff that they were 80% IntelliJ and 20% Eclipse.  He thought that was mostly for these two reasons:

- He felt IntelliJ had better Scala / Groovy / Kotlin support, and they (Netflix) have been incorporating an increasing number of non-Java JVM languages.
- Where they still use Java, they've been using annotation processors and bytecode manipulation tools, and many of them don't work with eclipse.

His overall impression was that it came down to ecj vs javac.  ecj is undoubtedly faster, but as the JVM ecosystem broadened, they found that it was worth-while to accept a slower compiler (IntellliJ/javac) so that they had access to a broader array of tools.

Here's an example, the Google AutoValue annotation processor.  It has a class called EclipseHack - if you read the code's comments, you'll see a frustrated person's venting.  It even seems that some of the problems he faces have recently been fixed (e.g. #300408, reported in 3.6, fixed in 4.5).

Here's an example that Netflix uses heavily, java-power-assert.  From the readme:

> Currently, java-power-assert only works on code compiled with javac. This means it works in IntelliJ IDEA, gradle, etc.  Notably, it does not work in Eclipse

If you work at Netflix and you use IntelliJ, then all of your failed assertions get diagrammed out in little ASCII-art diagrams showing the value of all the expressions which didn't match.  If you use eclipse, then you don't.

I had never heard of these issues before I talked to this guy.  Anyone else have any stories from switchers?  Not forum trolls, but technical decision makers?

Ned Twigg
Lead Software Architect, DiffPlug LLC
340 S Lemon Ave #3433, Walnut, CA 91789

On Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 6:51 AM, Mickael Istria <mistria@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Nothing really new out there.

It's surprising how the code completion of IntelliJ (checking target type, frequency of calls, chain completion...) is still listed as better than the one in Eclipse IDE. Wasn't Code Recommender providing that in all Java-based packages?
Also, it's strange that IJ is congratulated for its "Polyglot development", where the Eclipse ecosystem has a much better offering. The reason is probably that people compare IDEs as they're shipped, not ecosystem.

Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer at JBoss, by Red Hat
My blog - My Tweets

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