DEV Community

Discussion on: Master your IDE

Collapse
martinhaeusler profile image
Martin Häusler

I am currently torn between Eclipse JDT and IntelliJ IDEA. As a long time eclipse user, I know this IDE inside out. It has hands-down the best window and view docking management, very good error reporting and a super neat icon set (or maybe I've just gotten used to it so much). However, it's super heavyweight and slow as f*ck on larger projects. Git and gradle integrations are also operating at snail-speed and are generally lackluster. Oh and don't even get me started on the nightmare that is OSGi/Equinox. The absence of a truly good and consistent (!) dark theme is also a disadvantage.

IntelliJ is kind of exactly the opposite. It's super fast and feels a lot more lightweight. The Darcula theme is (with some minor exceptions) pretty good, even though all icons look way too similar (monochrome...). Using Git in IntelliJ is really fast and a good experience, even though using colors instead of decorator icons for displaying the file states is a questionable choice at best. The code editor itself is a lot smarter, especially intentions, refactorings and auto-variable-naming are spot-on. However, global error reporting cannot measure up to Eclipse standards and the window management is very basic. The gradle integration is miles ahead of eclipse. And I love the fullscreen mode - it's such a simple touch but it allows me to focus only on the IDE. Oh and it's so easy to carry over the Eclipse hotkeys too! However, save actions are not nearly as powerful as in Eclipse, even when considering the IntelliJ plugins.

So, yeah, my ideal IDE would be something like the union of both. As the younger product, IntelliJ avoided many mistakes made by Eclipse, but introduced some of its own in the process.

Collapse
danlebrero profile image
Dan Lebrero Author

It is very good that you took the time and energy to learn both IDEs. That shows a very professional attitude!

Personally, I don’t know anybody that has move from Intellij back to Eclipse, but I just know one Eclipse poweruser, so for the average developer, the Intellij first time experience is just smoother.

But that doesn’t mean that is the best tool.

I would give Intellij a little bit more time and then you can assess which tool is best for you.

Thanks!

Dan

Collapse
martinhaeusler profile image
Martin Häusler

I just want to use the best tool for the job, that's all. And sometimes, the Eclipse editor can't even keep up with my typing speed, which is a total no-go for me, so I was looking for alternatives and found IntelliJ IDEA.

Somebody once told me: "If you tell me to chop down a tree in 3 hours, you can safely bet that I will spend two and a half hours sharpening my axe". That about sums it up. Currently I'm on IntelliJ, but for certain features I keep looking back at Eclipse.