Monday, October 04, 2004

IDEs

As you all should know by now, IDE is an acronym meaning Integrated Development Environment. Visual Studio's IDE is an IDE RAD too, which means is an Integrated Development Environment for Rapid Application Development. Jeez, I wonder why americans love acronyms so much.

Let's focus. I firmly believe that the best IDE I've ever layed my mouse on is Visual Studio from Microsoft. Even the one shipped with VS 6 (just before .NET,... and don't tell me you don't remember, it isn't that old) was spectacularly good, but with the arrival of .NET the environment was on the up and up. And the next one, 2005, it's going to be amazing. Then again, if you don't believe me you can use an scientific approach on this one: download for free the Express versions of your .NET language of choice and see for yourself.

To be honest, the best Java IDE I've tasted (and although I'm a simple beginner with the language I've tasted a lot of them, maybe compelled by the wishful thinking of finding something remotely similar to the IDE I'm forced to leave); only one gets somewhere near .NET in terms of usability, interface and everything else. And no, it's not precisely Eclipse.

I have to thank Eclipse for the easiness to install and configure plugins. and that's it. Being made with Java, and being multi-platform is slooooow: you'll bore to the verge to tears just waiting for it to open. And try writing some stuff on it and wait for its version of Intellisense to appear: you'll grow a beard. It has a ton of configuration options, each and everyone of them equally confusing, disordered and sometimes I suspect, random.

At least you got to thank the developers the effort of making the IDE ignoring the AWT and using a platform-specific Swing, so at least Eclipse is not as hideously ugly as NetBeans (Eclipse is lightning quick compared to this, by the way), JBuilder or BlueJ.

My favourite Java IDE is IntelliJ Idea,
which is really, really good. It's a drag having to configure it after installing, and stating where do you have all the Java libraries and so on,... but that's not a fault of the IDE, that's a Java fault. It's equivalent to Intellisense is quick, intuitive, plenty of information; its online help is quite good, its configuration panels are understandable (and they aren't hideously ugly),... All in all, a very, very good IDE. In other words, the next best thing to .NET IDE on Java I've been able to find.

It has only a little problem: it costs $500.

Maybe all the good thing sin this life cost money, even when you're Thinking in Java.

Oh, no!! Not everything: C# Express is totally free. Gratis.

Ironic, ain't it?

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