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Why should I choose only one IDE?

Posted by gfx on September 30, 2005 at 10:47 AM PDT

As many programmers I don't like using an IDE. Well, at least I used to. I spent many years using an editor of my own and it served my purpose very well. Hey, after all I wrote it according to my needs. Apart from Jext I always used Metapad on Windows, a slightly improved clone of Notepad, and vim on other platforms. Convinced IDE could boost my productivity, I decided to seriously try to use them about two years ago. At this time I settled my choice on NetBeans, which I liked it. Eclipse was too confusing for me and I really hated its project management. Anyway, 6 months later I insisted on using Eclipse and I loved it ever since. For two reasons: refactoring (which completly changed the way I code) and quick fixes. About 4 months ago I decided to attempt a switch to IntelliJ IDEA and it almost worked. But despite very very cool features, I still preferred Eclipse for most common operations, faster and easier to perform IMHO. So, after one month of IDEA I went back to Eclipse.

Yet, I might really drift away from Eclipse very soon. Or I will at least use two IDE on a daily basis instead of one. There are some issues that drive me crazy in Eclipse, like plugin management, workspaces preferences and crashes in some specific cases (I spent two hours this week trying to import my preferences from Eclipse 3.1 to Eclipse 3.2 without crashing the whole JVM). I have to admit that NetBeans 5.0 seems really attractive to me. It sure is far from providing all the features I'm using in Eclipse (quick fixes, how could I live without you) but it's closing the gap.

As I said may times, I really dig Matisse. But yesterday I finally tried the Profiler and I just love it. It's clean, simple and easy to use. Best of all, I can even use it with projects not running into NetBeans itself. That stuff just rocks. I also love the fact projects are based upon Ant. I'm not ready to drop Eclipse yet but I will definitely use both Eclipse and NetBeans from now on. One to increase productivity when writin miles of code, the other one to increase productivity when debugging (well, profiling) and designing UI.

Who said I have to use only one IDE?

P.S: So now I'm using Eclipse, NetBeans, Jext, Notepad2 and vim on Windows depending on the task at hand. I guess I don't like the idea of using a single versatile tool :))

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