What is the best Java IDE? NetBeans vs. Eclipse vs. IntelliJ
An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) makes programming more accessible than writing your code in a text editor. It pushes various code suggestions and points out errors in your program, making you an efficient programmer.
Java is a widely used programming language of all time, given its excellent functionality and widespread acceptance as a method of development. There are many great Java-based IDEs like NetBeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ.
Let’s take a look at each of these development environments in detail.
NetBeans has a large user base of Java developers, including professional developers for business, embedded systems, web, mobile apps, desktop, and more. Oracle supports NetBeans as its official IDE for Java 8 and beyond.
You can find plugins for all major frameworks on this development platform. Its free and open source nature makes it a perfect choice for students and learners. Moreover, you can use the environment for other purposes as well, given its great features. Interestingly, NetBeans started as a student project in the Czech Republic in 1996; however, its first version was released in early 2014.
NetBeans is written entirely in Java and supports Windows, Mac, Oracle, Solaris, and Linux. The development platform provides excellent functionality for the end-to-end software development lifecycle that begins with requirements analysis, application design, development and all the way to debugging, profiling and to tests. Compiling, running, and deploying applications is also very efficient on NetBeans.
- Smart reader: Fixing errors is tedious in most IDEs, but NetBeans changes that with its Smart Reader feature. The feature detects errors in your code and offers some suggestions for debugging purposes. NetBeans is equipped with a lightweight text editor compared to other development environments, which makes your hardware easier.
- Integrated MAVEN support: NetBeans is perfect for developers who want to benefit from MAVEN in their projects. The development environment comes with built-in support for MAVEN so you don’t have to import MAVEN from other sources.
- Support for the latest Java technologies: The power of NetBeans lies in its sophisticated feature set. It supports all advanced features and methods supported by Java, which makes it easy to develop on the platform. The Code Editor, Analyzer, and Code Converter are some of the many great tools NetBeans brings.
- Easy to use: The user interface is user-friendly and it won’t take a long time to get used to the surroundings, making it perfect for beginners and novice coders alike. NetBeans community support is very responsive and you can always check if your issue has already been discussed in the online forums.
- Memory usage: While NetBeans comes with a lightweight code editor, the platform can still turn into a memory vortex if you are running a complex program. System optimization isn’t the best among Java-based IDEs and can work wonders with a little improvement.
- Limited official support: You won’t find much official NetBeans documentation on the Internet. You will have to resort to online communities to find a solution to your problems. This isn’t much of a problem, as the community support is great given the large user base.
IBM has developed Eclipse and released it in late 2001. Eclipse offers several plug-ins and features that aim to make development faster. None of the other IDEs come close to the number of plugins that Eclipse offers. Junit, testing, MAVEN, Spring Framework, and Subversion are popular plugins on Eclipse.
- Code preview: The code preview feature comes in handy when writing a program on Eclipse. It reports errors and shows you code suggestions to speed up the coding process. You can press the Tab key and the recommendation is implemented on your code, so you don’t have to repeatedly type redundant parts of your code.
- Advanced tools: Eclipse is a feature-rich Java-based IDE with great offerings, like Docker functionality. Docker helps you organize your stack of packages. Eclipse also supports Git for tracking your existing files.
- Support for multiple languages: Eclipse is mainly used for Java development, but it supports other languages like C, C ++, PHP, HTML, etc. You can find plugins related to all of these programming languages in Eclipse to make the programming process efficient.
Disadvantages of using Eclipse
Eclipse must restart each time you install a plug-in. It can become a threat when your project requires a lot of plugins.
Eclipse uses exceptionally high memory, especially when running larger programs.
This IDE is not known for its speed. Sometimes a program can take longer to run than other lightweight IDEs.
IntelliJ is a high-level Java IDE used by large enterprises and enterprises. The development environment offers unique enterprise-level functionality, such as intelligent source code indexing, reliable refactoring, and dynamic code analysis.
The IDE comes in two variations: the free community version and the advanced ultimate version. The advanced version is tailor-made to meet business needs.
- Analysis data stream: IntelliJ intelligently creates a list of symbols as you type your code which you can use by pressing the Enter key. This dramatically shortens the code development cycle.
- Access duplicates: This feature finds redundancies in your programs and highlights them for you. For example, it tells you if you have declared the same variable twice. This way, you don’t have to search for redundancies manually.
- Quick repairs: IntelliJ displays a light bulb symbol when you make a mistake while writing code. The IDE environment automatically fixes bugs when you tap the light bulb icon.
- Version control: The version control feature helps you keep track of your project by extending its support for GitHub. This feature is a lifeline for open source developers who use GitHub to develop their projects.
Disadvantages of using IntelliJ
IntelliJ takes time to index your code, especially in more elaborate projects. You cannot use most functions until your code is fully indexed.
Plugin support is great in IntelliJ, but the IDE retains many unnecessary plugins by default.
IntelliJ is the most feature-rich IDE for Java development, which also means it’s memory hungry. The minimum system requirements are also four times that of the other two IDEs on this list.
NetBeans vs. Eclipse vs. IntelliJ
Java IDEs make the development process efficient with their convenient features. The three IDEs on this list are unique, and choosing an IDE comes down to your needs.
NetBeans is the perfect IDE for beginners, thanks to its friendly user interface and excellent support. IntelliJ has a set of nifty features for corporate users. Eclipse is a versatile IDE that can perfectly meet the needs of a beginner and a business.
Java is an exceptional general-purpose language capable of creating almost any program under the sun. But how do you learn it?
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