Goodnight Netbeans, Hello Eclipse

I’ve been a user of Netbeans, Sun’s Java IDE for about 5 years now. In general I’ve been pretty happy with it – it was the first IDE that made me want to give up using  VIM and a command line to develop Java.  However there have been some nagging issues in the last few releases.  Sometimes the Netbeans syntax highlighter will insist that there are syntax errors in the source when there are none.  No matter what I do, I can’t convince Netbeans that the code is good.  The code compiles and runs just fine, but Netbeans keeps telling me that there’s a problem with the code:

The ‘artist’ object indeed has a getHotness() method but Netbeans just doesn’t know about it.  There have been a few other problems – I’ve had to resort to the commandline for SVN – netbeans seems to get confused about my repository, and performance has always been a bit slow, (startup time in particular).

This week I saw that there’s a new release candidate for Netbeans 6.8. I downloaded and installed it, hoping that it would fix some of the problems I was having.  However, after using it for a few days I’m ready to toss it off my hard drive.

The performance of Netbeans on my system is abysmal.  The editor frequently freezes for 5 seconds or more,  likewise, I can’t scroll through a source file without seeing the beachball.  Even simple cursor movement can take a second for the editor to respond.  At first I assumed that there was something wrong with my install, so I uninstalled and re-installed, telling Netbeans to not import any of my old Netbeans data, but that didn’t help.  Looking at my CPU, I see that Netbeans wants to use nearly 100% of my CPU even when it is idling.

Compare the Netbeans CPU load to Eclipse as they both sit idle (this is after Netbeans has been running for 30 minutes at least, so it should be done with all of its scanning).   Now to be fair, I checked with SteveG – he said he hasn’t had any of these problems, so it seems that my performance issues with the new Netbeans are atypical, but that doesn’t really help me get my work done.

This week Google released GWT 2.0 – I’ve always been a big fan of GWT so I thought I’d give the new version a whirl.  GWT has really good Eclipse integration, so I used this as an excuse to give Eclipse a try.  So far, I like what I see.  The GWT and App engine integration is really well done.   I was able to create and deploy a GWT application to the Google app engine in about 30 minutes, while watching a rerun of the office (the episode where Dwight sets the office on fire and gives Stanley a heart attack).

And so, after using Netbeans for 5 years,  I’m ready to give Eclipse a try.  The next app from scratch I write I’ll use Eclipse.

  1. #1 by Jeff A on December 10, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    No, no, you need a “clever” headline involving a play on the word Sun like “Sun’s Netbeans Eclipsed”

  2. #2 by brian on December 10, 2009 - 3:17 pm

    paul, are you sure that code is correct? You spelled hotttnesss wrong.

  3. #3 by Gary Dusbabek on December 11, 2009 - 8:26 am

    You should give the community edition of Intellij Idea a try (coming from a former JBuilder > Netbeans > Eclipse user).


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