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Things IDEA Could Learn From NetBeans

After using NetBeans 5.5 for a few days now, I’ve found a few really neat features I really wish I had in IntelliJ IDEA:

  • Code generation – The ability to generate “Entity Classes from Database” and “JSF Pages from Entity Classes” (a la Ruby on Rails scaffold generator) is a good way to jump start development.
  • Built in HTTP monitor – I know there’s a plugin (maybe several), but it really should be integrated.
  • Having a seperate classpath for test cases – This is the one thing that has always driven me nuts about IntelliJ.
  • Collapse regular block comments – This seems so natural, I’ve never understood why Idea didn’t do this
  • It’s open source – Is this really a feature? I like not feeling guilty when I write code…
  • C/C++ pack – I haven’t tried it out, but the thought of finally having basic refactoring support for C/C++ is really appealing.

All that said, I’m not sure if I can stay away from IDEA for too long, it still has features unlike any other IDE, e.g. recognition for camel hump words and hyperlinking from any file type (XML -> Java), and advanced refactoring support just for starters. Despite the significant speed improvement with NB5.5, IDEA is still faster (though it’s becoming bloated).

Posted in Java.

2 Responses

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  1. Adrian Milliner says

    I’m hopping between Idea (6 beta), NB (55beta2) and Eclipse (3.2), 30%/40%/30%

    Only using Eclipse because my team’s tools are Eclipse-based.

    I prefer NB, but for serious coding fluidity, Idea still has the edge.

    Given the pace of change with NB, I see Idea dropping out… especially when Jackpot matures.

  2. jtanium says

    Yikes! I wasn’t expecting to get any comments…

    Thanks for mentioning Jackpot, I hadn’t heard about it. Jackpot seems seems to do a lot of what IDEA’s ‘Static Code Analysis’ does, which will be handy.

    This is the first time I haven’t jumped right into using the EAP IDEA, I just didn’t see any features I really care about, and feel IDEA is already too slow.

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