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Picking the Right Eclipse Distribution

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the dark-side-of-the-moon dept.

Programming 78

Someone over at IBM Developerworks who prefers anonymity writes "Depending on what you want to do, there is probably a commercial or free distro built on the Eclipse platform waiting for you. From C/C++, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, Java, and Web development, you can use an IDE built on Eclipse to help you. The big question is: Which Eclipse distribution is right for you?"

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Which Eclipse distro is best for you? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23537993)

Idk...my bff Jill?

Re:Which Eclipse distro is best for you? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538075)

This [youtube.com] is my favorite distribution.

Whichever one doesn't require Java (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538065)

Oh, I know! Whichever one doesn't require an additional 100MB download to use on top of the nearly 200MB Eclipse download, and the one that isn't ridiculously slow because it uses Java.

Oh, wait, that's none of them?

Guess I'll stick with Visual Studio or KDevelop, depending on environment.

Re:Whichever one doesn't require Java (4, Insightful)

allcar (1111567) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538485)

Why worry about a 300MB download? Is this 1995?

Re:Whichever one doesn't require Java (4, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538671)

Right, because with an installer that occupies an entire DVD, Visual Studio is *so* much leaner than Eclipse' 100-200MB + JRE.

You can fit Eclipse with JDT, CDT, PyDev, RDT, Subclipse, WST, DTP, etc. and the JDK (which includes source and documentation for the entire API), Python, Ruby, and heaps more, on one CD, with room left over. I know because I've done it. 7zip is your friend.

Re:Whichever one doesn't require Java (5, Funny)

the1rob (1047478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539467)

I kept reading the comment, but my brain stalled out halfway through converting all the acronyms.

Netbeans ofcourse! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538175)

Eclipse is so old school. Get in the game and try Netbeans, it's much improved and awesomely better than Eclipse.

Netbeans astroturfing here too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23540305)

Ahh, more 'grassroots' Netbeans testimonials.. Oh and look.. it's an AC. One of them popped up on the WebObjects mailing list a few days ago. Nevermind that Netbeans really has -nothing- to offer WO devs that even remotely approaches the functionality of WOLips.

Apparently though, spamming sites with complete bullshit [nowpublic.com] is the marketing scheme du jour.

Whichever is most popular. (1)

lightversusdark (922292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538249)

Photran of course!
It's what all the cool kids are using.

In truth, I don't really care which components are bundled with installer X, Y or Z - I'll end up downloading what I need to add to my base installation anyway.

Re:Whichever is most popular. (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538551)

I start with the JDT and then add plugins as I need them, normally WST and it's requirements. Sometimes also Subclipse.

It's all matter of taste and what you need. The good thing with Eclipse is that it's relatively easy to start with and you can adapt it to your needs.

Re:Whichever is most popular. (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538921)

Have you tried Yoxos? I've yet to try Photran, but haven't needed anything other than yoxos or an update site since about late 3.1/early 3.2. Does it do dependency resolution for plugins?

Web Development (3, Informative)

antimatter15 (1261618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538253)

I use the http://aptana.com/ [aptana.com] eclipse distribution for web development. Its great for PHP, RoR, JavaScript, HTML, etc. But I don't see it mentioned anywhere

Editor vs OS vs Eclipse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538297)

If you want an editor: Vim.
If you want an OS: Emacs.

But not slow Eclipse.

Re:Editor vs OS vs Eclipse (2, Informative)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538775)

Indeed. My "IDE" is a bunch of xterms in a good tiling window manager (ion3 in my case, with vim in most of the terminals). If anyone hasn't at least tried playing around with xterm + vim/emacs/joe/etc + ion/ratpoision/etc, you should give it a whirl for a while. I find I really really like it, after being addicted to eclipse for quite a while.

You are wrong, Eclipse has its uses (4, Informative)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539161)

You're wrong. Most people are. That's because they don't know about the awesomeness that is eclim [sf.net] . It's a nifty little plugin that keeps a headless Eclipse instance running and exports its features to vim. So you can have automatic code highlighting, manage your classpath efficiently, have your get/setters done automatically, auto-completion, auto-whatnot.

It's great! Give it a try. I would never use Eclipse itself, but I wouldn't want to miss eclim...

Re:Editor vs OS vs Eclipse (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23559347)

A good IDE like Eclipse offers:
1. Auto-complete - if you have an object "foo", type "foo." and it will give you a scrollable list of all methods and variables of foo legally accessible from the current context along with their parameter list
2. Hot-key recompiling of your entire project
3. Handy refactoring methods - for example, select a file, right click, select refactor, move and rename to another package, and then Eclipse moves the file and updates all package imports and name references in your entire project for you
4. Auto-insert of common code, like getters and setters or extracting an interface or super class from a class, and a nice tree directory of your project you can navigate without needing a separate Konqueror/Windows Explorer window.
5. Right click on any class, variable, or method in your code and generate a list of clickable links to every instance of that item.
6. The option to use Emacs or Vim as your embedded text editor instead of the default.
7. Drag and drop addition, removal, and update of dependencies like modules and libraries, without having to touch all of the affected configuration files by hand.
8. Integration of CVS and Subversion including the ability to quickly visually diff files with what is in the repository or with a different branch.
9. A clickable link of errors and warnings with each compile so that you can quickly navigate to problems at the line number they occur.

A sufficiently godlike Vim or Emacs user with a monster typing speed and complete memorization of dozens upon dozens of commands with many custom macros and the ability to do shell escape complex commands can conceivably work as quickly. But it would take weeks of effort purely focused on mastering your text editor to match the same productivity you can get from a few days playing with your IDE.

IDEs are popular for a reason.

Re:Editor vs OS vs Eclipse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23592181)

Auto-complete - if you have an object "foo", type "foo." and it will give you a scrollable list of all methods and variables of foo legally accessible from the current context along with their parameter list
With the JDEE, got that in Emacs with Java. C++, Python, Lisp, and probably other modes also support this.

Hot-key recompiling of your entire project
That's been in Emacs since 1985.

Handy refactoring methods - for example, select a file, right click, select refactor, move and rename to another package, and then Eclipse moves the file and updates all package imports and name references in your entire project for you
Emacs is still a bit behind on that, but the Semantic parsing code to enable it will be added to Emacs in the next version.

Auto-insert of common code, like getters and setters or extracting an interface or super class from a class, and a nice tree directory of your project you can navigate without needing a separate Konqueror/Windows Explorer window.
Those are two separate items. Emacs has the first one out of the box (Java-specific code in the JDEE), and with ECB you have the second one.

Right click on any class, variable, or method in your code and generate a list of clickable links to every instance of that item.
Emacs has that out of the box, except it's called "occur" and works on regular expressions. The JDEE has a more sophisticated version that works semantically.

The option to use Emacs or Vim as your embedded text editor instead of the default
Hardly needed in Emacs :-) but you can easily execute other editors on the buffer you are editing -- not to mention a vim-emulation mode that works better than vim.

Drag and drop addition, removal, and update of dependencies like modules and libraries, without having to touch all of the affected configuration files by hand.
That always breaks down for me in Eclipse when collaborating on projects.

Integration of CVS and Subversion including the ability to quickly visually diff files with what is in the repository or with a different branch.
Emacs has had that since 1992 (well, for different revision control systems back then, but the same integration).

A clickable link of errors and warnings with each compile so that you can quickly navigate to problems at the line number they occur.
Also in Emacs since 1985 (the clickability came a little bit later.)

A sufficiently godlike Vim or Emacs user with a monster typing speed and complete memorization of dozens upon dozens of commands with many custom macros and the ability to do shell escape complex commands can conceivably work as quickly.
There's no godhood needed for the features you described. The biggest stumbling block would be learning how to install the semantic parser, the JDEE, and ECB to get the extra chrome. Emacs itself isn't particularly hard to use [googlepages.com] .

Last Christmas I was at an Amazon party, some party I have no idea how I got invited to, filled with business people, all of them much prettier and more charming than me and the folks I work with here in the Furnace, the Boiler Room of Amazon. Four young women found out I was in Customer Service, cornered me, and talked for fifteen minutes about how much they missed Mailman and Emacs, and how Arizona (the JSP replacement we'd spent years developing) still just wasn't doing it for them.

Re:Editor vs OS vs Eclipse (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23607051)

The link you provide goes to a fascinating page, but the page has nothing to indicate that Emacs has a reasonably quick learning curve.

I exaggerated my point in the earlier post, so I will repeat it more honestly here: it will take weeks of work dedicated solely to mastering Emacs before a typical person can have better productivity than someone with two or three days dedicated to learning a decent IDE.

But let's talk about something else (2, Funny)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538311)

Since Eclipse is an IDE, and I don't really like IDEs, I use Jedit in Windows, and Kate in linux for my development.
What editor do you other slashdotters use? Maybe you know one I have never heard of that is the holy grail.

(Emacs vs vi posts coming in 3..2..1..) :)

Re:But let's talk about something else (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538453)

UltraEdit/Notepad++ in Windows, Vim in the Linux console, and Kate (sometimes Kdevelop) in Linux GUI.

Re:But let's talk about something else (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538585)

In Windows, as someone else already mentioned: UltraEdit and Notepad++. I prefer Ultra Edit, but it's expensive. On all machines, I always install Notepad++, which is free, good, and has better syntax management than my old version of UE.

In Linux, I use MC's built-in editor (mcedit) and Kate when I have a GUI. Will read the comments for other suggestions...

Re:But let's talk about something else (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538615)

In Linux, I use MC's built-in editor (mcedit)
I did not know about mcedit. Thanks for the hint, will give it a try.

Re:But let's talk about something else (2, Interesting)

Forbman (794277) | more than 6 years ago | (#23541289)

$50US for UltraEdit is expensive? Uhhh...ok.

UltraEdit is cool for "column edit" mode. RegExps only go so far.

But, other than that, I use SciTE. UltraEdit these days is getting too bloated...

Re:But let's talk about something else (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23548543)

$50US for UltraEdit is expensive? Uhhh...ok.
Not really. Sorry, I somehow thought I remembered it was $90 a long time ago. At a time when the $ was much more expensive than it is now. Anyway, I can't really remember, because I didn't pay for it myself.

And I'm still using that old version 8. I see it's at 14 now...

Re:But let's talk about something else (2, Funny)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538931)

Please, nobody uses emacs anymore...

PIDA, it loves you! (4, Informative)

Shazow (263582) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539707)

I use PIDA [pida.co.uk] , because it loves me.

It's more of an IDE "container" that handles things like file browsing, buffer management, multiple projects, consoles, TODO/FIXME comments, pastebin, and more. It supports vim, emacs, and others. Makes life much easier. Personally, I use the vim mode.

Nothing quite like having an IDE tell me it loves me each morning.

- shazow

one of these things is not like the other... (2, Funny)

Moebius Loop (135536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538321)

From C/C++, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, Java, and Web development


Groovy. Really?

Re:one of these things is not like the other... (1)

Allador (537449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23559563)

What is your complaint about Groovy [codehaus.org] ?

Lets you write code very similar to Ruby if you want, but its just java on the back-end, running on the JVM.

Re:one of these things is not like the other... (1)

Moebius Loop (135536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562203)

Well, I wasn't really complaining. It was just a joke.

That being said, I've got nothing against Groovy, or BeanShell, or PNuts, or any of that ilk. But let's be realistic, it's only been around for *maybe* four years, and to I would suggest most people consider it a niche language that hasn't been around long enough to avoid the "flavor-of-the-month" label.

Since the OP was advocating Eclipse as a universal development environment, it seemed odd to leave out Perl, Python, Lisp, and others, but still include Groovy.

None of them (3, Informative)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538419)

Eclipse sucks. It uses 10x more memory than it should, it's a gigantic download, it's slow, the user interface is annoying, it takes forever to start, getting support for new file types requires downloading dozens of megabytes of "plugins", the autocomplete is slow, it only allows you to do one thing at a time (i.e. try configuring build settings and starting a build at the same time), outside of installing (or creating) a new "plugin" it's not very customizable, different "project" types have radically different interfaces, ...

I could go on all day. I'll stick with Emacs, thanks.

MOD PARENT UP (1, Insightful)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538633)

Eclipse was impressive for a time, primarily for it's refactoring and intellisense capabilities. Now ever editor and it's mother can do that, and eclipse has *major* stability issues.

I don't think I've ever worked on an eclipse project for significant time without it crashing. The biggest issue tends to be eclipse *running out of memory* on big projects. This often still occurs when I give eclipse a gigabyte or more of memory to work with. How the hell is eclipse using that much memory?

Also, most of eclipse's lauded plugins have major stability issues, to the point where you basically can't use them. I find that your average eclipse plugin, even one's included in a common eclipse distribution, will die on basic things like null pointer errors. Haven't these people heard of unit tests? How about *any* kind of testing?

Finally, I generally don't think that Java makes for good desktop applications. Java may be great for the server, but just because I'm *writing* java code, doesn't mean I want to be using java code to write it.

Generally, long running desktop applications should be written in c or c++, and sometimes in python. Java's memory profile is such that desktop applications tend to suck up all available memory, and then crash, or become unresponsive while doing long garbage collections. In comparison c++ always uses the minimal amount of memory, and python is almost optimal since it uses reference counting.

When the eclipse team had to roll it's own widget toolkit, they should have taken that as a hint and written it in c++, where there are numerous widget toolkit's available.

The final problem with eclipse that I see, is that they are turning it into a general platform, that people can munge all of their java code into to write desktop applications as plugins to eclipse. All of these applications just inherit the problems that eclipse has.

If you want to do java development, there are a lot of java editors and java IDE's out there.

On the java java ide front there is:
netbeans (by sun)
intellij (costs money, but is supposed to be the best, so if you work at a company that will pay for it, who cares?)

I can't speak as to whether these java IDE's have solved the memory problem, but they can't possibly be as bad as eclipse.

For native c++ editors, check out slick edit. It supports intellisense and refactoring. It is highly efficient, and can support intellisense and refactoring *without* being used in IDE mode. Instead, you can use it as a light weight editor, while getting the benefits of an IDE in terms of a high level of understanding of the code. It does cost money, but then, who cares?

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539539)

Haven't these people heard of unit tests? How about *any* kind of testing?
Yes, they have. You can even find out about the number of tests and whether they've passed or not from the project pages.

Which, sadly, doesn't invalidate a thing about your comment. Yes, they have unit tests. Yes, Eclipse routinely crashes.

I've started Eclipse and got an error message that read something like: "An error occurred while displaying the following error: an error occurred while displaying an error." (This followed by it core-dumping, which is somewhat impressive for a Java application.)

No joking. I have a screenshot, but it's on my work computer and it's a holiday weekend in the US. :-)

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

pbaer (833011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540535)

Netbeans might have memory issues as you scale up what you're doing with it, but I've never had memory issues with it and I have had memory issues with eclipse.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23556537)

On the java java ide front there is:
netbeans (by sun) ...
I can't speak as to whether these java IDE's have solved the memory problem, but they can't possibly be as bad as eclipse.
Netbeans is. At least as far as being unusable on a non-uber machine. I was taking a Java course last semester (thankfully, I don't have to use it for work. I loathe java), and used vim for the basic java stuff, but in the end when we got to the JSP and Web App crap, I installed netbeans. When it used up 590 MB of my laptop's 512MB (mm... swap thrashing), I gave up and ran it on my 2G desktop.

Horrible.

Re:None of them (4, Funny)

talksinmaths (199235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539281)

try configuring build settings and starting a build at the same time

When I read that, I couldn't help but think of this:

Zapp: The key to victory is discipline, and that means a well made bed. You will practice until you can make your bed in your sleep.
Fry: You mean while I'm sleeping in it?
Zapp: You won't have time for sleeping soldier, not with all the bed making you'll be doing.

;-)

Re:None of them (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539833)

I find your post extremely amusing... most of your list used to be applied to Emacs compared to vi back in my day.

Since my company pays for IntelliJ I don't have to deal with Eclipse, but I've used it a few times and, well, eh, it's just another IDE.

Re:None of them (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540233)

I used to absolutely NAIL people with the truth. EMACS uses 8 megs just to run. It's a bloated overworked pig of a program. No wonder there has to be an AI therapist included in there. Zing!

It's been a long time since that actually worked. Now I use Eclipse.

Re:None of them (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540533)

Oh, I definitely noticed that. But let me put it this way... if Emacs is terrible for using "Eight megs and constantly swapping", there's really no excuse for Eclipse using 800 megs with far fewer features.

Re:None of them (1)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23549321)

there's really no excuse for Eclipse using 800 megs with far fewer features.

I'm not sure where you got your numbers, but you're way off for Eclipse memory stats. I use Eclipse for Java, PHP (PDT), CFM (cfeclipse), Subversion (subclipse), controlling my MySQL databases (Data Tools), and Eclipse plugin development (PDE). With 4 Java projects, 2 PHP projects and one ColdFusion project open for the past week, Eclipse is using 370MB of memory. Of course the swap file is huge, but even Firefox has a swap file over a GB right now.

As for the features, emacs is feature rich, but I think you'll have a hard time convincing developers that the features are better. Where is my RDBMS gui? Where is my Tomcat control panel? Profiling tools, workflow integration, UML diagramming and reverse engineering... And those are just the Eclipse features that I use.

I can appreciate that Emacs is best for you, but please don't try to sell it as better for everyone. We can't all memorize C-x M-c M-butterfly [xkcd.com] .

Re:None of them (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23549555)

I'm not sure where you got your numbers, but you're way off for Eclipse memory stats.

LOL! I have seen, with my own eyes, Eclipse use well over 800 megs. If it weren't against work policy, I would post a screenshot.

I can appreciate that Emacs is best for you, but please don't try to sell it as better for everyone.

Escuse me? Could you point out where I said anybody else should use Emacs? I was clearly listing the reasons I prefer Emacs over Eclipse. Never did I say anybody else should use Emacs over Eclipse. If you could point out where I did otherwise, I'd like to see it.

Re:None of them (1)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553293)

Escuse me? Could you point out where I said anybody else should use Emacs? I was clearly listing the reasons I prefer Emacs over Eclipse. Never did I say anybody else should use Emacs over Eclipse. If you could point out where I did otherwise, I'd like to see it.

You're right, you did only say that you would stick to Emacs. I suppose I just assumed that answering a question of "What Eclipse distro should I use" with "None of them, Eclipse sucks, I'm sticking to Emacs" implied that you were recommending Emacs over Eclipse to the asker (and by extension, the Slashdot readers.) I'll answer the posted comments and not my own interpretation next time.

On a related note, if your Eclipse installation is using more than 800MB of active memory, you have a serious problem. The biggest drawback to Eclipse is that there is no vetting process for the plugins. Excess memory consumption at that level implies either a bad plugin, too many heavy projects open (> 20) or a problem with your JRE. It might be worthwhile to check the memory limit in your eclipse.ini file. Xms and Xmx are the min and max; by default, they are usually 40/256, although many distros alter that.

INTERCAL? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538431)

But is there an Eclipse distro designed for serious INTERCAL development? I don't see one.

Slashvertisement (2, Insightful)

Grandiloquence (1180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538441)

"IBM developer" links to an IBM website promoting an IBM product? Congratulations, you just posted a Slashvertisement on the the front page!

I go with lunar (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538473)

It lasts longer and solar burns my eyes.

It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (4, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538639)

I actually like eclipse.

It's ability to deal with multiple languages, and especially it's perspective system makes my job a lot easier.

I think there are really two reasons people don't like eclipse.

The first is obvious. It's a bloated resource hungry Java application. I definitely agree with this. For eclipse to be usable you need a pretty beefy machine. A lot of people refuse to use eclipse, even if they have a powerful machine, just on the principle that it is so damned bloated.

The second is that the "out of the box" settings are terrible. Toolbars are in awkward places, important options are buried, and of course things like "highlighting occurrences", something I have _never_ understood the point of, are enabled by default. Eclipse takes a fair bit of tweaking before it becomes usable.

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (2, Insightful)

zarr (724629) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538733)

I think "highlight occurences" is one of Eclipse's killer-features. It makes unfamiliar code _so_ much easier to figure out!

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23555877)

I agree. IDA also uses such a highlight, and it's very helpful.

I agree (4, Insightful)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538907)

I agree with your assessment, and I really do like eclipse. The bloat isn't too bad when you consider the trade-off of flexibility; on any given day, being a software development major with an internship, I may be using any one or more of 4 OSes, and any number of flavors thereof. I may also be using any one of several desktops between school, home, and work. Furthermore, I may be using any number of languages.

Eclipse is the only IDE that I've found that can work across all these scenarios, and leave me with the same IDE across multiple languages. I don't have to worry about remembering the layout of multiple IDEs for each language or OS, and that makes me more productive. I install the plugins that I need (YOXOS, FTW!), and I can drop the eclipse directory on a network share, USB drive, or live CD and have the same environment everywhere I go. Every computer has a JRE installed these days. Also, each summer they do an incredible job of releasing multiple projects on the same day. The built in debugger is great, too. I've yet to find a better way to debug multi-threaded apps. Finally, you can specify, at launch, the memory parameters for the IDE via the normal JRE flags (-xmms, -xmlimit, etc.) if you aren't on such a beefy machine. But then again, if you're developing and debugging any language 'higher' than c/c++ these days, your sanity will depend on having a fairly beefy machine. Especially if you want to have firefox open on one screen and your IDE open in another (although, you can open firefox in Eclipse if you haven't the extra screen real estate).

It's unfortunate that the in crowd, armed with mostly FUD and occasional actual arguments, has decided that Eclipse is 'teh sux0rz'. I've yet to find many people who can put up much of an argument against Eclipse that doesn't center around; "Java is slow" (1996 wants their troll back, modern JITs are nearly as fast as native machine code), "it's ugly" (right, does it work?), "it uses too much memory" (ok, have you bothered to change your JRE memory settings?), "it's a huge download" (without JRE the base download is less than 100 MB), "dependency chasing sucks" (true, have you tried YOXOS?), "I'd prefer emacs" (I prefer vi, but you won't catch me writing or debugging a high level language in it). To each his own, but Eclipse is a great IDE if you give it a shot.

Re:I agree (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23549333)

Highlighting occurrences is one of my favorite features. It's great to double-click on an variable/method/class and see where it's used throughout the file. You can even do stuff like highlight embedded returns in a method.

However, there is one preference I had to change to make it usable: I unset "Keep marks when the selection changes", so that if you click away the highlighting goes away too. Without that setting I was annoyed too when I first came across this feature.

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (2, Interesting)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539065)

I've not had to use Eclipse in some time now, so please forgive a simple question: What is it about Eclipse's current modules/packaging/customization/business logic that makes the choice of distribution necessary? Is it no longer as simple as just installing plugins?

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539585)

No, this it's still just plugins, there's just a lot of them. It's just like a Linux distro these days. Sure, you could roll your own, but your usage will probably fall in to a certain category where there is a software (plugin) stack that everyone else with that usage pattern will have. So, it's easier to just hit the ground running with a preconfigured stack. Also, as with Linux distros, each distro has its own automated, dependency checking and gathering, interface. They also tell you when there are updates, etc., which is also nice.

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23547589)

Your second point is a direct consequence of the first. The reason I don't use it is because it is a platform built on top of a platform(Java). It's pretty much guaranteed to be bloated and slow and a pain in the ass to work with. If you are a Java developer then you may not notice the Java platform sitting under you, but it's still there.

Re:It's not the "in" opinion.. but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23549783)

Could it also be the non vi key bindings????

VIM for the masses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538799)

Because we don't want an editor that starts up 1 hour [emacs].

my 2 cents (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23538809)

picking an eclipse distro is a lot like picking your ass. A little weird and painful at first, but then it starts to feel real good. Then your mom walks in and you're left with a deep sense of shame and a stinky finger.

Which one for c#./mono? (2, Interesting)

aauu (46157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23538875)

Are there any considerations for c#/mono development. I need to connect to Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server from Linux. c#/mono has this connectivity out of the box.

Re:Which one for c#./mono? (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539049)

Emonic, and there are a number of SQL server plugins.

Re:Which one for c#./mono? (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539061)

Sorry, I don't think I was clear in my last post; Emonic is a third party plugin. There are also a great number of other plugins [eclipseplugincentral.com] .

Sorry, got sick of it... (3, Interesting)

mritunjai (518932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539213)

I was an avid user of eclipse for about 3 years. I'd say avid user _and_ advocate!

Then I got sick of the direction it took around 3.1 release. Here are they in no specific order:

* No direction sense in platform development: Eclipse was supposed to be an application development platform. However, it seemed the Eclipse foundation was eager to include each and every requirement of its members (the big names!). The platform became a mess that I just can't figure out how to update my code to 3.x line. The documentation was _pathetic_ and things just don't work.

* The documentation SUCKS: Did I mention it already ? Did I mention that most of it either just doesn't exist or hasn't been updated for 3.x ? Did I mention that the members mostly try to make money around "training" people in it ?

* The plugin nightmare: The plugin and update system just doesn't work! Yes there are a lot of plugins available, but trying to keep track of them and their dependencies is a nightmare. Some plugin needs GEF 2.1 an other needs 2.3. The dependency hell was unmanageable. Mostly it was like that - I would create an installation and once I got it working "somehow", I wouldn't touch it! Updating it would really mean creating another eclipse installation and mucking about there till I got things "right" and only then switching to it.

* J2EE Support - rather the lack of it: MyEclipse was best then. It sucked.

I went there just yesterday, and for life of me couldn't figure out why they split it into so many distros... and over that if I need a GUIDE to tell me what is right for me - well they're not doing it right then!

I tried Netbeans 6 once. Now with Netbeans 6.1 - It's just perfect. It *just* works and DOES NOT nag me! When I'm doing my work I want my tools to work right.

Play when playtime, work when time to work! Netbeans 6.1 fits that *perfectly*. Oh, that and the jVi plugin for netbeans which provides "optional" Vi/Vim mode for Netbeans editor and I'm just set.

Did I mention that Netbeans is best when it comes to J2EE/Web development ?

Wait a minute! (1)

MisterBlueSky (1213526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539769)

Did I mention that Netbeans is best when it comes to J2EE/Web development ?
Is this some kind of trick question?

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23539901)

I tried NetBeans the other day. Unfortunately, when I tried to run NetBeans on one machine and display it on another machine, it just showed up as a big, empty gray box. :(

I found a few bug reports related to Swing applications (such as NetBeans) having this behavior in certain situations, but Sun doesn't seem very interested in fixing the problem. It's frustrating because every other X application (including Eclipse, which is not based on Swing) works just fine and dandy over the network.

Since I end up running the IDE over the network from another machine, I guess I'll have to continue using Eclipse for now. :/

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

lytles (24756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540903)

i'm doing this, and it works for me. from linux (old suse) to linux (current ubuntu). works fine for me.

doubt it will help, but worth trying. rm -R your .netbeans/var/cache directory. doing this also lets you make sane backups of the .netbeans dir. good luck

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23542605)

I'm not sure why this problem occurs for me and not for you. I'm attempting to run NetBeans 6.1 with Sun's JDK 1.6.0_06 (64-bit) on an Ubuntu 8.04 box (amd64) and displaying it on an Ubuntu 7.04 box (also amd64). It turns out that Netbeans was not hung, it was just REALLY slow. Slow as in "takes a minute and a half to draw the screen" slow. I tried your suggestion about the cache directory, but it didn't help. I did get curious, though, and looked into the matter a little further.

I performed some X Protocol analysis on the X11 connection using xmon, and discovered that there was a horrendous amount of activity between the client and the server due to the client trying to update the display a few pixels at a time. As if that wasn't bad enough, it was reading (!!!) those few pixels from the display before updating them and writing them back, which means the loop had to do an XSync() of some sort, so the loop was twiddling its thumbs while waiting for a synchronous round-trip response every few pixels! I took a look at the source code for OpenJDK and NetBeans, and after learning more than I ever wanted to know about the Java Swing -> Java 2D -> X11 graphics pipeline, I found out I could fix the problem by setting the "sun.java2d.pmoffscreen" property to "false" in netbeans.conf.

The key ideas are in Sun's white paper Graphics Performance Improvements [sun.com] :

One drawback with both remote X and DirectDraw is that neither antialiasing nor alpha-blending can be accelerated. In fact, antialiasing and alpha blending operations on remote X are usually much slower compared to version 1.3 because the image must be copied to the X client to perform one of these operations and then the new image must be copied back to the server. ...Since most Swing applications do not use alpha blending or antialiasing anyway, this problem should not cause serious concern for developers using Swing.
...
Starting with the Beta 3 release of the SDK, version 1.4, Java 2D stores images in pixmaps by default when DGA is not available, whether you are working in a local or remote display environment. You can override this behavior with the pmoffscreen flag:
-Dsun.java2d.pmoffscreen=true/false
If you set this flag to true, offscreen pixmap support is enabled even if DGA is available. If you set this flag to false, offscreen pixmap support is disabled. Disabling offscreen pixmap support can solve some rendering problems.

I suppose they didn't have NetBeans in mind when they wrote "most Swing applications do not use alpha blending or antialiasing anyway." Unfortunately, disabling offscreen pixmap support also disables antialiasing, so the fonts don't look nice and pretty like in Eclipse, which manages to support antialiasing on remote X displays somehow via its SWT/GTK+/X11 stack.

Now that I have NetBeans working somewhat tolerably, I guess I can begin evaluating it now. But not until I get some sleep. :)

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540285)

Seriously, the plugin system works so freaking badly. I have had MULTIPLE 3-5 hour install nightmares based around the CDT and the various PHP plugins from a stock Eclipse download.

Not to mention the problems you run into when you have multiple JREs in Linux.

Back in the old days, I used Eclipse because Sun's offering ground my computer to a halt. But today, Eclipse does that, and is impossible to manage plugins-wise.

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

rjshields (719665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23543183)

Not to mention the problems you run into when you have multiple JREs in Linux.
I have 4 or 5 JREs installed, what's the problem?

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23544767)

Maybe it's just me, but I've had trouble getting it to stay configured with one JRE without using command-line options.

Re:Sorry, got sick of it... (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23560289)

I tried Netbeans 6 once.
Funny coincidence, about 2 months ago I decided to try out Netbeans.

I'm still waiting for it to load. But when it finally finishes, I bet it will be real good. I can hardly wait.

Eclipse is a goddamn mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23539461)

Eclipse is a pretty good product. It is, however, damned impossible to figure out what to even download/run/install to get it working with what you want to do.

Re:Eclipse is a goddamn mess (2, Informative)

MisterBlueSky (1213526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540137)

A good solution is installing the EasyEclipse distribution which suits your need: http://www.easyeclipse.org/site/distributions/index.html [easyeclipse.org] They have ready-to-run out-of-box distributions for Desktop Java development, for Mobile Java development, A LAMP distribution: development with PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby development with a web server and a database. They offer also an Easyeclipse distribution which includes everything you need for C/C++ develepmont.

No need to go through the horror of trying to add new plugins and fighting the depency horror. The distributions come with everything included: Choose distribution->download->run.
See: http://www.easyeclipse.org/site/distributions/index.html [easyeclipse.org]

Why is eclipse popular? (2, Interesting)

pbaer (833011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23540527)

I've never really understood eclipse's popularity. It has a bad UI, it's slow and has dumb default settings (compile on save). I've found netbeans to be much better in all three areas, but mainly the UI. Granted, I've only used eclipse/netbeans for small java projects (1k loc). So does eclipse have some killer feature that I don't know about?

Re:Why is eclipse popular? (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23542657)

I'm eager to try something better - can you point me to a better IDE for me? I'm not on it full-time and don't want to get deep, but I need to maintain/develop some Java apps, and need an IDE for development/debugging small Java apps for win32 desktop use, I currently use Eclipse for that. What would be a better choice?

Re:Why is eclipse popular? (2, Informative)

MadAndy (122592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23542903)

Ummmm... I *love* the compile on save - errors highlight as you make them, and you thump the run button and your project just runs. For small projects, why would you ever turn it off?

I have to admit I know nothing about Eclipse distros, I just downloaded this thing called Europa that the Eclipse site pointed me at, and never looked back - I've had very little problems with it.

It's a big beastie alright, and digging thru the options (esp for J2ME work) can be a mission. Could use a tidy-up. The other thing is the initial startup experience - it starts well with a nice intro screen, but there's not a lot of follow-through.

Aside from that, I run it on an old P4-3Ghz with 1Gb of RAM. If it's slow, it's not java - I changed my mind about that when I tried Azureus on my old P2-350 - and that looks and feels like any other windows app.

Perfect? Nah. If I were doing a windoze app I'd use C# and VS before java. Now if you want to see something slow 'n bloated try running Visual Studio...

"None" is the right answer for me. (1)

pain (18144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23541793)

After trying to upgrade my eclipse environment I was left with a non working installation, that will spill out Java errors like hell. Since I knew how long it would take to set up all the plugins again in a new installation of eclipse, I hat to think about what it was that I really need as a developer. Since I used Emacs before switching to Eclipse, it is really an Editor need. Komodo Edit seems the right choice for me right now. Different language support is available out of the box. That tastes good enough to me. Good bye eclipse for now.

The obvious answer is... (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23542363)

Netbeans

It's good if you develop for just one language (1)

Xamusk (702162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23549251)

I use Eclipse and think it's pretty fine if:

- you have a good machine to deal with the requirements (by the way, in Linux, using the sun jre instead of gcj helps a lot)

- you're only coding in one language. I'm involved in a project where I have to code both python (I use PyDev) and C++ (through SWIG), but it appears that when I setup a project, I'll be stuck with the feature of only one of them. In my case, I have a PyDev project but when I open a .cpp file, even though Eclipse does support some features like syntax highlighting, it does not provide me with autocompletion or integrated debugger for both languages.

Scientific Tests Show Eclipse Is Not Too Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23549941)

WARNING: ALL TESTS PERFORMED ON LINUX. ON MICROSOFT YOUR BOREDOM WILL EXPLODE.

The machine on which I do most programming at home has an ASUS P2B mobo with
a Pentium III 450 MHz cpu and 378MB dram - IOW this is a very old machine

OS is Slackware 12.1
Java runtime is jre version 6 update 6.
Eclipse is version 3.3.2 (eclipse-c++-europa-winter) with updates and pydev.

I have made 50 timed startups of eclipse on this machine and the average startup time
is 32 seconds, (on another machine, a Dual Core Xeon, when I wait for VISTA to startup I can actually yawn for as long as 4.8 minutes).

With the following running: FVWM, Seamonkey, NEdit(4 files open in tabs), Rxvt(x3),
Gkrellm, XMMS, Eclipse, and Midnight Commander there is still 227MB free.

Eclipse remains responsive, including code completion calltips.

I have tried the WING IDE demo... the average startup time of 50 tests is 45 seconds.
Code completion is unusable because of long delay; cpu usage hits a steady 100% when scrolling so that editing becomes an exercise in finger gymnastics!

I am very happy with eclipse for large projects; for small 1 to 5 file projects
I use NEdit+Rxvt+make

At work, the machine I use is a dual Athlon 64X2 TK-53, 1.7GHz with 2GB ram - a very average platform.

The same tests as above produce an average startup time for eclipse of 8 seconds!

I know the test methodology is unscientific, but the results are realistic none the less.

Netbeans is very good, but with eclipse I can program in C++, Java, and Python from within the same IDE.

With respect to configuration and customization, I never read any help and yet I still
set eclipse up about 80% as I want it, then for the rest I read the documentation.
Now I challenge anyone to show documentation for another IDE that is as complete and
thorough as that for Eclipse.

As far as bloat goes, compare Eclipse with some other software you may already be using like: Visual Studio, Openoffice, MS Office, KDE, GNOME, etc, etc... actually KDE is not too bad either after all unneeded services are turned off.

If you haven't tried eclipse yet I suggest you do, you may just like it very much.
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