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Comparing Visual Studio and Eclipse

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the path-of-totality dept.

Programming 294

An anonymous reader writes "Getting started with Eclipse can be confusing. New concepts, such as plug-in architecture, workspace-centric project structure, and automatic build can seem counterintuitive at first. Without waxing too philosophical about IDE design, this article presents the main differences between Visual Studio and the Eclipse IDE."

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Plug in architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446029)

was advocated by Larry Craig in 1993

Well, that's the first page, where the fuck is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446521)

Well, that's the first page, where the fuck is the rest? Wasted my time. What do you think I have, the attention span of the mtv generation?

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446033)

One is for c#, the other is for Java.

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446085)

(in the style of lex luthor)

I beleive the technical term is (-1, Troll)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446057)

Eclipse>Visual Studio

Ba Doom Chi!

Re:I beleive the technical term is (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446151)

so you're saying Eclipse eclipses Visual Studio?

Re:I beleive the technical term is (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446197)

Eclipse>Visual Studio

Which would be funny, except that for the languages supported by Visual Studio, the correct version is Visual Studio >> Eclipse.

Eclipse does fine on its home territory as a Java IDE, but the plug-in system is way too disorganised and underpowered for serious development in, say, C++ or C#. Even if you use CDT for C++ work, it's basically hopeless unless you're combining it with GNU tools, and things like the debugging tools aren't even close to the power of VS.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446261)

Yeah, but Eclipse does Python. (with the PyDev plug-in)

Eclipse + Python FTW

Re:I beleive the technical term is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446377)

Add a python plugin to Visual Studio and it will do python, too. (Does one exist? I have no idea. My point is that plugins do not affect the suck or lack thereof of an ide.)

Re:I beleive the technical term is (5, Informative)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446539)

Yes [] , there's an extension which supports Python.

(Oops -- you mean VS supports extensions? But TFA says that's unique to Eclipse!)

Re:I beleive the technical term is (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446451)

"Eclipse + Python FTW"

Go back to digg.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446617)

I use Eclipse for PHP development using PDT, and it's great. Zend Studio Pro costs $299, and comes with debugging support, but you can get the same thing with Eclipse for free, and support various other languages as well.

If you're doing MFC, or .NET development, or developing specifically for the Windows platform using an MS supported language then of course VS.NET is the obvious choice, but Eclipse is good too.
It's also encouraging that enhancements can be written for Eclipse easily without IBM worrying that your enhancement will stop people upgrading to the Pro edition.

I think that because IDEs for any language all share so many requirements, and because they're used by developers who will want to improve it, it makes a natural open source project, and I expect as time goes on it'll get better and better.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (4, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446641)

Last I checked, Visual Studio only runs on Windows.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (4, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446749)

Real programmers do not need debuggers ;-)

Seriously, I have been using eclipse for years and I don't even know how to invoke the debugger. Nothing I hate more than an IDE falling into debugging mode when an error is encountered. A stack trace is fine with me. When really stuck, I insert debugging statement in the code in the relevant places.

Of course, I realize that this is my old way to view things. I also know that modern development teams would go on strike if I tried to impose them an IDE without a debugger ;-)

So, view this as my 2 cents, nothing more ;-)

Re:I beleive the technical term is (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446811)

That all depends. The suite we were using in CS had a debugger, but it didn't pop up unless I explicitly added the break points. It was an irritating IDE in many ways, so many times I would on short code be left to boggle as to why it wasn't able to read what was typed. Sometimes it would inexplicably fail to read the closing brace even if it were only two lines down.

A good debugger can be a time saver, but one should really only need it if the program is large enough that it isn't clear as to where a variable changes to something naughty. Yes of course, one could do that by hand, but that isn't necessarily the same, every once and a while there is a genuine bug in the compiler or something isn't being done the way that it should be, and paper tracing isn't going to find that.

I would be curious as to how you handle code which is separated into many files to keep things small and comprehensible. Of course each file is easier to fix, but I am somewhat curious as to how you deal with the interactions between multiple source files. And more specifically all of the flipping between source files that can happen with a more complex program.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (3, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447099)

With debugging statement:

FileThatObject.thatMethod(): x=1, y=2

Of course, you have to be in pretty good control of your code, plan and visualize in advance, before you actually start to write the code so the few times where you will need to write debugging statements is when you made some typing mistake (or almost).

It is a different approach to coding, but it leads to more robust code in my humble opinion. The down side of a debugger is that sometimes, it happens that some developers do not know what they are doing, they start writing code without prior planning and they manage to finally get it to work with the debugger. Typical time consumption ratio will be like 20% for writing the code and 80% to debug it and some bugs will go undetected.

My old way to do things is 50% planning before starting to code, 45% coding, 5% debugging. So the availability of a debugger is less important.

Note that I DO use debuggers if I need to reverse engineer code.

Again, I realize and I know that a debugger has become a standard tool in modern development teams. I am just saying I do not use them often so it is possible to get away without them.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447301)

"Of course, you have to be in pretty good control of your code, plan and visualize in advance, before you actually start to write the code..."

I'm a bit confused....this 'planning' thing you talk about...what is this?

Is this concept similar to another strange one I heard about the other day.....'documentation'??


NetBeans (4, Interesting)

DuncanE (35734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447255)

Have you tried NetBeans?

I find it is rapidly over taking VS.Net and Eclipse with things like its improved intelli-sense, built in profiler, tools for building handheld apps and many more improvements.

Re:I beleive the technical term is (3, Insightful)

gangien (151940) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446231)

and Intellij > Eclipse

In A Comparison Between Eclipse and Visual Studio (1)

SteevR (612047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446741)

...KDevelop [] wins!

Re:I beleive the technical term is (1) (1141057) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447507)


you should probably stop drinking Stallmans sweat...

Eclipse vs Visual (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446087)

Well, by definition, you cannot see the object if it is eclipsed. If something is visual, you can see it. Easy enough comparison.

Now, to get the folks that can add studio into the equation....

Re:Eclipse vs Visual (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446141)

So, what you're saying is that you're better off with a partial Eclipse rather than the full download.

That's not a comparation !! (5, Informative)

Saija (1114681) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446097)

Hey guys before the flame start the article is not a comparation between VS and Eclipse, it's a Intro to eclipse for VS users...

Re:That's not a comparation !! (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446469)

Mod this guy up. Seriously, I don't even know how you would do a comparison of 2 products that don't compete against eachother. Sure the are both IDEs, but one is mainy for Java Development, while the other is for .Net,C++. Comparing features and how easy to do things would be nice, but the major deciding factor for most people will be which programming language they are using.

Re:That's not a comparation !! (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446531)

Exactly -- I kept looking for the Visual Studio screens and side-by-side comparisons. Nothing. :-S

It's more like Introduction to Eclipse for Visual Studio developers.

Re:That's not a comparation !! (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446549)

LOL wait a minute, I see now that was exactly the page's title... Haha...

Well, it's only the Slashdot summary that's misleading, then.

Re:That's not a comparation !! (2, Informative)

QMalcolm (1094433) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446553)

"It's more like Introduction to Eclipse for Visual Studio developers." Funny you should say that. The title, is, in fact: "An introduction to Eclipse for Visual Studio users" Crazy!

Re:That's not a comparation !! (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447001)

This reminds me of an incident in Feynman's "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman" (great book), where he was called to review schoolbooks, and some reviewers had grades for books that hadn't been delivered yet. Similarly, slashdotters post about the article's comparison when the article doesn't even compare anything.

Oh, wait, that includes me...

Not Apples to Apples (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446099)

I would rather have seen an apples to apples comparison of what VS is used for, ie development in C# or VB. Although Eclipse was primarily designed for Java, like the article mentions, various plugins do exist to C# and VB development (likewise Java development in VS). It also would have been nice to see screenshots of the VS comparison.

The compare and contrast was superfluous at best. This was merely a "my dad's better than your dad" analysis.

Re:Not Apples to Apples (3, Informative)

plams (744927) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446307)

But the plug-ins are not of the high standard that the Java development environment is, so there's currently little reason to use Eclipse for C++, C# or VB development unless Eclipse happens to be your favorite text editor (I use vim for anything that's not Java).

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446107)

How does Visual Studio compare with Eclipse in terms of resource hogging? Eclipse can slow my, not old, dual-core lappy to a crawl just opening a test project (before I went back to using Vim), does Visual Studio do the same?

Re:Question (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446205)

Yes, Microsoft worked hard to implement the slowness of Eclipse within Visual Studio.
The latest 2005 editions even come with a set of custom options for configuring your resource hogging.
The flashing file save icon has been redesigned and now displays as an alpha blended bead of annoyance.

Re:Question (2, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446745)

There is no doubt it takes a lot of RAM to run Eclipse.

How much of this is due to JRE implementation? I know Sun's JRE likes to load a lot of class code; at one point with 1.5.x I had to manually bump the memory reserved for class code above the default of 64MB while running Eclipse. What fraction of that is wasted on infrequently used code? I also recall not being able to allocate >1.6GB of RAM on 32 bit W2K3 because, according to Sun, their JRE's heap requires contiguous RAM, and 32 bit W2K3 can't provide it in larger pieces, although it would host 2 processes each ~1.5 GB just fine. If the memory must be contiguous, that implies certain inefficiencies such as never releasing unused RAM below the most distant allocation.

Anyhow, I suspect common JREs are using RAM inefficiently. Flushing unused code, releasing unused heap and sharing common code among processes are all commonplace, well understood techniques. Be nice if Sun and other JRE vendors figured out how to leverage them.

Plugins make Eclipse what it is (5, Informative)

Will the Chill (78436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446139)

I've been using Eclipse for quite some time now, and must say that it's by far the best IDE I've ever had the pleasure of operating. Because of superior modularity, I can use different Plugins to simultaneously edit projects in C++, Perl, and Fortran with full syntax highlighting and real-time error checking. This saves alot of time in recompiling your apps!!!

The most important thing to me in moving to Eclipse was that it would fully support the Vi command set. There were several different Vi-type plugin options available, but after trying them all I ended up using the only commercial download of the bunch, which was availble for $20 here: []

The only other IDE I've ever found that was acceptable before Eclipse was Visual SlickEdit, which had most of the same features as Eclipse but was very expensive and didn't have the F&OSS plugin community of Eclipse.

Now that I'm into Eclipse, I don't think I'll ever look back!

-Will the Chill

*please insert 10 cents for one additional sig*

Re:Plugins make Eclipse what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446311)

Superior modularity? Care to explain what you mean by that? We'll just ignore the fact that Visual Studio does everything you said straight out of the box.

Re:Plugins make Eclipse what it is (2, Interesting)

Will the Chill (78436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446409)

Eclipse was built from scratch as a one-size-fits-none IDE solution. The only way to ensure that all developers had exactly what they wanted, regardless of languages or platforms, was to make everything from the editor frontends to the compiler backends as modular as possible. This means you can replace any and all aspects of Eclipse with custom plugins if you so choose.

As far as Visual Studio already doing everything "out of the box", I already noted that Visual SlickEdit does the same. My argument is that community-supported Free & Open Source Software solutions a superior IDE make.

-Will the Chill

*sig not found*

Re:Plugins make Eclipse what it is (-1, Flamebait)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447427)

must say that it's by far the best IDE I've ever had the pleasure of operating

Too many years working on Windows with crappy MS tools has left you brain damaged.

Eclipse is crap - I can't stand the complexity of its user interface. You spend more time in the Eclipse interface than you do developing good code. VS is much the same, but at least there's not as many useless tabs littered all over the place and only a handful of modes to really come to terms with.

True programmers develop their code in binary and load it into RAM with toggle switches and push buttons. The rest of us prefer Emacs (or Vi if we're feeling sadistic). This IDE thing is for pussies.

Re:Plugins make Eclipse what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20447477)

The rest of us prefer Emacs (or Vi if we're feeling sadistic).

As they say in my homeland, those be fightin' words!

hmm (4, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446143)

Well, I've been using both every day for years now. As always there is no black and white but there is a lot of grey there in between. If I need to chose, I would chose Visual Studio any day. That doesn't mean that it's perfect: it's not, but it simply feels better for my needs. My subjective opinion is that VS feels a lot more "solid" to me, faster and "logical" to my Borland eductated tastes. Havig support for C# is also a big plus to me, but that has nothing to do with the point of the article. Being OS is nota plus in my book, because I really don't prefer OS over commercial or the oposite just for the sake of it... I'm not religious in any shape or form. My 2 euro cents.

Eclipse would be awesome if.. (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446147)

Personally I love Eclipse. Working in an environment where I was required to rapidly switch between Perl, C++, Java, and Oracle, Eclipses perspective system is a godsend.

The only problem is it's so damned bloated. It wasn't until I used it on a powerful server-turned-into-a-workstation box that I found eclipse usable. On a standard system, it's just too laggy.

Even disabling some of the heavier features, I find it hard to get any work done when not using it on a system with 4 GB of ram and two processors.

Visual studio on the other hand I think is the perfect IDE for .NET. I think the main reason for this is that Microsoft holds all the cards. They don`t have to accommodate a million developers tool preferences, because they define the tool set. I`m not saying this is a good thing, just that it makes a perfect foundation for building a powerful IDE.

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446201)

Not the mention the huge size of projects compared to how much actual code is present. When it takes me minutes to transfer a project of only a thousand or two lines onto a flash drive, there's a problem.

This is why i use notepad++ (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446303)

multiple language support, plugin support, open source: []

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446875)

Then just transfer your src files (the text files with 1,000-2,000 lines), that's all you need provided you have the libraries installed on your machines. VS uses libraries from the .NET framework that need to be installed as system libraries on each machine. Try transferring them to your flash drive along with your VS project and tell me how long it takes.

So your eclipse project is more portable because you do not need to install system libraries. It's all self contained within your project. It doesn't mean you have to transfer the whole thing to your flash drive every time ! ;-)

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (3, Informative)

smartr (1035324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446485)

What possible features could you be using that require 4 gigs of RAM? I'm not going to pretend Eclipse is lightweight, but I find that it's memory footprint has been under 300 megs. I'm using the WTP Eclipse platform, and shifted a few months back from 3.2 to Europa(3.3). I'll probably be shifting entirely to the Red Hat Development Studio, because it's basically everything I'm using with a bit more, in a nice package. Are you perhaps using version 2? I haven't found a descent relational database management tool plugin for eclipse, and I'm curious if that Oracle plugin is the troublemaker. I've been using Squirrel SQL for the database. I admit this would still be saying 512 megs is really stretching your system, and 1 gig is more like a sensible minimum to be developing on.

Re:Eclipse would be awesome was compiled? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446585)

It seems there are compiled versions of Eclipse, maybe that will help with some of the bloat. []

However I do find the autocomplete features quickly grind to a halt whilst using APIs with large numbers of methods such as jogl.

I hope Ecipse gets better and better because it really is an excellent IDE, and at the moment the only thing holding it back is the performance issue.

Re:Eclipse would be awesome was compiled? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20447513)

Compiling Java Code to x86 before run-time won't make it faster but a _lot_ slower. A JIT can do a lot of run-time optimization that just isn't possible with GCJ. For example, functions often cannot be inlined at compile-time, while they can at run-time. Also, you can use the whole instruction set when you JIT - if you don't, you're limited to i586 or i686. The next thing is that a JIT knows what kind of data is being processed allowing further optization, while an ahead-of-time-compiler can only guess about this. And GCJs garbage collector just sucks, since it's a non-moving Collector, which was originally developed for C and C++. Thus, it doesn't exploit the fact that java references are completely opaque, allowing yet more optimization (read: moving garbage collectors).
On the downside, a JIT uses more memory, because the code is in the memory twice (once in bytecode form, and once as native code). And of course, you have to do the actual JITing, which is negligible on today's machines once the program is up and running.
The only reason why Red Hat ships x86 binaries instead of java byte code is that for whatever reason they didn't want to include Sun's JRE (probably the same reason why they don't ship proper multimedia support or NTFS drivers).

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (2, Informative)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446599)

On a 4 GB RAM server, we can smoothly run 8 instances of eclipse + 8 instances of Xvnc that the developers access remotely to work in their development environment, this is on linux. Are you on windows ? Could there be issues with your environment that impact performances when running eclipse ?

I also run 1 eclipse instance quite smoothly on my IBM thinkpad 1GB RAM and windows XP.

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446819)

Well, it might be the nature of the code I work on. It's a fairly large, poorly organized code base, and I am often required to have large portions of it open at a time. Additionally I am also commonly working with multiple languages at a time, flipping back and forth frequently, which might make some kind of impact (ie. having C++, Perl, and Java plugins going at the same time?)

Other IDE's I have tried (including Visual Studio on similarly large projects) don't seem to have much trouble.

And of course, vim has no problem at all ;)

I guess considering all that Eclipse does, it can be expected to be a little resource hungry, but nothing like the experience I`ve had with it.

I like the idea of running eclipse on a dedicated server, but I think that highlights it's resource hungry nature ;)

Re:Eclipse would be awesome if.. (2, Informative)

macshit (157376) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447417)

I dunno, Eclipse is certainly bloated, but I run it on a 450MHz PIII system with 512MB of RAM, and it's perfectly usable (debugging fairly hefty programs). The only thing I found I had to disable was the "method completion" (whatever you call it). [This is on a debian system with a 2.6 kernel BTW; less sophisticated systems like windows might need more resources.]

The version of java you use to run it seems to make big different btw -- I used Sun's java 6/1.6/whatever, but earlier I accidentally tried to run it using GCJ (the java version of gcc), and that was completely unusable, mostly because my system tried to swap itself to death.

Eclipse rules, but the summary != the link. (2, Informative)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446217)

Eclipse rules, I use it for PHP and Java development. The summary != what is linked to though...

How is IBM an unbiased source? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446223)

So a marketing article by IBM (the friggin' owners of Eclipse) compares Eclipse to Visual Studio. How can anyone expect this to be objective? If Microsoft had written this article on their website, there would be charges of FUD, FUD, FUD

Re:How is IBM an unbiased source? (3, Informative)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446461)

It's not a comparison; it's a guide for people migrating from Visual Studio to Eclipse.

Intellisense (4, Insightful)

plams (744927) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446265)

I've been using Eclipse professionally for some time and the only recent Visual Studio experience I've had has been working on some sparetime C++ project with a buddy. But from that I seemed to notice that the intellisense kind of feature and other assisting tools seem far more evolved in Eclipse. For instance, Visual Studio will sometimes fail to find the members in an object when I type <object><dot> and this rarely fails in Eclipse (unless there's a syntax error).

Eclipse also assists in further ways I'm missing from Visual Studio. It highlights syntax/parser errors, a feature which might seem annoying until you realise that Eclipse will help you solve it. This will save you from a lot of typing effort if you use it to your advantage. If you assign a value to an undeclared variable and press Ctrl+1 on the error Eclipse will offer to declare the variable either locally or as a field. If you instantiate a class, or access a method/field that doesn't exist Eclipse will offer to make a stub for you.

It's features like this that has turned Java from a hideously verbose language into something that's almost easier to develop in than Ruby (imho), and Visual Studio seems almost antiquated on this subject (there's no excuse for not implementing these features for statically typed languages such as C/C++)

Re:Intellisense (1)

shird (566377) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446313)

You just need to install Visual Assist by Tomato software. Not cheap, but improves on VS an order of magnitude.

Re:Intellisense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446429)

Visual Studio 2005 supports the same features. You just have to access them in different ways, using different keystrokes, menus and shortcuts.
Visual Studio has a Refactor menu and can do the following types of things for you:
- offer to fill in signatures of members of interfaces that you have implemented
- offer to provide signatures of methods you wish to override from a base class
- reorder method parameters
- promote local variables to method parameters
- remove method parameters
- rename members
- encapsulate a field to create a property wrapper for it (set, get)
- extract statements from the body of a method to create another method

The intellisense capabilities are extensive: auto-complete, shows help excerpt tool tips, shows signatures of members.

The debugging features are extensive. You can pretty much see and change anything on-the-fly while stepping through your program. List too long to go into ...

Visual Studio intellisense sometimes fails notation when there is a syntax error above it in the code, not unlike Eclipse does.

Re:Intellisense (5, Informative)

dreamt (14798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446691)

Funny, because a lot of times, I find it to be the opposite. While I'm no huge MS fan, I think that Intellisense is much more refined in VS2005 -- and its simple things that make it such... ones that nobody else did, but its obvious once you see it. For example, the fact that when you hit DOT in VS, it goes to the last used property/method rather than the first one in an alphabetical list. I think that quite a few times, I want to refer to the last property that I uses, rather than having to scroll to it. Simple things like that.

It also seems much more of a pain to open an eclipse project on a different machine (at least with the Perforce plugin) than with Visual Studio (I just recently had to have someone else set up one of my Eclipse projects on their new machine, and we got into some sort of recursive look where Eclipse ended up creating subdirectories until it hit an NTFS limit for directory depth (which was a royal pain to clean up -- XP's fault, but still).

I think that much of it is preference, but each can (and should) learn from the other.

I'm anxious to see how X-Code (current and "leopard" release) compare... I've just started using a Mac as my primary development machine (and thanks to Parallels, I can run VS for existing dotnet and C++ development) as well as Eclipse on the Mac. I have not yet figured out how to begin integrating our existing Unix build scripts into X-Code to use it...

Re:Intellisense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446887)

For example, the fact that when you hit DOT in VS, it goes to the last used property/method rather than the first one in an alphabetical list.

So it is impossible to get a DOT into your source code? Thanks, I think I know now why somebody can hate VS so much. Isn't it possible at all to get the DOT into DOT-net? But without the DOT .net is nothing. No wonder why we see so few successful .net deployments.

Feel free to mod me troll

Re:Intellisense (2, Interesting)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447071)

From my experience, Visual Studio's intellisense is pretty good when programming in .NET. However, its terrible for C++. It frequently decides to lose scope information, which then makes the entire tool completely useless. Even when it does work, it doesn't remember the last used variable like it does in .NET.

I haven't used Eclipse much, and only with Python, but from memory I thought that it did remember the last variable used, but that might have been some other IDE I was experimenting with.

Re:Intellisense (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446713)

I agree - the content assist features really put it in a class of it's own... and although I've seen a few small bugs with the latest 3.3 release, they're usually rock solid. I think any bugs I've seen in the latest release are just to do with the Eclipse developers "turning up the pace" and pumping out many more of these goodies, but maybe a little too fast. I think the content assist is one of those areas which differentiates a good developer from a good + fast developer. The look of amazement when I showed my friend how to auto generate delegate methods was priceless. Add to that auto creation of bean getters/setters, auto-extraction of method blocks, auto extraction of interfaces and a host of more subtle features and I'm not sure I could ever walk away from it. For a free product, it's just too good to be true. Oh yeah, and working with a tool which actively encourages plugin development is nice too. I'm not sure I could go a day without Spring IDE. I did have a walkthrough a few months ago of Netbeans by a developer who uses it every day. After seeing it in action, I could see many areas that Eclipse doesn't do too well (like grouping a set of libraries if I want to add them again), but I don't really mind. With Netbeans, it seems the approach seems to be to have more wizards to provide things like web services integration with your project, or removal of Ant as a requirement for building a web application... so you'd get accelerated development if you were happy to use their choice in tools. However, I don't agree with that kind of development philosophy in the long term, I think Java's biggest strength is how easy it is to integrate technologies and having developers who will only ever be able to integrate with a wizard dulls that great benefit.

Re:Intellisense (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446859)

It's features like this that has turned Java from a hideously verbose language into something that's almost easier to develop in than Ruby (imho), and Visual Studio seems almost antiquated on this subject (there's no excuse for not implementing these features for statically typed languages such as C/C++)

What version of Visual Studio are you comparing against? Visual Studio 2005 (which is the basis for the free Express [] versions, so you can try it out without risking any cash) has all of the features you claim are lacking. It's maybe not as automatic (VS2k5 won't automatically stub a method for you unless you tell it to do so), but IMHO that's a good thing -- I don't want the IDE second-guessing what I'm doing.

Perhaps you were using Visual Studio for C++ code? It's been a while since I've done any C++, having focused almost exclusively on C# for the last 5 years, but with C# the IDE will catch syntax errors, auto-complete for you if you wish (use ctrl+space to bring up intellisense), stub out methods and interface implementations (ctrl+F10 to open the SmartTag-like dropdown), allow you to easily refactor code into methods or wrap variables into Properties, declare "using" tags if you reference something from an assembly in the project references without declaring its namespace (you can alternatively tell it to use the fully-qualifed namespace if you don't want to add it to your "using" list), etc. I would assume that most of the functionality also exists for C++ projects, but I haven't verified that. The functionality is all there (at least for .NET languages), in the box, without any extra plugins needed, and Visual Studio is lightweight enough that I can run 4-5 instances on a 2 year old laptop with 2GB RAM without any issues at all. VS is also pluggable like Eclipse, so feel free to extend it as you wish.

It's been a while since I tried using Eclipse, mostly because I haven't done any Java work since graduating from college back in 2000. When I did last check it out (probably 2-3 years ago) it was horribly obtuse and bloated. I'm sure things have gotten better over the years, and if I had to start working with Java Eclipse would be my first choice of IDE, but in a Windows C++/C# world I'll choose Visual Studio 2005 every single time. (I'd choose Visual Studio 2008, but I was burned by the VS2k5/.NET 2.0 beta and am now wary of beta versions of Visual Studio -- I'll switch when it ships.)

Refactoring (2, Informative)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446871)

The thing I like best about Eclipse vs Visual Studio was refactoring. I tend to, ahem, revise my thinking during programming, and the ability to rename everything from the project itself down to the lowest-level variable was like heaven. Having to go back and use VS where I can't do that (at least, not easily) is torture.

Re:Intellisense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20447195)

Uhh...have you even USED Visual Studio or are you a random troll? First of all, claiming VS Intellisense is broken is a blatant lie. You probably did not add a reference to the appropriate assembly or add the appropriate project to be able to get Intellisense for it. I have never, ever seen it fail. Secondly, VS has been highlighting lexical and parsing errors for a LONG time. At this point it is quite clear you have never seen Visual Studio running. And lastly, VS can generate stubs for you (Edit->Intellisense in VS2005).

Eclipse isn't really an IDE anymore (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446291)

It's a platform for making IDEs among other things.

It's a great platform but it's an utter pain dealing with the plugins and the varying degrees of compatibility. MyEclipse makes it substantially better though.

Re:Eclipse isn't really an IDE anymore (3, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447541)

So you mean it's turned into Emacs?

Call graphs and type hierarchies (3, Interesting)

locster (1140121) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446305)

I use the call graph and type hierarchy views in Eclipse all the time. They're particularly useful for learning the structure of code you haven't written or come into contact with before and they allow you to navigate code almost effortlessly. Visual Studio's equivalents are pretty dire in comparison, the 'Find References' view just gives a flat list and lists methods with the same name but different signatures and as such I often resort to compiling C# and navigating it with the excellent .Net Reflector tool.

Oh and automatic insertion of import statements and import re-organisation is pretty useful.

Also Eclipse's incremental compilation generally seems to be of a higher quality than VS, e.g. it shows you errors as you type whereas VS does so only after an explicit compilation. VS's incremental compilation appears to be limited to driving syntax coloring of class names and code completion (AKA Intellisense(TM) I believe).

Eclipse's local history of file changes has saved my arse on one occasion (no equivalent in VS) and the file comparer when checking into CVS is pretty cool, far ahead of the (admittedly dated) Visual Source Safe V6 we still use at my workplace (Team Studio was too expensive apparently).

Speaking as a mainly VS user I find that setting up projects in Eclipse can be pretty bewildering at times, but that could just be lack of experience.

Eclipse has *never* crashed on me. VS crashes very occasionally now, but it does still happen.

On balance I would say Eclipse is a far higher quality product than VS, and considering it's free it's a pretty amazing IDE. You can of course get VS Express editions for free now with some functions disabled, multithreaded debugging and compilation for 64bit environments being the missing bits that I have come across.

SS isn't part of VS (1)

motokochan (1118229) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447183)

I wouldn't really fault Visual Studio for Source Safe's failings, it isn't a required component. Personally, I wouldn't touch Source Safe with a very long pole in any voluntary manner (only if I was required to). Considering it is the only system marked as a system to avoid [] over at the Better SCM Initiative and even Forrester won't consider it anymore in ranking SCM products, I'm surprised it is being considered for any kind of current solution.

There are some decent tools for Visual Studio to work with CVS and Subversion, among other version control systems, and they work out fairly well. At work, we are using Subversion for our VCS, with AnkhSVN [] to handle the management inside Visual Studio. Except for some issues with using AnkhSVN back when it was first getting started (and was rather buggy), we have been very happy and productive with the solution.

I have to choose.. (1)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446349)

Eclipse as my personal favorite. Now granted I'm no programming wizard and I'm not part of some OSS project. I create plugins for The Foundry's Nuke film compositor.

Up until about 4 months ago I used nothing but gedit for all my programming. Then I ran into the problem of to many tabs open and the need for using version control. I like Eclipse with CDT, it does it's job for me and the Subclipse plugin works quit well for my small needs. One feature I really like is the perspectives that Eclipse has, one of the first things I did was setup a few for while I am working.

After I had released only Linux versions of my plugins for a while I picked up a cheap copy of Visual Studio 2005 at a computer flee market. So I setup VMWare to do all my Windows compiling and bug fixing things that would compile ok under Linux but Windows would throw a fit. I agree my opinion isn't based from in depth knowledge or long term use of Visual Studio but for my needs I just prefer Eclipse.

I'm sure Eclipse has its pitfalls just like Visual Studio does, in the end they are both just tools and like anything in this world it comes down to personal preference in the end.

Re:I have to choose.. (2, Interesting)

SteevR (612047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446891)

...I picked up a cheap copy of Visual Studio 2005 at a computer flee market.

This is the point where I imagine pandemonium as folks run in terror from the local bingo hall on computer sale weekend. As they should. Those places are out to get you.


So what you mean is that you picked up a Chinese copy of MSVS 2005? If you're going to aid and abet piracy, you might as well not give the other pirates encouragement in the form of hard currency.


Recognizing that MSVS was facing real competition in the IDE arena, MS got smart and offered up a relatively non-encumbered free version, Visual Studio Express [] . For the major differences between Express and the other versions, see this page [] .

If all you are interested in is a C++ compiler and IDE, Express works. Its free as in crappy domestic (US) beer. The comparison seems to indicate that you don't get full access to MSDN, but that seems to be a lie. Granted, with Express you don't have it locally, but who wants to install all (eight last time I checked) gigs of the stuff when it is all online anyhow [] ?

Re:I have to choose.. (1)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447117)

I'm sorry but no I didn't pick up as you call it "A Chinese copy", I actually made a type-o and meant to say I had picked up a 2003 version.

Regardless of which version I picked up are you saying that one can't find good deals at roaming computer shows? I can't count how many great deals I've found at the local computer shows, once a month they move around the surrounding area "60 miles or so" and hold these events.

The booths are usually made up of surrounding computer stores and ebay sellers trying to get rid of old hardware or huge quantities of a product that they obtained in bulk. I picked up my first version of Visual Basic 4 way back when at one of these shows for next to nothing. Most of the whats being sold is old hardware, hardware/software bought in bulk, hardware/software obtained from liquidation sales or going out of business auctions.

Maybe next time you can keep your bullshit on your own side of the fence instead of flinging it in other peoples direction.

Re:I have to choose.. (1)

SteevR (612047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447303)

If there were a Computer Flea Market-Goers Anonymous, I'd be in and out of their support groups for life. I scrape up a lot of awesome hardware for almost nothing all the time; I've also sold surplus hardware and Linux CDs (back before the advent of widespread broadband and cd-burners) at these events.

However, every time I have bought business software at these shows, it inevitably consists of bundled or licensed software with non-transferable clauses, or nice Chinese copies. Some even have the holograms on the Certificates of Authenticity, and look quite official. You can only tell the difference if you regularly handle the real thing; indeed, I was bamboozled until I began taking contracts doing lease refreshes and hardware/software installs wherein I handled the genuine articles on a daily basis.

I wasted a lot of money buying the fakes.

I was also Not Really Serious.

Check out what tongue->cheek means. []

Who would want to compare different religions? (1)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446387)

There is so much religion involved on this topic that this discussion is likely to evolve into a big flame war. Some people really like Microsoft products, while other people hate them.

You may call me religious, as I have never really liked products from Microsoft, and my knowledge of Visual Studio is limited.

I use Eclipse on a daily basis and I'm quite happy with the IDE unlike other IDEs I've got to know, like NetBeans.

Having said that, the article from IBM looks fine to me. If we ever get a new employee who knows Visual Studio but not Eclipse, I would point him to it hoping that he would spend a few minutes on it (but no more) and that it would help him getting started a bit faster in the Eclipse world.

Re:Who would want to compare different religions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446797)

Some people really like Microsoft products, while other people hate them.
And most people just use the best tool for the job, and don't give a damn about evangelism from either of the two minorities mentioned.

total eclipse of the heart (2, Interesting)

shar303 (944843) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446565)

Eclipse does require a lot of computer resources, but when you consider the job it does, its actually an amazing bit of kit. also there are memory management plugin that can keep it under control if are trying to get it to run on a celeron with 256m ram.

as tfa, once you get over the initial hassle of setting the thing up, its a joy to use. also, its dammed stable.

the svn, the code completion, error checking, and the countless lovely little features (i love you all) work a treat, and make it a winner every time. i don't know a single developer thats used both who doesn't recognise visual studio to be a vastly inferior product.

Re:total eclipse of the heart (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447333)

i don't know a single developer thats used both who doesn't recognise visual studio to be a vastly inferior product.

Hi. I'm a developer, I've used both, and I don't recognise Visual Studio to be a vastly inferior product. There, now you know one. :-)

Biggest Thing in Eclipse (1)

Kazrael (918535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446675)

Honestly, I think one of the nicest features in Eclipse is the highlighting of a selected object/class/variable. I never realized how annoying using "find" or "bookmark all" was until I moved to eclipse.

A few things (1)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446731)

First off, the article is *not* about Eclipse vs. Visual Studio.

Secondly, people keep talking about how Eclipse is used via plugins, mostly, and with plugins, it's better than Visual Studio. Well, if you're going to have plugins/add-ons for Eclipse, let's make it fair and do the same for Visual Studio. Let's toss in Visual AssistX and Incredibuild.

I'm not saying one is superior to the other, since I've never used Eclipse, but I am saying that if you're going to compare them, be fair about it.

What about NetBeans? (4, Interesting)

Theovon (109752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446735)

Why do we see do may articles that mention Eclipse as though it's the default IDE for Java development and whatnot, when so many of the professional programmers I know say they prefer NetBeans because it's a more intuitive, less busy interface?

Re:What about NetBeans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446779)

I agree... I love NetBeans. Since 4.5 or 5 I feel it's blown Eclipse out of the water as the free Java IDE. Especially for web development. The GUI development tools I consider to be the best out of all commercial and free development tools.

Re:What about NetBeans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20446867)

Netbeans only does Java really well, it doesn't have nearly as many good plugins as Eclipse and it's even more bloated. A lot of people dismiss it outright because it looks utterly horrible on any operating system besides Windows. Even when using Java 1.6, the GTK look and feel has loads of problems and the fonts look substantially worse than any other application on my system. If I'm going to be staring at code all day, it's an absolute must that the fonts don't make my eyes bleed.

Applications that are written in Java are bad enough. Throw in Swing and it's pretty much a death blow.

Re:What about NetBeans? (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447193)

Ok, well, I've been using NetBeans on a Mac, and it looks really nice. You say it looks good on Windows. So it sounds like they need to really seriously work on the Linux version.

Re:What about NetBeans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20447335)

Most of my complaints do indeed relate to Swing being an absolute abomination on Linux.

Re:What about NetBeans? (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447415)

This is an IBM article aimed at getting Visual Studio developers to feel comfortable using Eclipse. IBM is a huge Eclipse supporter, they can be excused for not writing about Sun's NetBeans. I guess we can ask where the Sun articles are that try and get developers to try NetBeans.

I keep trying to like eclipse (2, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446927)

But it always feels slightly off. I think half my problem is just their website really stinks. There is no diffinitive "this is eclipse, click here to download". And by download, I mean "setup.exe". Right now it is more like "here is a bunch of random eclipse like stuff with random names and no sense".

Am I right to assume eclipse is kind of like the linux kernel, and you need to pick a "eclipse distribution" to get any kind of coherent package?

Re:I keep trying to like eclipse (4, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446975)

Try easy eclipse.

Its a 'click here and install' sort of thing. Both for windows and OSX.

Re:I keep trying to like eclipse (1)

motokochan (1118229) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447261)

Well, it really depends on your needs and how picky you are. The big problem with the Eclipse website is that it also contains a lot of the plugins and other stuff on the site, so it is somewhat cluttered. It would be nice to see a lot of the clutter go to a different site so one can focus on Eclipse, and the other can focus on the plugins and such.

The big thing with Eclipse is that it is a framework. You can make it as heavy or light as you want it, and people are encouraged to contribute "distributions" for others. Naturally, you can grab one of the items directly on the site and build your own IDE with all you want, or you can pick up a pre-configured copy with plugins already bundled. The nice thing is that no matter what distribution you use, the environment is consistent, so you don't need to worry about stuff changing around on you a whole lot.

As another poster said, EasyEclipse [] makes some nice bundles for focused areas that you can pick up. Heck, they even have a nice installer and everything. Once you get the base bundle, then you can always add on other tools as you need. If you don't like that, you can just look at the list of what each edition has and build it from scratch.

Re:I keep trying to like eclipse (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447271)

Awesome! Thanks to both you and your sibling for the tip.

I'm trying to do perl right now. I've been spoiled rotten with Visual Studio (C# / C++ work) and want the same kinds of goodies for my perl stuff :-)

Hot Swapping Code (2, Interesting)

MarkEst1973 (769601) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446931)

This is a java-centric feature, but it's something that frustrated the hell out of me when I worked on my first ASP.NET application (v1.1) after coming from a Eclipse/Tomcat environment...

Mix up this recipe:

  • Eclipse's autobuild-on-save feature
  • JVM's ability to hot swap code (typically accomplished by replacing the classloader at runtime)
  • Eclipse's ability to host the container (Tomcat in my case, but it can be WebLogic or any other)

Eclipse starts Tomcat in debug mode by default. Automatically compiled classes in Eclipse are piped over the debug socket to the container. The class is swapped out in real time, and you've got a brand new piece of code to run without having an entire build/deploy cycle. Better than that, you can be stepping through your code debugging a method, see your mistake, fix it, hit ctrl-S to save, and the debugger backs up to the top of the method and evaluates your new code!!!

VS.NET (v1.1 when I used it) simply could not do that. IIS was not as cleanly integrated with VS.NET (as far as I am aware, maybe I'm wrong)

Eclipse plug-ins exist for all major containers. MyEclipseIDE makes a killing marketing a bunch of them. Even IntelliJ (my preference for Java development) cannot match it, because you have to explicitly build (which can hot swap) but it'll take seconds, as opposed to milliseconds in Eclipse. big big fan of the hot swapping ability.

My switch from VC++ to Eclipse (5, Informative)

AndyCR (1091663) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446949)

I used to use VC++ for all my C++ development work. I have switched to Eclipse/MinGW.

- There is SVN integration, task integration with Mylyn which can help you focus on only one task at a time, etc. - stuff you simply can't do in VC++ or, if you can, not without paying a lot of money
- The ability to compile one file on each CPU is, laughably, apparently worth $5,000 to Microsoft. Even then, I've heard it doesn't work properly
- I can easily make automated compile/test scripts thanks to switching to MinGW from VC++, and run them automatically on a Linux server which will notify me if a build goes awry
- EASILY extensible. I can compile every bit of the C++ toolset in about 30 seconds, since it is written in Java. If your machine can't run it, you deserve a better machine anyway to soothe compile times...
- The intellisense in both are pretty much comparable with the Europa release.
- If I decide to switch to Linux, all my hotkeys, knowledge, and features are still available.

I could go on and on, but those are the main reasons.

Lack of GUI tools (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20446951)

Seems to be the biggest difference.

Eclipse and folders == el suckedero (1)

Ansible42 (961707) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447003)

I was thinking about trying out eclipse on my C++ projects, but I find this thing of integrating folders and projects to be highly irritating. I like to keep common source files in a directory and include them as needed on different projects. Not every project needs to link to every file in my common directory, but that's how you have to do it in eclipse. I spent a weekend trying to get going with eclipse on ubuntu (visual studio user), but when I realized that I'd have to reorganize my whole code base to have the folders and projects be the same, I got pissed frustrated and had to quit back to windows for a while. Trying to get SVN and eclipse to cooperate is a complete nightmare too. You say you want to check out your whole SVN repository and then work with individual projects within it? Good luck with that. Only top level directories are projects. Gah. There's some hack you can do with making one project that checks out the whole SVN tree, then have another project _outside_your_svn_repository_ that refers to a project within the SVN repository. I guess you have another SVN repository for those eclipse projects?? It makes my head hurt. I've thought about transitioning to eclipse at work, but the idea of revamping the company's whole SVN repository just so folders and projects are identical is just fucking retarded, and I would be justifiably mocked were I to bring up something like that to my coworkers. I want to like eclipse, I really do. This folder thing just sucks too much for me to like it.

Plaintive... (1)

phunctor (964194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447029)

Sounds GRRRREAT! So I download the latest Europa, fire it up. Hmm, it comes with a "hello world" project preloaded. Fire it up!

Oho! Syntax errors! Clever demo, must use editor. Editor works, build again.

Launching helloWorld.... java.lang.NullPointerException...

And this.. is the demo.

Clue me in somebody, please, humbly. What am I missing here?


I've enjoyed both (3, Interesting)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447053)

I've used both environments for different tasks and have been happy with both. Essentially, they serve the same function which is to make developing far more enjoyable and error free.

Personally now I use more often. From where I work I have an MSDN account and get free downloads of all their developer tools to play around with. So I've spent a lot of time playing with things.

I like the integration of everything. From the SQL browser to Team Foundation Server, it's really streamlined to have access to have everything all at once. Honestly, I've been pretty impressed with most of .net and this is shocking since I rarely did MS development before VS 2005.

Obviously the biggest problem with it all is that it costs money. A lot of money if you want the IDE with all the architecture tools, design tools, testing tools, compilers, SQL server, TFS for source control and deployment, etc. You're locked into a MS environment essentially. And sometimes this isn't a problem at all. Maybe you're developing an site or something. But you're spent a lot of money on tools and when multiplied by 50 developers, this can add up to a lot. However, you get MS support and for a lot of business companies with developers that aren't the greatest thing around, this is very valuable.

Eclipse has limitless plug-ins and can do everything can in terms of hooking into things. I don't find it as seamless and the whole package isn't there for everything from sharing documentation to deployment, etc. And there isn't support either. So a company is essentially on their own. But it's empowering to be able to ala cart the components you want.

I like both but have been really impressed with Visual Studio and all the related tools.

Too biased for my taste (0, Offtopic)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447143)

I think I'll wait for an article comparing the two from someone who doesn't have a dog in the fight. As much as I'm loathe to use Visual Studio, Eclipse isn't much better. Perhaps the term "sucks less" is apropos.

Building projects automatically (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447203)

In the article it mentions Visual Studio doesn't do automatic building. Well, that's kinda true. You can however, create a macro that will execute a build every time you press "ctrl-s" or press the "save" button. Visual Studio will only rebuild and re-link what changed, eg. the file you just edited. I did this for one of my projects and it worked pretty well.

Down With IDEs! (-1, Troll)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#20447367)

If you have to use an IDE to write code in your chosen language, you picked the wrong language, or failed to create the domain specific one.

Yeah, I know, off topic, troll-bait, but someone has to keep the candle burning in the dark times.

Re:Down With IDEs! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20447573)

Right. Because no one who knows the language makes typos in a method call. No one who knows the language ever forgets to close a parenthesis or drops a semi-colon. Indenting code automatically is stupid pre-optimization--let me hit the space bar myself. Refactoring support? Please! Let me refactor those 4 similar classes by hand--I'm sure I'll get it right. Who needs an IDE anyways?

Ummm, are you on crack? Sorry, but why on earth would you NOT want an IDE? It saves tons of time, prevents easy mistakes, helps you debug your code, helps you keep things organized and on topic, and can promote good habits (for example, assuming "well, you're making a new class--let me set up a unit test outline for you"). What's not to love?

Or do you write all your code in "edit" because visual tools like vi or emacs are for babies?
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