In the previous post, I said I had more plugins for Eclipse, while this is true it should also be mentioned that NetBeans requires fewer plugins to get the same functionality. Eclipse needs a plugin to edit XML in any useful fashion, a plugin for J2EE work, a plugin for GUI editing (which doesn’t work on the Mac, due to major design flaws in SWT). NetBeans includes those in the core (but the GUI designer works on the Mac). The NetBeans core is a 41Mb download, the Eclipse core is over 80 MB if my memory serves.
That said, I rarely use GUI designers. Most of the GUI projects I do are large enough that for the sake of consistency and productivity, I’ve had to make a GUI framework that addresses things that GUI design tools don’t usually cover (eg Data-Binding & validation, attempting to following design guidelines on multiple-platforms).
NetBeans doesn’t seem to the have the equal of the Eclipse “Source” menu. It could be fixed easily — not a major concern. From what I’ve read the NetBeans “Fix and Continue” is nothing like Eclipse’s “Quick Fix”. The NetBeans feature works in the debug, allowing the user to modify code and continue executing the program. The Eclipse feature works *compile-time* errors.
Cutting and pasting text between classes in Eclipse will also update the imports and reformats the indents in the pasted text. NetBeans doesn’t do this but NB’s “Fix Imports” will take care of the problem unlike Eclipse’s “Organize Imports”.
Default keystrokes are sometimes bizarre (Command-F4 to close a window instead of Command-W) but most are easily fixed by finding the correct place. The magic formula seems to be if it is on a menu go to Tools->Keyboard Shortcuts, if it is in the editor goto Tools->Options->Editing->Editor Settings->Global Key Bindings. I’ve run across a few that seem to be “electric ” (in emacs-speak) that I’m unsure of how to change, delete-selection, for example only deletes the selection when the “Main Apple Delete Key” (you know the one where backspace is on most other keyboards and the only one on powerbooks) but not when the other delete key is pressed (They map to Backspace and Delete, respectively, in Java). Then there is the problem with the keystroke input control not accepting Command-Space.
NetBeans update center is more straightforward then the Eclipse version. Eclipse doesn’t ship with any default URLs to check for updates and finding the URLs is kind of a pain. NetBeans knows how to “phone home”.
NetBeans Navigator pane can view inherited methods, Eclipse can’t.
Both have similar memory footprints after some usage.
One major difference is Eclipse defaults to compiling a source file when it is saved and NetBeans requires you to build the project. NetBeans builds a jar file for you, Eclipse requires a lot more clicks to get jar file. These differences are really only important if you use external tools in your debug-test cycle and/or building you install scripts.
I’m been noticing the “Spinning Beach Ball of Waiting” in Eclipse more often lately. This wait cursor appears when an app becomes unresponsive for a short time. The tends to show up in Eclipse when switching between documents, especially switching between source, XML, and Ant files (each requires a different plugin in Eclipse). I have yet to notice the “Beach Ball” in NetBeans.
I’m beginning to use NetBeans more and intend to continue using it.
This entry was posted 1 year, 3 months ago on Tuesday, April 5th, 2005 at 1:25 pm and is filed under Java, Swing, Mac. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.