Favourite Java IDE

I was having a discussion with some of my peers on what Java IDE they use and why.

And this got me wondering on what Java IDEs the community uses and why.

I know this maybe a biast location in the fact that the Sponge docs only have setups for Eclipse and Intelij, but I do know some mod/plugin developers who swear by VSCode.

Im not looking for a fight to break out on what is better, so please refrane from calling someone names from the IDE of choice.

Personally for me, ive used the following

  • BlueJ
  • Netbeans
  • Eclipse
  • VSCode
  • Intelij
  • Android studio (yes for regular Java development)

And I found that Intelij suits me best, mainly because the debugger in it is so powerful that it can debug Bukkit plugins with ease. The Intelisense on Intelij typically predicts what I want most of the time and it never predicts what I want, however as im about to hit enter to use the prediction, it changes to something completely different (Looking at you VSCode for predicting I want HTML in my Java code).

I wish the extensions for Intelij were just … More and I wish it didnt drain my ram and battery like Chrome does (8GB laptop → Opens Intelij and lets it sit for a while → 80% ram usage) so for those reasons, im willing to change.

When I ran Eclipse, it was back when Mars eclipse was a thing. Extensions were … More but I tended not to use any (could be because I was a naïve programmer at the time). Eclipse is easy on the ram and battery and I could even use the previous version of eclipse as a portable application to crave my programming addiction when I was at College.
I have good memories of Eclipse however what made me switch was mainly the intelisense in it, it was case insensitive which I liked, however most of the time it would predict the complete wrong thing until I got 3 letters to the end of what I wanted. While this has probably changed by now (or there is a extension for it), the other two issue I have/had with eclipse was the boot time (I could drink a can of redbull before it loaded … In college … Thats a worrying combo … Although I broke my personal typing speed record multiple times) and the default keyboard shortcuts (I tend to wipe my pc every so often these days to keep it running fast, so unless its a feature I cant work without, I tend to keep things default).

BlueJ … I dont recommend, when I used it, it had no maven/gradle support, you couldn’t debug, had to make packages one by one. Hopefully its better now. But ill probably never know.

Netbeans is good if you dont mind the dated look is actually good to use if your wanting a test database within the IDE (this feature is in intelij, however paid for - I believe its the same for Eclipse). Personally for me, netbeans didnt sit right in the fact that the intelisense would suggest something different at random points and at the time, it didnt support extensions nor anything past java 8.

VSCode is one I have heard a lot of good things about, however for me, when I use it I get the feeling that the Java extension is “glued on” such as the IDE wasnt designed for it and that it had just been hacked on. Not sure what gives me this feeling, but I just do (maybe im not cut for module based IDEs).

Android Studio for regular Java development. This came about as I was doing a lot of Android development at the time and short on space. As Android studio and Intelij are cut from the same tree I thought I could just use one. I was right in the idea, wrong in the execution… If you do both java and android and you need to choose 1 … Go intelij and then get the android extensions. Dont try android studio for Java, it just doesnt work. That being said, its great for android development

IntelliJ CE is my typical daily driver, but I do find I can work just as easily with VSCode, Nano, or even just Windows Notepad if I’m in a rush. (Provided it’s a more recent version of Notepad that supports Unix-style line endings…)

Granted, I usually enforce some guard-rails into the build system, such as checkstyle and SpotBugs.

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