This is a comparison?? Eclipse 3.3 or NetBeans 6.0 from JavaWorld

Update: I’m getting quite a few eyes on this posting because of the link from dzone so I wanted to clarify a couple of things. I am referring to the NB project importer that brings Eclipse projects into NetBeans….not the other way around.

Again I want to state that I am not flaming NetBeans 😉 I know that people usually have very strong feelings about the environment they use. I am a big fan of the Eclipse/MyEclipse combination. It’s cheap, it offers a lot of functionality, and the support is very good.

I also really like what is happening with NetBeans. 6 is a fantastic release and I wish it fit my workflow better because there are some things that I really like more like the code editor, diff viewer, etc. I think the out of the box experience is far better for NetBeans but I’m already paying for MyEclipse so for me thats where the comparison is most relevant.


I saw this link this morning on dzone where the author compares Eclipse and NetBeans with the intention of giving the reader some sort of guidelines as to which environment to choose for development work. Too bad it is just a laundry list of features.

These types of comparisons are really hard to do. You really have to use the products extensively on a real project before you can come to any sort of conclusion and the waters may still be muddy even after that. I’m currently working with both products on a large project and NetBeans still has a way to go before it can compare with Eclipse with MyEclipse (for me). Why?

  • The build process for large projects can be excruciatingly slow.
  • Is there some reason the Eclipse project importer is rewriting my EJB deployment descriptors as EJB 3.0 when they’re EJB 2.1 beans without asking me if that is what I want to do?
  • The CVS support, for those still using CVS, is completely geared toward the branch you’re currently working on. Want to compare some code to another branch? This is easy in Eclipse but apparently not doable in NetBeans.
  • No workspaces. To me this feature is critical because it makes working with various branches of code very easy. I can have totally custom settings for the IDE in the different workspaces as I chose. NetBeans comes closer with Project Groups but it still isn’t quite the same thing.
  • No exploded deployment options for servers other than Glassfish?

You don’t get to these types of things until you start working more in-depth with two products and really start comparing the workflows. Certainly if this is doable by me it’s doable by a journalist.

Don’t get me wrong though as I still really do like NetBeans. Version 6 has a lot going for it and a for an out of the box experience I think it beats Eclipse since Eclipse really requires a lot of extras to get you to the same level. On that note given the cheap price of MyEclipse it is really hard to beat.

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