Netbeans

6 01 2009

Just wanted to put in a plug for Netbeans, the opensource IDE for multiple languages.  And I want to make sure that it’s understood that Netbeans kicks the trash of its alternative Eclipse.  If it’s been a while since you’ve used Netbeans, I suggest you return to it and check it out, for it no longer blows as it once did.

For anybody who walks the 3d-animation walk, Eclipse is the Blender of IDEs; powerful, perhaps, but you have to step back and ask yourself:  Will I ever *actually* learn the interface fluently? It’s an honest question– is it possible that the interface is (gasp) not intuitive??  I submit the answer is a resounding YES.  Sure, there are gurus out there who can whip of crazy nonsenese with Blender, but will you ever be one of them when you have to work with an interface like that?

For those who have issues with certain programming languages out there– be it Java (raises my hand), C/++, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, whatever– have you ever been annoyed at the absurd steps involved to get functionality that *should* be basic?  For instance, PHP’s ‘implode’ and ‘explode’ functions:  useful stuff!  Or it’s ‘var_dump’ command!! Holy crap that’s nice.  It’s annoying in Java or C when you want to accomplish the same thing.  Or when in Java you use Hashes (of any kind),  Trees, or other strutures backed by a common class of ‘Collection’ or ‘Set’ or ‘Map’, and then you go to some other language and you ask yourself, Why doesn’t this language have useful tools built into it?

And so the punchline:

Have you ever had a proficient user of any of the above say to you [in/directly] that “oh, it’s easy once you’ve gotten used to it.” ??

… May I interject that “getting used to it” is precisely the problem?!

<rant>

Netbeans is a great alternative to Eclipse.  While Eclipse may be powerful, I would please like it to be able to detect my JRE for me.  I would like it to not be obscure in its menuing options.  I would like to easily find the option for displaying line numbers.  I would like for the ‘Preferences’ menu  NOOOOT to be found under the ‘Window’ menu (WTF? What. The.  Freakin. F.).  I would like for it not to skin itself all magically, wasting my processing power.  I would like for Eclipse to not have a retarded intro screen.  I would like for its updater/module downloader to give me the option of including dependencies of selected packages, because that list if freaking huge and I can’t find the dependencies it whines about.  I would like for there to be an ‘all-in-one’ download, so that I’m not forces to go to their site and download the Java version and then be all confused when I want to have the C/other plugins.  I would like for the download on the site to have the most up-to-date version of the software, so that when I go to get a plugin, it doesn’t tell me that I need the most up-to-date version of Eclipse, promptly after I have just downloaded what I thought to be such.  I would like for the random package errors in Java projects to go away, as when I import a project that might have a package error, and then it effects all other projects in my workspace.  I would like for run-settings to be project specific, instead of one project hijacking another project’s settings.

</rant>

I could go on, but I hope that I’ve illustrated the point.  Netbeans is easier.  Far more effectively organized, and far more to-the-point.

Blender may be powerful, but wouldn’t it help everyone if they’d just make it easier to use?  Likewise, wouldn’t Eclipse benefit from an easier interface that acted a little more smartly?  I declare that Netbeans has done just that.  (And it comes loaded with Glassfish and Tomcat if you want them!)

A toast, to cutting the crap!

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