2012 m. gruodžio 15 d., šeštadienis

Why Eclipse is not my favorite IDE

What are IDEs supposed to do:
  • save time by automating tasks
  • save time by integrating tools or providing well integrated alternatives to them
  • provide some extra features to improve developers performance
What I want from IDE:
  • to be a good text editor in the first place
  • to be configurable enough so that it never gets in my way
  • let work with external tools
So what's wrong with Eclipse?

Well, it does not meet my very first requirement - I disagree it is a good editor. Yes, it includes nice features like code completion etc., but these are not configurable enough, well, at least not the easy way. When I type code, I know what I'm typing, I type it and expect the result to be what I typed. With Eclipse code completion often kicks while typing, autocompletes the line (not always to the right thing), puts cursor somewhere, then somewhere else, then selects something... When this happens while you're typing at full speed, the result is a crap. Eclipse developers, do you actually write code by hand?

Everyone, who uses various tools knows, that tabs and spaces are evil when in the same code, as are trailing white space. Since spaces are more precise when indenting code, mots programmers prefer them to tabs. Eclipse defaults to tabs. That's fine as longs as you can configure it. In Eclipse you sort of can, except that it does not work properly. It does work fine in most cases, except for autoindent after '{' character, where it insists on using tab. Autoindent also hurt every time you want to leave empty line, as it leaves all that garbage white space it inserted itself. Eclipse does a lot, but not everything and is not best at everything. That's why we use other tools, which we want to either integrate with our IDE or just work nicely alongside. That's not exactly the case with Maven. There are plugins for integrating Maven with Eclipse, but it looks like the best they do is import Maven projects. When I have to go to command line to build project, because Eclipse can't call Maven properly, I wouldn't call that integration.

Another thing that hits me again and again is Eclipses caching everything. When I do something with external tools and get back to Eclipse, I have to select all projects and press refresh, very annoying.

Some good words for the end

Eclipses integration with JUnit is great!
I also like the debuging with Eclipse, it does the job well.

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