Mittwoch, Juli 04, 2007

IDE Shoot-out at JUG Cologne

This was a very interesting event yesterday in the rooms of the university of cologne. Michael Hüttermann organized this special JUG Cologne event, where four of the major IDEs were presented. Participants:

  • NetBeans
    Roman Strobl (Sun Microsystems) - NetBeans Evangelist (Prague)
  • Eclipse
    Wayne Beaton (Eclipse Foundation) - Eclipse Evangelist (Canada)
  • Oracle
    Frank Nimphius (Oracle) - Principal Product Manager Oracle/JDeveloper
  • JetBrains
    Maxim Shafirov (JetBrains) - Responsible for IntelliJ IDEA (St. Petersburg)
    Mike Aizatsky (JetBrains) - Responsible for Web Development IntelliJ IDEA (St. Petersburg)
    Ann Oreshnikova (JetBrains) - Marketing Director JetBrains (St. Petersburg)
Each presenter had only 30 minutes to motivate the best features of his IDE: that's a problem, because 30 minutes are much too short to present only 20% of the features a product has. So the challenge was to concentrate on the essence of each product, what was very interesting to see.

1) NetBeans
Roman Strobl focused on the RichClient plattform, Java EE development support and Ruby integration.

2) Eclipse
Wayne Beaton presented on Ubuntu with OpenOffice, which didn't work too well. But no problem, the coolness factor made him go. He focused on the whole Eclipse eco system. Eclipse is not only an IDE, but used for lot's of other things, too. A highlight was the Europa release which bundels about 20 subproject in on e new release. If that's a "feature"? I think it's the only way to address the "plugin hell" Eclipse is facing more and more with stuff being not compatible with each other.

3) JDeveloper
Frank Nimphius concentrated on the "one-tool-for-all-tasks" message. JDeveloper today covers the whole lifecycle needed in development. Further focus was on Java EE development (EJB3, JPA) and on the integrated Application Development Framework (ADF).

4) IntelliJ
IntelliJ was the only commercial IDE presented on this event. Why is this product different? Well, JetBrains is very proud of its innovation (they had a lot of the cool IDE features at first, all others copied them), they have a brilliant code editor and what was interesting: they have a team of only 16 software engineers doing all the feature stuff and for that, they can react very fast on new ideas.

So, was there a winner? In my opinion: no. Every developer can take the tool he likes and gets all the features he needs in every case. Good, to have the choice... Outstanding features? Well, perhaps the editor of IntelliJ and the drag-and-drop development feeling of the JDeveloper ADF stuff for JSF development. Both worth a look.

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