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Best Java IDE?

Which is the best all round IDE for java?

I need one with Swing forms designer etc..

Is the best one JBuilder? or is Sun one any good.

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Eclipse. Especially very good for eXtreme Programming in the refactoring area.

Eddy Young
Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Eclipse doesn't have a forms designer though does it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

I've done all my stuff by hand in Swing (Learning it the hard way! Best teacher I ever had!) so I haven't used any designers or anything.

JBuilder, I had heard, used some custom classes to accomplish its stuff. Is this the case? Are there form designers that work on pure Swing/other toolkit?

Mike Swieton
Wednesday, January 1, 2003

JBuilder has some custom gui components and some custom gui layouts available but if you wish to stick to the standard Swing or AWT components you just don't use any of the custom Borland stuff. You are not forced to use them.

I agree that coding it by hand was the best way of learning it, however, I would find using that regularly is a little tedious.


Avrom Finkelstein
Thursday, January 2, 2003

Try CodeGuide at and IntelliJ at

I've plenty, and these two are the best I've seen.

Thursday, January 2, 2003

In the strict coding area, I'd have to go with IDEA [1]. It has wonderful refactoring abilities and generally gets out of your way, but when you need a particular task accomplished it performs it quickly and with minimal input. The interface is excellent (pure Swing, believe it or not) and just about anything you can do can be mapped to a key mapping (including support for combos hardwired into emacsfolk brains). This is the only IDE I've tried that's pulled me away from XEmacs for coding.

IDEA does not have a visual forms designer. But there's nothing that says you can't use another IDE (say, Netbeans [2] which based on my limited experience has an excellent form design system) for doing the GUI design and another for the coding.

I'd be interested to find out about experiences people have had with standalone form designer tools.


Chris Winters
Thursday, January 2, 2003

I guess I forgot that those two don't do GUI form design. Of course, form designers vs. hand coding is an argument in itself.

Thursday, January 2, 2003

try JCreator (  Just like Visual Studio.  Pro version worth the $70.00...

Thursday, January 2, 2003

I second the suggestions for IntelliJ IDEA. I've used several IDEs, and IDEA is by far the best. Worth every cent of its (modest) license fee.

No, it doesn't have a GUI builder built in - but I will not use one of those until someone can show me a GUI builder that generates intelligent code. I've seen some absolutely ATROCIOUS code generated by such tools - code so bad that even a first year CS student should be ashamed of it. No wonder people complain about Swing performance.

Thursday, January 2, 2003

Now, I feel filthy knowing anything about debuggers, but sometimes you get filthier code and a looming deadline.  That said, Borland JBuilder's debugger is disturbingly slow.  You'll want to use something like Karmira's Bugseeker if you ever want to debug.

The worthwhile feature of IDEs is the 'browse symbol' option, which takes you to the sourcecode of whatever object you're looking at.  If you download Sun's well-commented java library sourcecode, you can learn a lot of Java in no time flat, and see exactly what you're doing when you call something.

Thursday, January 2, 2003


So there is no 1 tool to encompass everything.

Is the debugger slow in jbuilder 8?

Mike Grace
Friday, January 3, 2003

"Is the debugger slow in jbuilder 8?"

Still unusably slow.  But that's ok, it just means you'll have a compromise between all-in-one and best-of-breed.

I like when people on a team all use different IDEs.  The intersection of all their functionality will be the stable part.

Friday, January 3, 2003

IntelliJ 4.0 now has a GUI/Form designer and is the best IDE hands down.  Intelligent code completion like typing two letters of a method or variable and it does the rest.  Automatic  creation of methods when you implement interfaces.  Automatic try catch blocks, for loops templates etc...  It also genrates getter/setter and constructor methods for all the  attributes automatically.  Don't waste your time on anything else.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Gotta second that - IDEA IntelliJ is amazing.  I have been playing with the UI Designer for a few hours - great to work with once you understand the concept, and so much easier than handwriting UI code.  Been there, done that!


Dr. Heinz M. Kabutz
Monday, March 1, 2004

Go through JBuilder X. This is the best java IDE in the market. Though a bit resource intensive, but which one is not?

Lead Runner
Saturday, May 29, 2004

You are absolutely right Runner. I feel the same that JBuilder X  is giving a new standard and goal in the IDE industry.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

If you do Java GUI, I can recommend JFrameBuilder, even better than .Net.


Jimmy P
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I've used JBuilder X -- but Eclipse 3 is the real powertool. I build OpenTools for JBuilder and work from Eclipse to do this :-)

Seriously, if you want a many-times more slick and powerful  tool (fast also) then Eclipse is it.

No GUI builder. Write yourself a helper class to generate GridBagConstraints, already. (God isn't Swing such a load of rubbish? Luckily Eclipse doesn't use it!)

Don't know about IntelliJ, could be ok.


Thomas Whitmore
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

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