Netbeans 5: Still not switching
Writing about web page http://www.netbeans.org/switch/index.html
Some people have been saying good things about the latest release of Sun's Netbeans Java IDE. I thought that in the interests of not missing out on anything I ought to give it a try. I have very few complaints about Eclipse, but one thing that does bite me from time to time is the slugish performance of SWT on OSX, especially on my G4 powerbook. I'd had good experiences with IDEA 's swing-based IDE in the past, so I thought Netbeans might be worth a try.
So, download it and unpack it; up it comes. It took rather a long time to start (about 90s) on the powerbook, but that's it's first time – maybe it'll be quicker next time.
Now, how do I import an eclipse project? Off the the website, discover I need to install a plug-in. WTF? I thought one of the advantages of NB was 'the best out of the box experience' – I'm installing plugins and I haven't written a line of code yet.
So, plugin installed, I locate my project and click 'import'. A progress bar whizzes to 100% in about 2 seconds. Neat. It stays like that for another 2 minutes. Not neat. Just as I'm about to kill -9 it, it comes back to me. Open the project, open a source file. UGLEEE serif fonts. ugh. Change fonts to monaco (monaco is the default for everything else on the mac… guess NB had to be different). Wait a few minutes for a background classpath scan to complete so I can see a structure view for the class.
Spot 'eclipse mode' keybindings. nice touch. Switch them on. Open a class. ctrl-O for the outline pop-up. Doesn't work. There isn't one. shift-apple-T for the 'open type' dialog. Doesn't work. (it's shift-ctrl-o for some reason). F3 to navigate to a type. Doesn't work. Give up and find keybindings crib sheet.
Navigate to a testcase. How to run it? Run->run file says 'class doesn't have a main method'. Guess I probably need a plug-in or something.
Give up. The GUI's not any faster than eclipse, it looks kinda wierd, half the functionality I'm used to isn't there, it's going to take weeks to relearn the keyboard bindings and make it work how I want to.
Now, I grant you, I didn't give it much of a chance. But then, it's not as if I need to switch. Eclipse does everything I want it too, and I'm used to it. But when I tried IDEA I at least got the feeling 'oh, I could get to like that…' a few times. Netbeans still leaves me cold.