A change of IDEs

For more years than I care to remember, Eclipse has been my Java IDE of choice. I’ve been known to branch out to things like MyEclipse as required, but in recent years, just base Eclipse.

As Indigo, Juno, Kepler and company came and went, tweaks were made, user interfaces polished: fair enough. But of late, Eclipse has become more and more sluggish, and downright Domino Designer-ish on occasion (which is clearly intolerable!) The last straw for me was when both Kepler and Luna decided to periodically “forget” that they had integrated JUnit test-runners: a re-start was required to render test-running functional once more.

Time to change.

At a number of clients I noticed other Java developers crowing about IntelliJ IDEA. I’ve had good experiences with other JetBrains products (TeamCity and ReSharper, specifically), so figured I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did! Of course, one cannot simply forget years of Eclipse-focussed muscle memory, but I have found IntelliJ to be fast, responsive, logical, and chock-full of good features. Compared with Eclipse, IDEA makes good use of space, and an ability to quickly tuck away individual panes / windows / views / call-them-what-you-will is useful too. The JUnit shizzle is integrated well, and tests run very quickly. IDEA has extensive refactoring support too… in short, it’s all there, and I’m converted.

If I have piqued your interest, be sure to check out what’s coming in version 14, the next major release. There are some splendid things coming, like an integrated decompiler, scratch files and in-line operator expressions evaluation.

What’s new in IntelliJ IDEA 14.


  1. Beware the Ides of November!Andrew Magerman#
  2. You have piqued my interest. I don't have any real problems with Eclipse really. I'm developing quite large OSGI plugins and it's been behaving itself very well. Still no harm in looking over the fence :-)Jason Hook#
  3. "IntelliJ IDEA 14 comes with a built-in decompiler for Java classes. "

    That's nice :-)Jason Hook#
  4. Bravo Mr. Magerman! :-) Ben Poole#
  5. There are ways to cope with the many glitches of Eclipse. I've bought personal Intelij Licence after Eclipse.con 2013, where I've learnt that IBM has cut funding for Eclipse many moons ago. Unfortunately, my customers tend to have some sort of a crazy One IDE policy. With all this jenkins, maven, svn/git included in the dev process there is no rationale argument for this policy. But as I am so used to the glitches of Eclipse, I am still not faster with Intelij. axel#

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