I’ve been doing some form of coding since around the advent of the IBM PC and VIC-20 and have obviously come across many editors and IDE:s for a number of platforms. Things have come a long way since Edlin. I cannot recall every single editor and IDE I’ve been toying with, and I’m not sure it’s relevant to this post, but some of them include A/Edit, Emacs, TSE/Qedit, Brief, SlickEdit, vi, and many derivatives of these. Having been a DOS programmer for quite some time, I’ve also been working in the various Borland IDE:s.
In the past 10 years I’ve mostly been using Emacs, and every now and then I’ve been sneaking a peek at various other Linux based editors. For the past several years I’ve been giving both Eclipse and NetBeans a go. There are a number of IDE:s out there that are based on Eclipse (Zend/ZDE, Aptana Studio, Eclipse PDT to name a few), so in many cases they share their core behavior, look ‘n’ feel, pros and cons.
One thing I’ve learned, the hard way, is that there are just about as many “My editor is better than your editor”-battles being fought as there are “My language is better than your language”-battles; programmers and developers truly seem to enjoy trying to outdo each other when it comes to proving their arsenal of tools to be superior to that of others. I’ve never understood this part. If you can solve the given task, with all its parameters, with whatever tools you prefer, go and do it. If someone else can manage the same thing with some other tool, good for them. Listening to these arguments is like listening to two five-year-olds battling it out trying to convince the other that a given color is prettier than another. Of course, one could just turn a deaf ear and not listen 🙂
Now let’s talk a little bit about Eclipse and NetBeans.