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On the *Pathetic* state of Java IDEs

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Hello All,
After two years, I'm *still* looking for a good Java IDE. I'm sorry for the greenhorns who're trying to learn the ropes, and have perhaps migrated from the windows programming world. You'll spend countless hours wondering why the world of Java Programming is lost in the bronze ages of development tools.
I see many people on this forum promote Java development outside of an IDE. Too bad. People said that about C++ programming in Windows, before Visual C++ came around. Some people are still using VI Editor in Unix. More power to them, but please, give me my Word 2000, thank you.
Promoting programming outside the IDE beyond the initial learning process, is simply trying to make one's job tougher, and to create higher barriers to entry into the programming world than there justifiably should be. Why spend more time formatting and debugging syntax than on the problem itself? Why spend more time re-doing donkey work? Isn't finding elegant and time-saving tools what our trade is all about, and yet, the best in the trade (at least in the Unix world), are often the ones who promote the most quaint tools available to programmers.
I don't suppose I'm the only one who has programmed a lot in Visual Studio, and has subsequently been spoiled by a VERY responsive, full featured IDE with excellent debugging.... etc.
If not for Microsoft's problem with speaking real Java, Visual J++ was truly an excellent IDE. I only wish it did real Java, and not J/Direct.
I'm tired of working with bloated, slow, and un-refined IDEs like JBuilder and Forte. It's time somebody realized that although Java may be cool, Swing/Java is definitely *far* too slow to cut it in an IDE, and NO ex-Visual Studio developer could possibly be satisfied with the current state of Java IDEs.
I laugh at the thought of $10,000 tools like Weblogic, that expect a developer to write/modify raw XML!! Ha ha! This, from an industry leader! How hard is it to build a GUI tool to write deployment descriptors? And how hard is it to provide all the flexibility one needs in that GUI tool? Certainly, for $10,000, I can rightly expect those tools. But no, I'm reduced to writing and debugging XML. I suppose that if BEA developed Word Processors, I'd be writing raw RTF!!
Does Sun, Borland, IBM, etc. realize the pathetic state of IDEs in the Java world? What's up? It's been years since Java first made it's mark on the programming world, and I've yet to see and IDE meet the standard that Microsoft has set in the Windows world with Visual Studio.
Is it that Sun's legacy in Unix is affecting the quality of Java tools, and the fact that Command Line tools and vanilla text editors are generally the most prevalent of Java Development tools?
Reuben Cleetus.
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First off, I don't necessarily disagree with you. Mirosoft has been setting the standards for visual programming for a while. Unix is still trying to make it's mark years after MS has been killing the competition.
However, don't excpect a Super GUI IDE that meets all your standards right away. And here are some reasons why.
1. Microsoft and Sun don't get along anymore. MS released Visual J++ without Sun concent. Sun sued and won. When XP comes out in October (god forbid), it will NOT have the JVM.
2. No IDE has everything YOU want. What I have found, is that the best way to get software that works the way you want it to is to Code one yourself. That's what makes Unix and Linux KDE so popular in its underground rings. All the software is Open source so you can modify it the way you want.
3. There is such a great demand for a good IDE that works on all platforms. The most efficient economical way of doing this is, you guessed it, JAVA. Yes, JAVA is slow, Swing is really slow when it comes to GUI's. But, it's functional which should be everyones FIRST concern. Can it do the job? Answer is yes. Can it do it better than C++? Probably not, at least when it comes to performance.
4. You want Sun to realize the "pathetic state of IDE's..."?? What do you think they are going to code an IDE in, even if they do realize this and want to help. They are a business, first and formost. Their business is JAVA.
5. JAVA has not really taken off as a GUI language. It is still in developement. So for what JAVA is really being used for today, the current tools available ARE adequate for the masses.
Just my two cents really. I guess me main thing to get out of this little drift of random thoughts is, JAVA is still relatively new compared to C and C++. Give it some more time to develop and I'm sure that the IDE's will become available.
In the mean time, if you know how to program, if you have a good job, if you can get your work done, basically, is what you currently have available Functional?? My guess is yes. And if you just simply can't wait for SOMEONE ELSE to make an IDE that works for YOU, my suggestion is make one yourself. And then see how much people hate that one, because it is not what THEY wanted.

Happy Coding,
Gregg Bolinger
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Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
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