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Joel - What about Eclipse and your book?  RSS feed

 
Kent O. Johnson
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Hello Mr. Murach and welcome back to the Ranch (unless this is your first time)!

My first question to you is, "How much of a dependency does your book have on using NetBeans?"

That first question is a preparation for "How much different will it be for me if I use Eclipse?"


I have your Java programming book and am going through it now. I see you recommend the use of NetBeans and I saw in chapters 15 and 16 the use of NetBeans' Swing components palette.
Since I develop primarily with Eclipse, namely MyEclipse for Spring, I would benefit more from learning to use Eclipse as I go through your books.
Can you comment on how different my experience would be with your book if I were to use Eclipse? I want to get the full benefit of your book. If such a benefit requires the use of NetBeans then I want to use NetBeans. If I can use Eclipse and get the same benefit then I would rather use Eclipse.

Also, you must have some good reasons for picking Eclipse. Is it because it is superior for your needs? Is it the IDE you are most familiar with?

Feel free to answer any of these questions. The main question I have is how different this will be for me if I use Eclipse.
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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Even though you addressed your question to Mr. Murach, I'm going to add my two cents worth and say learn both IDE's. Don't get locked into the idea of using one tool for every problem.

When I started my current job, I came from an Eclipse shop and the projects here were in NetBeans. I was bound and determined to convert the projects to Eclipse. That turned out to be a nightmare so I resigned myself to using NetBeans. That was three years ago and I've learned to love NetBeans. I still use Eclipse at home for Android development, so now I have both listed on my resume.
 
Kent O. Johnson
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JK Robbins,

I hear you when you say don't get locked into one tool. I definitely want to know a few IDE's thought it seems good to get to know one thoroughly before trying to judge it. My question isn't to determine whether one is better than the other overall, only it is to determine whether the experience would be much different using Eclipse instead of NetBeans for the book exercises.

Since you are here anyway, what do you like about NetBeans after having used it for as long as you have?
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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Eclipse is more configurable which means lots more options and more to mess up for the new user. In other words, very powerful but easy to shoot yourself in the foot. Required for Android coding.

NetBeans is very easy to setup and get running but not as flexible. In other words, not as powerful but harder to screw things up. No Android support.

The plug-in support is getting better; it was spotty with version 6.x but now they are up to 8.x and more plug-ins are available but still not as many as Eclipse. I've never written a plug-in for either one so I can't comment on the ease of writing new plug-ins.
 
Kent O. Johnson
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Thanks for the very high-level overview of NetBeans. It means a lot to have another developer who is not a beginner anymore talk about the product. I'll have to try NetBeans while I use Joel's books to see what kind of an experience I have.
 
Joel Murach
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Hi Kent and J.

To address Kent's original question, I'd say that there are two main dependencies that the book has on NetBeans.

First, the book shows how to set up NetBeans to work with Tomcat and MySQL. There will definitely be some differences in setting up Eclipse to work with Tomcat and MySQL. But, once you figure out how to use Eclipse to deploy and run a servlet/JSP application on Tomcat, there shouldn't be many issues after that.

Second, the source code for the book is stored in NetBeans projects. As a result, to use Eclipse, someone would need to convert all of the source code for the book from NetBeans to Eclipse. I have done this before, and I haven't found an easy way to do it, so I'd say it's a tedious and time-consuming task. For now, I don't have any plans to convert the source code from NetBeans to Eclipse, but if I hear from enough readers like you who would like that, then I may. In the meantime, I recommend using NetBeans with this book, mainly because it's easy to open and work with all of the source code for this book.

I see Kent's point that he'd like to stick with Eclipse since that's what he typically uses. I also agree with J.'s point that it's good to not get locked in to one tool, and I think his summary of the pros and cons of Eclipse and NetBeans is spot on. I chose NetBeans for this book mainly because I agree with J. that it's easier to set up and harder to screw things up.
 
Joel Murach
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One final thought: I often switch back and forth from NetBeans to Eclipse, and I like both IDEs a lot. In general, once I get a project set up, I find it equally easy to work with either IDE.
 
Kent O. Johnson
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Joel,

I appreciate the thoughts. I find it interesting you would say that once you have it set up it is equally as easy to use either IDE. So it seems that my choice of editor will depend on the project I am doing. I can see how you would want to use a tool like NetBeans for a beginning to early intermediate course on Java.

It seems like from what you and Robbins says that an advanced developer can be comfortable in either IDE.

I appreciate the input. Prior to this discussion I thought NetBeans was a bit of a toy and a tool mostly for learning. I am willing to give it a fighting chance now.
 
Joel Murach
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Kent,

Thanks for the question.

I'm glad to hear that you're willing to give NetBeans a chance. It's a serious tool that's seriously backed by Oracle, and I think you might like it.

Like I said, I am still considering providing the source code for the book in an Eclipse format, especially if I hear from more readers like you who prefer Eclipse. So far, it seems like most readers are OK with using NetBeans for the purposes this book, but we'll see how things pan out.

Joel
 
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