Hey guys, I'm new to Java and I was wondering what free IDEs work the best. In the online class that I'm in, we're using NetBeans which to me is ok, but I would prefer something with a simpler layout, any suggestions?
At the beginning you should use Notepad, No one will recommend you to use any IDE which assist you in so many ways. So you don't get practice of from which package you need to import a particular class which your using in your code etc. If you still want to know here is already discussed link
"The best" is a concept that makes those of us who've been around grind our teeth. In the real world, you get combinations of virtues and annoyances. You form your own opinions, and if you're professional, you keep flexible enough to work with alternatives. Either because a given task is easier using an alternative tool or - more likely - because your employer mandates a certain IDE.
I favor Eclipse because my specialty is building up complex systems with multiple components all running (and being debugged) at the same time. However, I learned to appreciate IntelliJ because if one is doing pure single-app web programming, that particular IDE was designed to streamline doing that kind of work. Also, IntelliJ had (as of several years ago) the only decent Swing UI designer since the demise of the old Visual Café IDE.
But, as other have noted, using an IDE to learn Java is like learning to walk when you have massive full-length plaster casts on both legs and have been offered a set of crutches. You're not going to learn to walk well within such limitations. In fact, you may learn to walk very badly, despite - or because of - the artificial support.
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.