What is your IDE?

My post on my love with Java has sparked a mild IDE war in the comments section. So I thought of sharing my thoughts on using an IDE.

I have used just simple text editors like vi, notepad, textpad to full grown IDE’s like Zend, IntelliJ IDEA etc. (Well I know that some of you are going to accuse me for calling vi has just a simple text editor πŸ˜‰ ) and my answer to the question, “Whether you need an IDE?” is surely YES. I have worked under people who think that using an IDE is overkill and distracting but personally my view is that if you are going to do the same task more than twice a day then your IDE should do it. But at the same time I do respect people’s view that an IDE should be simple to use and not bloated and too heavy on the machine. After all you are going to spend most of your time with it and if it’s too slow then you productivity is under danger.

When ever I get a chance to meet a person working as a web developer one of my first questions to them would be, “What IDE are you using?” and believe it or not it is worse than the question “Which religion do you follow?” and have fought/witnessed soo many IDE wars. πŸ˜‰

So if you ask me what my favorite is, For Java I mainly use IntelliJ IDEA and I simply love its refactoring, debugging and navigation support. I can go to any method/class/file with just a few keystrokes. I also love its code folding and its support for Javascript and CSS.

But for PHP I should rather admit that I am still in the search of a one with all the features I need. I use Zend mostly and love its debugging and syntax support but miss code folding (For HTML) and support for Javascript and CSS.

Recently I came across Aptana and it looks really promising. It has built-in support for both Javascript and HTML/CSS. If they could add support for PHP (which they say is coming soon) I am sold.

So guys, tell me “What IDE you use?” and what is your favorite feature?

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13 Comments so far

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  • Yuvi says:

    I use Visual Basic ’05 Express, and occassionaly Visual C# ’05 Express for Bread and Butter Stuff. And, for any HTML/CSS/Javascript I might do, I use Visual Web Developer ’05 Express, or sometimes, Sharepoint Designer….

    My Favorite Feature of VB ’05 Express: VB itself:D

    But, a lot of guys in CSC/SSI/other-freaky-pseudo-educational-systems haven’t even heard of an IDE. A friend of Mine learns “Java” at CSC, and according to him, the hardest thing about programming is that “You have to remember all the names of the classes and methods”:D

    Though, I guess you were asking Professionals, and I don’t even come close to being one…

    P.S. Thank you for hookin me up to somethin that had a real IDE[VB6]:)

  • Sudar says:

    Hi Yuvi,

    I havn’t used either of them so I cannot comment.

    What you said is correct. Those educational institutes never teach you programming. They just teach you the syntax of the language.


  • Rajiv Shankar says:

    My favourite IDE of all time will and always continue to be Visual Studio (.NET and its predecessor the beautiful 6.0).

    I really miss this since I’ve moved far far away from MS technologies and deep deep into Java. As far as Java goes, Eclipse is my preferred choice. NetBeans and JDeveloper are not bad either. But still, I don’t think they can beat Eclipse !!

    But the irony now is that, I am left with no other choice of using a very very advanced development environment which seems to be way beyond my miniscule brain – Textpad. Yes, in my project we have been “encouraged” to use TextPad by the client who believes that this is the next big thing after Notepad !! And Eclipse, well that’s to be seen only in the sky !!

    For XML, I have used XML Spy and Stylus Studio – both are equally good.

    I have recently been using Aptana. Quite good, I must say !! Of late, I have also been using Sun Studio Creator 2 to learn Java Sever Faces. I must say I’m very very impressed with it. Am just waiting for a plugin for Eclipse which will give me all that Studio Creator gives. If I could find one, that’ll be just great.

  • Sudar says:

    Hi Rajiv,
    As I said even I have been in situations where itΓ’??s very difficult to explain to your managers/clients about the advantages of using an IDE.

    Nice thoughts. I think you have tried most of the IDEΓ’??s out there. πŸ˜‰


  • Rajiv Shankar says:

    Forget explaining to the managers/clients, I find it difficult to convince even some of the people working here. They have been using TextPad from time immemorial that they don’t know anything else other than that. I have been seeing a lot of Java programmers, who write everyting right from a simple Java class to an EJB to JSP’s and to what not – all using just TextPad!! The worst part is that they claim that they have never ever heard of Eclipse or NetBeans !!

  • Sudar says:


    Old Habits die hard. πŸ˜‰


  • Aswin Anand says:

    Lol!! πŸ™‚ Rajiv’s story sounds like the one I told my grandma. I asked her whether she will come with me if I stay in Singapore. Without a blink, she said she won’t move out of the place she is in right now.

    For windows app development, nothing can beat VS2005.
    For java, I have used netbeans cos it packs everything i need πŸ˜€
    For PHP/html and other types, i use dreamweaver.

  • Yuvi says:

    I’m sorry, I know this ain’t a forum, but I just can’t resist:

    The return of the double exlamation?=))

  • Sudar says:


    Well I think you have vowed to follow Aswin where ever he goes today. πŸ˜‰ Yes I just read your recent blog entry. πŸ™‚


  • Aswin Anand says:

    Lol!! πŸ˜€

    Then, almost everyone’s story is out πŸ˜‰

  • Ranganath.S says:

    Hi folks,

    I just bumped into this interesting blog.. well i have been developing on java, C# from some time now.. N i prefer to work on Eclipse. including javascript,HTML,XMl,Groovy.. wht ever.. nothing is flexible as Eclipse. The only pain is to configure but its not an issue.


  • Sudar says:

    Hi Ranganath,

    Thanks for stoping by and commenting. BTW you too have a nice blog πŸ™‚

  • codelobster says:

    I love Codelobster – http://www.codelobster.com

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