They're both so cool, why not just give up trying to decide which is better? Thanks to Ant integration in NetBeans, everything is integratable -- including Eclipse. The way I see it, Eclipse is a nice handy tool to add to your toolbox. Not for when you want to do J2EE/SOA stuff (because you've got to go looking around for their plug-ins, during which time, in NetBeans, you could've consumed two dozen web services), but when you want to code in some language other than Java, for example. Also, it's interesting to see how different products approach the same problem -- refactoring, for example. So, anyway, this is how you do it (it's actually been possible since NetBeans IDE 4.0, when NetBeans IDE became one massive anthill, warmly welcoming ants from all over the world and integrating them, giving them a special place in the IDE, and ensuring that they played nicely with each other):
- Create a standard application (any standard application) in NetBeans IDE. You get an Ant build file (build.xml) for free. Or, if you don't want to create an application in NetBeans IDE, just create an Ant build file somewhere in your filesystem. Then add the Ant build file to the NetBeans IDE Favorites window (Ctrl-3).
- Now that you have an Ant build file in NetBeans, add a target that starts Eclipse:
Of course, you need to replace E:\\eclipse\\eclipse\\eclipse.exe with whatever the path to the Eclipse executable is in your environment.
- If it isn't open already, open the Navigator (Ctrl-7), click your Ant build file, and you'll see its targets listed as nodes in the Navigator. Now right-click the Start-App-Eclipse node and choose Create Shortcut...
And now this is the first next thing you see:
Cool, right? So now I can add a menu item, toolbar button, or keyboard shortcut that will invoke my target. (Or I can choose to create all three of these shortcuts.) So let's say I choose 'Add a Menu Item'. The next step in this wizard lets you specify where exactly your new menu item will be and what it's label will consist of. So then you set those things and... it's as easy as that, you now have Eclipse integrated in NetBeans:
Now, whenever you choose that menu item, the Start-App-Eclipse target is called. And what does that target do? It invokes the Eclipse executable. So then Eclipse starts up and you do whatever it is that you need to do in Eclipse and then you switch back to NetBeans. So, maybe this "integration" does nothing more than start up Eclipse -- but, once it's started up, I'm sure there's got to be some creative ways of working with the same file in Eclipse as you were working on in NetBeans (probably definitely not projects, though, because those are IDE-specific). I'd be interested to see if anyone manages to be more productive thanks to this Eclipse integration than they were before...