There is an interesting discussion
at Javalobby about NetBeans and Eclipse. The reason why I find it interesting is that there are some features from Eclipse mentioned which prevent people from switching to NetBeans. If I investigate such reasons today compared to what I saw a year ago, the list is much smaller and lots of developers acknowledge the progress NetBeans has made (and lots of developers made the switch
). If you are signed up to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list, there is often an "ex-Eclipse" person asking questions about NetBeans. Ex-Eclipsers, welcome! :)
NetBeans has really evolved a lot since the 3.x versions, I would almost say it's a new product with 5.x. I monitor all kinds of discussions of developers about features of both IDEs. There is another thread discussing the evolution of NetBeans on OSNews
which I find interesting.
I think both IDEs are comparable, although NetBeans has much better initial experience (as we call it the out-of-the-box experience) and is better integrated into a single product (see blog post of Ed Burnette
, an Eclipse ambassador, who also acks it). There are for sure areas where Eclipse is better, but the NetBeans team is focusing on improving these areas - the main theme of NetBeans 6.0 are killer editing features and support for other languages.
In some areas NetBeans is already quite clearly much better than Eclipse - e.g. GUI building, Profiling, Mobility Development, some parts of enterprise and web development, collaborative development, etc. If you remember the 3.x version, Eclipse was superior in most of the areas, but the times are changing. Given the speed of evolution of NetBeans I dare to ask: will NetBeans 6.0 be an Eclipse killer? If we can create a better editor with main focus on increased productivity, keep improving the traditionally strong features, nurture the plug-in ecosystem and create all the packs from Sun's IDEs (Creator Pack, Enterprise Pack, C/C++ Pack) - I am sure it will be. Still I would like to know - what else do you think NetBeans needs to beat Eclipse?