(Sorry for long post, but could not make it shorter without clarifying
I tried hard to get Eclipse to work for me for the past 3 days, and
there is simply no way that the Eclipse Project == IDEA Modules, not
even close. Eclipse Workbench is nice, but adds more complexity, I
found it annoying especially since I could not stay in Eclipse long
enough (see later).
There is a HUGE limitation in Eclipse in that if you use Sun's
recommended project structure
(http://java.sun.com/blueprints/code/projectconventions.html), which I
do, your multiple web apps reside and are organized in one apps
directory, each web app has its own directory with its own files. If
you try to setup an Eclipse Project for each app, Eclipse will do OK
right until you try to add shared files, which are at the root of the
repository directory, one level above the apps directory. It complains
about a Path conflict and simply won't let you add it.
I tried to use linked directories, it complains as well (yes I read the
docs :) ). It seems to treat linked files as ones in same root if
those linked files happen to share the same directory as the shared
directory. To me that's huge! It seems Eclipse assumes that people
store a project in its own path, when that's not always true. There is
always a case when one path contains shared info and multi projects.
Another problem for me is the fact that MyEclipse, or anything else for
that matter, will not deploy web apps the way IDEA does, and is simply
not going to allow me to work in Eclipse for a web-based project. IDEA
just has that piece right primarily because of the involvement of the
community. You can deploy an exploded web application in IDEA no matter
how your project is setup (with a few exceptions and limitations), get
an auto deployed exploded dir, run it, deploy a jsp file to it, compile
code and hotswap, and have an auto generated war file as well. Please
don't tell me about ant, and how this could all be done with ant in
Eclipse, I don't want to write ant tasks unless I have to. I can write
my own application and plugin as well in Eclipse to do this, I don't
want to, my time is wroth more than the $499.00 (or $299.00 idea costs).
I am talking about ease of use and convenience. Also Yes I know
blablabla about JSP 2.0 JSPX and all that, it's coming, I don't see it
in eclipse without paying for something either, so put that bitching
aside for a moment and be objective about it.
I've heard rumblings that Eclipse has better Subversion support. Prove
it. I installed everything required, you can't browse a repository in
IDEA, neither can you in Eclipse. Feature set is one for one in that
area, it sucks in Eclipse and it sucks in IDEA... so far.
Finally another problem is that so far I can't be in Eclipse for more
than 5 minutes without a JVM Crash. I guess it's not stable on OS X. I
am impressed with what Eclipse COULD do, but I can't use it, so I don't
see how it can be anywhere near what IDEA offers, or even better than
IDEA. I tried 3.1M4, 3.0 and 3.0.1... Lockup, crash and crash. All I
was doing is opening a class file or double clicking on a method from
the java perspective. Simple stuff.
While I see how Eclipse has more granularity to it, I am not entirely
convinced they're necessary features. JetBrains is definitely adding
some things Eclipse has, and I can see things in Eclipse which were
borrowed from JetBrains. Perhaps what JetBrains should do is use
Eclipse as the base, and then build their own Eclipse plugins, even
create an IDEA Perspective familiar to those using IDEA. That would get
them a lot more engineering horsepower, since it's open source, and let
them concentrate on the features which make IDEA special. To me, that
would be the Web Apps features of it, and the other intelligent things
IDEA does like intentions, code analysis, and refactoring (those that
are not in Eclipse yet).
Not saying IDEA is perfect by any means, just that all this stuff about
the Eclipse threat is unfounded so far. Just because Eclipse is adding
all the features, doesn't mean they're usable for the masses. Are more
developers using it? I'm sure, we're developers, we're cheap, we don't
like paying for stuff much. If IDEA was totally free, and it shouldn't
be, I bet it would eclipse Eclipse.
My only beef is that I can feel the weight of IDEA's code more and more
these days, since 4.0 at least, and my biggest wish is for what ever
code is pulling this weight on IDEA to be figured out in short order,
because it won't make IDEA as enjoyable for use in the long run. I
don't know how to explain 'Feeling' the code, but I can say that
generally if I can feel code, it means there is something real bad going
on underneath what ever app's code I am feeling.