Why I'm actively looking for a replacement for IntelliJ


So posts like this are obligated to start with "I have been a happy user of IntelliJ for 3 years". Which is largely true. IntelliJ really saved me because I started in Java and then I have a project that uses Java and Javascript at the same time in the same place (yeah running Node on Android and iOS inside of Cordova!). So IntelliJ and I have been friends for a while and I've been buying licenses for all of those years.

But these days I'm actively trying out other IDEs and I wanted to share why in the hope that maybe these issues will be fixed.

Indexing - I sometimes contribute to PouchDB and it's a huge Javascript project with tons of files and anytime I do a build or run tests I can be sure that IntelliJ will stop working completely (along with the rest of my machine) while it indexes again. This is so bad that I have abandoned IntelliJ completely for my PouchDB work and now use VSCode. So I guess I should say I've already found a partial replacement for IntelliJ.

Not understanding symlinks - I have a Node project where I have one directory that has the node product code and a different directory where I have the test code. To make development faster I have a symlink from node_modules in the test directory to the production directory. That way whenever I change a file in production it shows up instantly in tests. Very nice. Except IntelliJ doesn't understand that there is a symlink. So whenever I do a file search or hit an entry in a log I'm as likely to get the file loaded via the sym link path as I am via the proper product directory. Now they are symlinked, so who cares? And the answer is - IntelliJ cares! If I make a change in the symlinked version it doesn't show up in the direct version and vice versa. I can't tell you how many times I've wasted time and energy working with the wrong damn file! I have to be super paranoid whenever I open a file to make sure I open the right one. Seriously, this bug makes me want to scream! Even if Indexing was fixed I would still be looking for an alternative IDE just to get rid of this awful bug.

Javascript autocomplete just stops working after a while - One of IntelliJ's absolute killer features is that it has one of the best Javascript auto-complete/guessers I've ever used (although to be fair I hadn't really been looking at other IDEs until recently so asked me after I've tried a few). But again and again, after some period of time the guessing just stops working. So I'll be in the middle of working and I have to stop everything and restart the IDE so that auto-complete will start working again.

I've become so frustrated that I'm actively trying out both VSCode and Atom to see if they can replace IntelliJ. Obviously they can't handle any of the Java stuff but most of my time these days is in Javascript. But my preference is obviously just to stick with IntelliJ but these issues have finally forced me to start seriously looking elsewhere.

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Please report the indexing issue at https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issues/WI and attach idea.log files (https://intellij-support.jetbrains.com/hc/articles/207241085). There was a known problem caused by the Meteor plug-in, but yours could be different.

Completion issue may be related to the first problem with indexing, but a separate bug report would not hurt. If you have a link to a public project that reproduces the problem, that would be great, make sure to provide it in the bug report (also attach the logs when the completion stops working).

Unfortunately, symlinks are known to cause many issues in the current IDE versions, we have a number of open tickets that you can follow here. Sorry for that, it's not that easy to fix.


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