I have finished my week of Netbeans usage and so far am pretty impressed. I was able to go all week without using Eclipse once. A large part of that is thanks to the fact that I’ve been using Maven 2 for a large number of my most recent projects. If you have a pom.xml, Netbeans will be able to check out your project and open it without you doing a single bit of configuration. This is great, since it goes a long way in preventing IDE lock-in. If you are working on a Maven project, you can use Netbeans easily, even if everyone else is using Eclipse. I didn’t get very deep into working on non-Maven projects, so that may have been quite a bit more hassle. All in all, though, Netbeans has come a long way since the last time I gave it a serious test. Here are some of my favorite features:
- Autocomplete seems quite a bit faster than Eclipse
- Maven integration is good, but I only briefly tried projects with parent-child relationships, which seemed to trip it up a bit
- Adding getters/setters is a lot less hassle than Eclipse.
- Using jetty:run right inside Netbeans was pretty easy, though it did require the use of external Maven, I’m not sure why.
- The web.xml editor is pretty cool
- It has a built in SOAP client, although it seems pretty clunky.
- SVN integration seems complete and not very buggy. The interfaces are quick and simple, though I might say it’s a bit oversimplified from the way Eclipse does things.
- The built in editor support for non-Java files seems less buggy than in Eclipse.
I may give Netbeans another week. It should be pretty obvious to anyone that it takes longer than a week to fully get a feel for such a complicated piece of software.