Which IDE is best for writing Java code? Leaving aside NetBeans (a big assumption given that it now has excellent Ruby and JRuby integration), the choice was between Intellij or Eclipse. IntelliJ while commercial, wasn’t too expensive and ‘just worked’ out of the box. Eclipse, if you were willing to install multiple plugins, could be more powerful but more intimidating.
My way around this was to install JBoss IDE. Whether or not you used JBoss , it gave a good set of standard plugins on top of the standard Eclipse to get productive immediately. But it hadn’t been updated in 12 months - until a couple of weeks ago when it was relaunched as Red Hat Developer Studio (RHDS). If you’re interested in the detail, my notes on getting started with Red Hat Development Studio (RHDS) are here.
So, having waited for 12 months, is it Red Hat Development Studio any good? The answer is ‘yes but…‘ . The good bits are:
- It has excellent Seam , Ajax and JSF integration - a product of the Red Hat Partnership with Exadel.
- It’s stable (hasn’t crashed on me yet) and is based on the latest Major Eclipse release (3.3 Europa). I found less conflicts when installing plugins compared to the (now 12 months old) JBoss IDE.
- It has a good set of standard plugins - for Spring , JBoss workflow (jBPM), Web Tools - already installed.
and the bad bits
- The size: a 524mb Download is bigger than some of the early Red Hat Distros of Linux.
- What’s missing: No Maven integration. No Subversion Integration. Although these can easily be added, their omission seems odd given that both are becoming a defacto Java Development Standard.
- JBoss Rules is missing. Or maybe I’m stupid and can’t find it (but I’ve looked long enough). This is a step backward from the previous version, and especially disappointing given my personal interest in Drools and Rule Engines (blog link).
Credit where credit is due; It’s only in Beta. Already it’s very good. Here’s hoping that it can be great.