I do a lot of programming in Java. I’m required to. Being the non-Luddite that I am, I almost never write code outside of an IDE; I’ve experimented w/ most of the major Java IDEs:
- Netbeans: Seems to have a nice set of features, but I dropped it pretty fast as it was horrendously slow. It seems to have to freeze the IDE and write to the HD after every few keystrokes or every time the code completion dialog had to popup; incredibly stupid behavior considering I always had a ton of memory free.
- Eclipse: Probably the most popular IDE and it seems to be loved by the open source community. As with Netbeans, nice feature set, but not as pretty, in fact the interface is pretty ugly. It doesn’t have the nice “open on mouse-over-tab” side menus which I first fell in love w/ in Visual Studio and I always seemed to be fighting to see my code. Also, in terms of performance, Eclipse is no rabbit. It’s significantly better than Netbeans, but there is quite a bit of disk thrashing and its code completion is not very responsive. However, this was a very long time ago and a few months back I attempted to do an install of the latest version to see how far Eclipse had come, and I couldn’t get it installed; I remember some stupid error during setup, but can’t recall exactly what it was. I decided it wasn’t worth my time given my previous experience.
- JCreator: The IDE I currently use. I’ve been using the LE version, and will likely get the Pro version depending on how much Java is in my future. The most notable feature missing from the LE version is code completion. Even w/o code completion, this is the best Java IDE I’ve come across, excellent performance and very responsive in all areas, stable, easy setup, and it has those nice side menus I mentioned above. It’s not as rich as Visual C#, but it does seem to take a lot from the Visual Studio family which is a very good thing.
These criticisms may no longer be valid or fair as I don’t actively keep up w/ new releases, but first impressions do matter.
Now for something completely different…
I’ve used Winamp for a long time. There’s really only a few other good media players around for Windows: Windows Media Player (function, but the thing’s a beast), iTunes (same crit as WMP, performance is also crappy on older machines), VLC (seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I installed it a while back and just couldn’t get it to play anything). I liked Winamp, but lost favor w/ it b/c of it’s poor support for video formats and, more than anything else, installing a new version of it placed a ton of AOL shortcuts everywhere (start menu, desktop, bookmarks, etc.).
In my search for a new media player, I discovered The KMPlayer a while back. It has great video support (there are a few color issues in the odd video here and there), great audio support (as long as it had mp3 and ogg I would have been happy, but it also played a bunch of old MOD files I had lying around), and a really nice interface. Just fuckin’ sweet.
Now, I have an incredibly weird situation on my system. KMPlayer and JCreator don’t play nice together. If they’re both open, some JCreator panels and menus are suddenly blank and don’t refresh and the side tabs panel is transparent, showing thru to the desktop. As for KMPlayer, I can’t open anything, clicking play (which plays the last file opened when nothing else has been loaded) does nothing, and certain items are mysteriously missing from the context menu. This hasn’t been a big deal for me, and I still use both JCreator and KMPlayer, but it would be nice if they worked together. Also, I have to wonder, what is the common component causing the conflict here, what would a media player and a java IDE both be using or trying to access concurrently? (assuming there is a conflict for a common component, which I suspect might be the issue here)
Independently both products are great, they just don’t seem to like each other.