Quick Java IDE Comparision.
IDE Like Dislike
IntelliJ IDEA Real intellijent. Outstanding refactoring features. Significant number of plugins. Very heavy. Each installed plugin slows it down significantly and it is quite slow itself, too. Also, it is heavy both on RAM and CPU. Even with 1GB RAM, because of the CPU overhead I could not afford having IntelliJ on my Mac Mini.
Borland JBuilder By far - the most good-looking IDE. Borland skin rocks and everything is way intuitive/comfortable. Very friendly. Decent refactoring features abd quite intelligent, overall, especially the 2005 edition. Not many plugins. Expensive, expensive, expensive! Yes, there is a free Foundation version but after trying the Enterprise version, only insane would suffice with the Foundation. Enterprise version is way over what I or even my organization can afford. With recent rumors, one might hope, though. From the other hand - will Eclipse be able to adopt fully, what is good in JBuilder?
Eclipse Unmatched community support. Eclipse is _the_ editor, if you want de-facto standard. The most number of plugins is just a by-product of that :) I especially like Hibernate plugins, JBoss IDE, CVS Browser (!!!) and web-browser plugin (comes real handy for keeping nicely HTML-formatted unit-test results within the sight). Far from being pretty, to say the least. Not very friendly or intuitive. Weak refactoring support. Initial set up of a project from CVS was a pain. Forces its “style” real hard. If you want to work in Eclipse - you better wear their hat. Other IDEs are not so “conservative”, or I would say - such pain in the … For example, it did not like how I had test source folders separated into three and JUnit functionality does not work, keeps complaining every now and then. And let me repear - when you spend most of your day in one program - you really wish it looked better
NetBeans. Integrated profiler. Very advanced Ant integration - Ant is how NetBeans configures/compiles project natively. Wonderful JSF support (even though I hate JSF). Not many plugins. Most of the available ones are not free, e.g. JBoss plugin is available but costs 15$ - 50$ \