JNI, C++, Idea, and Netbeans looks good

I’ve been trying to get comfortable with C++. I’m finding quite a few native libraries that I need to talk to… programmatically. So I tried GEdit. Then I moved on to Windows and Eclipse. Everytime I want to install an Eclipse plugin I somehow find it easier to just grab an Eclipse bundle. (Plugin conflicts can burn so much clock.) Grabbing the Eclipse CDT, I found myself accidentally expanding and overwriting my Blackberry Eclipse install. (I always expand to C:\eclipse, it’s just a habit.) Frustrated, I decided to boot back into Linux and try Idea. I tried out the C++ plugin under Idea and had some minor trouble because there’s no documentation on it. I then tried KDevelop. Then something came over me. I decided to try out Netbeans. Netbeans…

Once upon a time there was an IDE I kinda liked. It was Forte (based on Netbeans). That was my first Netbeansy experience. Back then I was satisfied but then I found Eclipse and later got hooked on Idea. Netbeans was something I always toyed with here and there. I liked it but it lacked the refactoring support in Idea. Still it was kinda cool.

Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m all about Eclipse and Idea. I use Eclipse only because others force it on me. RIM tools are built for it, most people in my company swear by it. Every time I need to do something slightly different there seems to be an Eclipse bundle for that. It’s pretty full featured only falling behind Idea in a couple of spots. It’s just a pain to configure/setup. Idea has always been my tool of choice. If I could write ObjC in Idea I’d pitch XCode in a minute.

Today I tried Netbeans for the first time since it turned 5. I almost fell out my chair when I instinctively hit Alt+Enter to fix a syntax error. It worked! Just like Idea! Then I started looking at the right click and refactoring menus. I got really happy! Netbeans is now starting to feel like Idea felt back in the day. To be honest, Idea has been giving me lots of trouble these days with plugin “Blame this plugin” error pop-ups and the AWT_TOOLKIT thing that causes the text area to become uneditable. Overall Netbeans is looking much improved! I am totally impressed… I want to write more about both, my experience with Netbeans and my use of the C++ plugin under Idea.

4 thoughts on “JNI, C++, Idea, and Netbeans looks good

  1. I’ve been trying out different IDEs for Linux–I’m glad to hear about another possibility! Once I’m near my Linux machine, I’ll check out Netbeans. Thanks!

  2. What is good about Netbeans (for Idea users) is that it fully supports Idea key bindings. Idea and NB are my favorite IDEs now.

  3. I’m not a heavy user of Netbeans (I prefer vim and Jedit), but I prefer it to Eclipse.

    With Eclipse, I’m always asking how to bend the IDE to my will. With Netbeans, it just does what I want.

    Key bindings: I don’t use keyboard shortcuts in any editor except vim, because I don’t want to get mixed up.

    1. I feel you on the key bindings. Still, I always make a point to learn some of the more helpful ones such as error correction (Alt+Enter in Idea and now in Netbeans, or Ctrl+1 in Eclipse.) Advancing through errors/warnings (F2 Idea, Ctrl+. or Ctrl+, in Eclipse and Netbeans, Apple+= or Shift+Apple+= in XCode) is another thing that just makes development feel so much more smooth. I get confused often but it’s still way better than mousing around.

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