Eclipse is to NetBeans what Linux is to Mac OS X

While attending the “Java Developer Days in Athens” with my good friend Christos Stathis, he suggested that the differences between Eclipse and NetBeans are similar to the differences between Linux and Mac OS X. He had come to this analogy as he was evaluating both products for the company he works for and while his comment was a bit witty I feel he had a strong point.

Just think about it:


  • it seems more configurable
  • it has a multitude of third party components…
  • …most of which are free to use but…
  • … many times have overlapping responsibilities or…
  • … don’t perform as good as advertised
  • it lacks the “sexiness” factor these days


  • comes in a more monolithic form
  • most of the stuff you’ll ever need either came along with the original package or…
  • … are produced by the same company (packs) and because of that…
  • they are surprisingly stable and well integrated
  • is currently hot hot hot!

Just as you know, since the presentation of the new NetBeans (v5.5) that Roumen Strobl and Geertjan Wielenga gave in Athens in late December I have switched most of my work from Eclipse to this IDE. Not 100% satisfied since there is a lot room for improvement especially in the editor, but I feel it is in the right direction and I am eagerly waiting for v6.

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