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Programming IBM Microsoft Open Source Software

Visual Studio vs. Eclipse: a Programmer's Comparison 543

Nerval's Lobster writes "Developer and editor Jeff Cogswell is back with a comparison of Eclipse and Visual Studio, picking through some common complaints about both platforms and comparing their respective features. 'First, let's talk about usability,' he writes, 'and let's be frank: Neither Eclipse nor Visual Studio is a model for sound usability.' That being said, as an open-source project, Eclipse wins some points for its customizability and compatibility with languages; it's more difficult to modify Visual Studio to meet some programmer needs, which has led to any number of abandoned projects over the years. Microsoft choosing to eliminate macros in recent versions of Visual Studio has also led to some programmer frustrations (and a need for external tools)."
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Visual Studio vs. Eclipse: a Programmer's Comparison

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  • Re:Studio v. Eclipse (Score:5, Informative)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:56PM (#44298753)

    Eclipse struggled a bit with the Eclipse 4 release but the new version Kepler is fantastic.

    Visual Studio is great if you're developing for Microsoft platforms.

    Fortunately, Microsoft platforms are growing less relevant by the day.

  • WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:00PM (#44298819)
    Eclipse IS slow, period. I work with him for over six years and has ALWAYS been slow compared with a similar IDE that is not based on Java. And not only slow, but terribly buggy. TFA sounds more like an article made by an eclipse fanboy than a developer trying to make a truly honest comparison.
  • by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:01PM (#44298823)

    Check out the new Kepler release. Kepler was an iteration with a focus on improving the performance issues Juno had. []

    Kepler is pretty nice UX wise.

  • Netbeans! (Score:5, Informative)

    by bigsexyjoe ( 581721 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:04PM (#44298889)

    It isn't nearly as popular (and I don't know why), but Netbeans kicks Eclipses ass. True, they are both memory hogs. But Netbeans doesn't drag and freeze as much. Its commands and interface are a lot more intuitive. Netbeans is also a much better IDE for the web. It handles JavaScript way better than Eclipse and even allows you to debug your JavaScript through a Chrome extension.

  • Qt Creator!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by goruka ( 1721094 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:06PM (#44298915)
    For all of those that love Visual Studio for C++ programming, and having used eclipse for some time, I believe Qt Creator is by far a much better alternative, as it has around the same level of functionality of VS+expensive commercial plugins.

    Even letting the Qt integration out, It has excellent code completion, shows warnings and errors as you type, provides great refactoring tools, It's extremely lightweight, works with any compiler and any build system, in any platform, integrates with a wide array of debuggers and profilers, has a high degree of customization, and some unique features like the best search/replace I've ever used and the locator (ctrl-k).

    The only reason it's not more popular is that most people believes it's only useful for writing Qt applications, which couldn't be further away from the truth. It's simply awesome. If I worked for Digia, I'd try to change the name and promote it to something unrelated to Qt, that way it would be really easy to bring new developers to their platform.
  • by Githaron ( 2462596 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:08PM (#44298951)
    I think I will stick with Intellij. It and its family are easily the best IDEs I have ever used.
  • Re:No point (Score:2, Informative)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:17PM (#44299069)

    C++ developers are rare? In what world do you live in that most of your computing doesn't depend on C/C++ code?

    Just because you play with a few scripts for your website doesn't mean the rest of your software is written in some crappy scripting language.

  • Re:Studio v. Eclipse (Score:4, Informative)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:45PM (#44299571) Journal

    There was a time that VS was just the best C++ IDE around. The best library docs, the best source debugger, and pretty decent at being an extensible editor with auto-complete for names. The peak was probably ~10 years ago, and Eclipse back then, well, it had a long way to go.

    Apparently "developers, developers, developers" didn't end well for developers using VS. It became less customizable each release, the focus shifted away from C++ (that part I can understand), and it kept getting more heavyweight. WTF? VS2010 at last seemed to be a step in the right direction, finally, but then the ribbon happened.

  • The biggest problem with Visual Studio, for me, at least, is that it only runs on Windows. I use a lot of different operating systems, but Windows isn't among them.

  • by HaZardman27 ( 1521119 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @02:01PM (#44299819)
    One advantage is that it makes it easier on you if in the future you realize that you need to do any sort of validation or other logic that's not directly related to the accessing or mutating of a property's value, but needs to happen every time that property is accessed or mutated. If you were already calling 'getValue()' whenever you wanted 'value', all you have to do is add the new logic to the 'getValue()' method. It also allows you to have a private scoped object property while still making the property accessible to outside classes. Once again, you might want to do this so that you can always ensure that a value being set as the value of the property is valid and sanitized (if the property were public, any other class could directly change its value without the guarantee of the new value being valid).
  • Re:Studio v. Eclipse (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @02:02PM (#44299831)

    Which ribbon? VS2012 doesn't have any ribbons. Neither will VS2013. VS2012 may have a butt-ugly theme by default with a bad overhaul of the menu and toolbar icons but otherwise it is not appreciably different from VS2010.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @02:07PM (#44299897)

    There is the free version. Can't help with the source though. ;)

  • Re:Out of the box (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @03:37PM (#44301241)

    And VS has TFS, which integrates with Sharepoint, Project, Dynamics CRM, and any of the Dynamics accounting systems (or any other software that integrates with CRM or Dynamics, like QuickBooks or ConnectWise).

    How is Eclipse's Mylyn integration anything special? It's free? I don't see that being much of a big deal to a business. Maybe to a small dev shop or a lone developer it matters because it's within reach. But to a business that wants to automate almost everything in the PM toolchain, Eclipse isn't even on the radar.

  • Re:No point (Score:4, Informative)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @04:19PM (#44301813) Journal

    Some pointers to get you started:
    * Really understand pointers.
    * Use short names. FortyCharacterJavaNamesAreTheMarkOfTheBeast.
    * Efficiency matters (even non-algorithmic efficiency). Veteran C/C++ programmers will find your code confusing if you do something in a needlessly inefficient way, because that suggests something really tricky is going on that made you avoid the "obvious way".
    * The right lifetime for an object is usually the scope of the block in which it is introduced. Use RAII (C++ style) or paired "init at the top, cleanup at the bottom" (C style).
    * Understand shared_ptr, but don't overuse it. It's not a reason to avoid properly thinking through which block should own an object.
    * Use structs too, not just classes. One common rule of thumb: either have a struct with no members private (and no promise of constant validity) or a class with all members private (and promise constant validity). The simplicity of struct is valuable - it's often better to have a struct (possibly with an IsValid() member) than a clutter of accessor functions, despite the possibility of inconsistency.

  • Re:Um excuse me ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @04:34PM (#44301987)

    My friend fired a developer for refusing to use an IDE.

    I'm sorry, but no developer can ever be as productive using text editors over IDEs, once they man up and learn how to use them. For instance, renaming a class method that is called by numerous other classes is a 3 second operation in Eclipse, and possibly hours long in bash, with a much higher chance of breaking something. In fact, most refactoring operations cannot be done efficiently outside of an IDE.

    I would have fired your friend. Was the developer coding below expectations? Was the developer's code inferior in a way that an IDE would improve? Was the developer productivity a problem? If the answer to any of those questions is "No," then what difference does it make what tool he/she uses. IDEs are good for some things and lousy for others. Refactoring is something they are good for, but at the same time, if it is taking 3 seconds to do in Eclipse and hours in bash, then something else is wrong, regardless, that example assumes one is going to be refactoring on a regular basis. If that is the case, then the IDE is making up for other programmer inefficiencies.

    If you have a productive developer, who cares what editor/IDE they are using? The job of a manager is to remove the obstacles that keep employees from being productive, not making them jump through hoops.

  • Re:Out of the box (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkf ( 304284 ) <> on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @05:27PM (#44302609) Homepage

    And VS has TFS, which integrates with Sharepoint

    You mean the collaborative web system that barely manages to do basic things like integrate its calendar with Outlook, let alone Exchange or the other plethora of calendaring systems out there?

    My friend, you're exhibiting a lot of Stockholm syndrome there; do you work for Microsoft perchance? (If you do, when will Sharepoint support CalDAV? Even read-only would be genuinely useful, because that will let me pull the calendar events into my dev team's main shared calendaring system from some of our external partners rather than leaving their meeting requests orphaned.)

    But to a business that wants to automate almost everything in the PM toolchain, Eclipse isn't even on the radar.

    The biggest issue with that approach is that VS is tied to a single platform. If you're not working somewhere that buys into the whole of that stack, you're utterly uninterested in any of it. That's a lot of pro development shops, whatever you think.

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