When we learn a programming language, we are tempted to start wondering the tools (including the best IDE) we are going to use for writing the code. Some programmers download the text editors which provide enough satisfaction to them due to their simplicity plus often text editors are specifically designed for writing code, while the other newbie programmers download the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which provides all the tools required for compiling the code for a single or many programming languages.
As Java is a language with huge libraries, it makes sense to write programs through an IDE. Several vendors in the past have provided many IDEs. Some of them became popular, others remain in the shadows. Following are the carefully selected IDEs that I think are one of the best, if not the best available for writing programs in Java:
Eclipse has been the part of the Java community for a very long-time, and it’s probably considered the most extensive IDE for Java. Thanks to its plugin system, you can easily integrate new functionalities with just a click. It also provides auto-update system, which notifies you when new updates are available. Though Eclipse, you can create applications for several platforms, including desktop, web, mobile and enterprise. Along with tools to compile / run Java code, it also supports various other features including the integration with Maven, a nice-looking XML editor, Git client, CVS client, and most importantly: Windows Builder.
Windows Builder supports designing the GUI through the different tools, which can help you in designing the powerful GUI for your software. It is essentially a SWT and Swing Designer. The cool thing about it is that you do not need to use it to compile the code, as the code that it generates can be compiled with normal Java libraries.
It is an open-source IDE for Java which is written in Java itself. It provides the development of Java SE, JavaFX, Java ME, web, EJB and mobile application out-of-the-box. Like Eclipse, it is modular in design and provide the plugins feature, you can extend the functionality easily through third-party plugins. Although, NetBeans was developed for building Java code, it now also supports C/C++, PHP, HTML, etc. natively, and any language can be added through plugin. Thus, this IDE is recommended for those Java developers who might want to learn other programming languages as well, so they won’t need to change the IDE (in case they love the IDE!).
3) IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition
This IDE was designed for Android app development, Scala, Groovy, Java SE and Java programming. It is extremely lightweight and provided only minimalist features, including JUnit testing, TestNG, debugging, code inspections, code completion, support for multiple refactoring. But, as it’s a Community edition, meaning you need to buy the full version to unlock the remaining features.
4) Enide Studio 2015
5) Android Studio
This is platform from Google which was originally designed to develop Android applications, however, it can be used for other programming languages as well. Before its arrival, Eclipse was considered a standard IDE for Android / Java development. With its arrival, it is now regarded as the best platform for Android / Java development due to the support from Google which updates its features regularly.
There is no such thing as the “best” IDE, as the choice depends on the needs of the user. For most, a simple text editor is enough, as they don’t need to code completion and other bloating features which slow down the development process.