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  1. #1
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    Seeking Recommendation for a Java IDE

    I am planning to write a browser-based software application, and want to use Java. The last time I coded was about 10 years ago, so I am rusty to say the least. (And I was a student programmer, not really a pro.) But I did learn Java back when, and when to get something written quick and dirty.

    The behind-the-scenes-logic I can do okay. My weak area -- back then and now -- is programming the user interface. I would like to find a contemporary Java IDE that makes GUI programming very, very simple, as in the drag-and-drop interface design from Visual Basic. (Or at least, VB as it used to be, I haven't done that in a while either.)

    I'd appreciate any recommendations for an IDE that makes the GUI coding in Java almost "codeless" from the programmers perspective -- design visually, the IDE generates the code.

    Free IDE's are always welcome, but I can spend some money -- a couple of hundred, not much more. If it's a paid IDE, I'd prefer something with a generous trial period.

    Thanks in advance for all replies.

  • #2
    God Emperor Fou-Lu's Avatar
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    That's somewhat funny. I myself hate graphical interfaces, but I loathe the horrendous code generated by drag and drop, so I write all my graphical components by hand including in visual studio.

    Personally I use Eclipse IDE since I can do both PHP and Java in the same IDE. When I was in school I recall we had a builder, I think it was called jigloo; it created horrendous code.

    The only thing to note, is that when you choose an IDE you'll probably be able to find a gui builder for it as well, especially if you don't care about what the code looks like. Without even looking there are probably a number of graphical builders for eclipse, so I'd assume that other IDEs like netbeans also have one or more builder available.

    Also, unless you have an absolute timecrunch on your hands I'd suggest you write by hand. As a backend developer, I cannot even begin to describe the amount I've learned about the operation of the language by building. Although I'm not anywhere near skillful enough to manipulate it at the paint level (so it looks nicely that is), I'm rarely satisfied by the default renderers and editors.
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    Been gone for a few months, and haven't programmed in that long of a time. Meh, I'll wing it ;)

  • #3
    New Coder The Noob Coder's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with Netbeans. I use it for Java, C and C++. It supports PHP as well, but for some reason I never got around to using it for that. Anyways, it also supports dragging and dropping to create GUI's. If anyone is interested: https://netbeans.org/kb/docs/java/quickstart-gui.html

  • #4
    Senior Coder alykins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fou-Lu View Post
    That's somewhat funny. I myself hate graphical interfaces, but I loathe the horrendous code generated by drag and drop, so I write all my graphical components by hand including in visual studio.

    Personally I use Eclipse IDE since I can do both PHP and Java in the same IDE. When I was in school I recall we had a builder, I think it was called jigloo; it created horrendous code.

    The only thing to note, is that when you choose an IDE you'll probably be able to find a gui builder for it as well, especially if you don't care about what the code looks like. Without even looking there are probably a number of graphical builders for eclipse, so I'd assume that other IDEs like netbeans also have one or more builder available.

    Also, unless you have an absolute timecrunch on your hands I'd suggest you write by hand. As a backend developer, I cannot even begin to describe the amount I've learned about the operation of the language by building. Although I'm not anywhere near skillful enough to manipulate it at the paint level (so it looks nicely that is), I'm rarely satisfied by the default renderers and editors.
    I agree auto gen code is so nightmareish... but I also do primarily back end work, so when I make a GUI it's all boxy and uuuuuuugly lol. But my biggest peeve is when you accidentally double click or something on an element and it makes an event handle- or magically removes one that you already created. Happened to me last week- every time I added an event to a timer I was using it removed one of my buttons onclick events... no clue why. I had to keep going into the form.designer.cs to re-declare my event delegate /rant over

    @OP- These things often boil down to what someone has used for a long long time. For example I've used VS for most of my career and Eclipse. So I would say Eclipse. The IDE though IMHO is really not what matters. Sure they may have benefits, but what is more important is knowing how to use their debugging features, and just overall getting used to the environment. I thought I was in hell when I had to revert once to VS08- after 2weeks not that bad. Same w/ Eclipse... When I started using it I loathed it... after a bit, not that bad. Just get used to it you know? Trying to lump learning and deciding an IDE into learning a language is over complicating it. Wait till you have some experience and then look at what other IDE's have to offer and if they're worth your time. Luckily for you with Java you have some options

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  • #5
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    Net Beans is what I use. I also have Eclipse for Android development. You might take a look at IntelliJ as well which you have to purchase.

  • #6
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    A Java IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application which enables users to more easily write and debug Java programs. Many IDEs provide features like syntax highlighting and code completion, which help the user to code more easily.
    Eclipse
    NetBeans
    JCreator


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