Why I like NetBeans 6.0

December 10, 2007

Roughly a week ago, the NetBeans 6.0 IDE (originally created by Sun) was released. And boy is it amazing; it even downloaded and installed the new Ruby on Rails 2.0.1 for me when I opened it for the first time.

I’ve always felt that Visual Studio is superior to any other IDE, with Eclipse being a close runner-up. That has changed now, and the new NetBeans is my new favorite for coding in anything but .NET. Just look at the code completion for Ruby, which includes a documentation window that pops up when you highlight a class in the list.

Also the way you can start your Rails site and surf around is great, it’s just like how you do it in Visual Studio. Just press F6 and a WEBrick server fires up and a browser window opens with your site in it. So smooth it makes your favorite milkshake blush.

It is open source, free, cross-platform, provides awesome tutorials (which Eclipse does too by the way) and the installer for the Ruby version is only 19 megabytes. 19 megabytes of love. It’s so good it almost makes me want to choose Java over C#. Almost.

It’s not very fast though… but then again, neither is Ruby. And no, I’ve never understood the Ruby community hype around TextMate, or vi and Emacs for that matter. To steep a learning curve for me…

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