I have recently tried to use the newest versions of Eclipse and Netbeans to write a small-to-mid sized stand-along java application. And the experience has been simply horrible.
On the one hand, eclipse is the far better editor environment but its lack of a gui builder after all these years is pathetic. Then we have netbeans, which can't keep up with me nor understand when the code is kaput and when it is not, but when it does it at least has a gui editor.
Folks, I've been coding for a long time now, and have seen the ups-n-downs that dev systems go thru before, but the current state of these development systems means my productivity is the worst it's been in a long time.
To those of you who have spent precious time and effort working on these products - thank you, and I mean it. However, I get the distinct impression that people are looking at trees and not forests.
IDE - Integrated Development Environment - It used to be true, but what exactly is integrated these days? For example, I can build a fancy netbeans project but then have to rip apart the ant script to get it to work with the a continuous integration engine. This is integrated?
I realize that IDE originally meant the integration of the editor/compiler/linker etc. But the world has changed dramatically since then and in my opinion the integrated part has NOT kept up.
Gui Editors - The ones we have out there are simply pathetic. Seriously, after 7 years or more of gui development you still haven't given me what I need. The best we seem able to do is half-baked wiring between partially initialized components, which also haven't changed at all. How about knobs? switches?
Meanwhile, those developers who said 'screw it' and wrote their own interfaces (checkout what the music software folks have accomplished) are actually creating nice looking and acting software - meanwhile, I'm wasting time trying to convince netbeans not to screw up a 'form'....
This may sound like a whine, and I guess it is, but hear this: I'm a senior developer who is extremely unhappy with the current state of the art. And that is NOT a whine. It's a fact.
For those who would say 'just shut up and go fix a bug' - I'm sorry, I don't have time - I am a user of these development systems. Others of you are interested in writing development systems - if you are, please, please start looking at the forest instead of the bugzilla list.
Thanks for listening,