The debate over development tools has to be as old as the software engineering itself. Whether it will be a build tool, VCS or an IDE, you will always have different preferences. But my preferences have recently changed and I would like to elaborate on our move from the Eclipse to IntelliJ.
It all started with a simple shortcut named ALT+ENTER. Based on the documentation it is not doing much – just using the suggested quick fix. But this feature is backed by something that makes many other IntelliJ features so much more pleasing to use.
Say hello to smart indexes. Whatever the JetBrains guys are doing under the hood, their indexing is blazingly fast and supports different content. This benefits of the fast indexing are paying off in several different usability features:
- As-you-type code smells and warnings. In Eclipse you have to launch the analyzing manually, in IntelliJ you will have the feedback on those immediately.
- Code completion and code generation support offered is orders of magnitude better due to the very same indexes. I guess you all remember the infamous java.awt.List autoimport on Lists which took years to be removed from the “top recommendation”. No such annoyances when using IntelliJ.
- The fixes offered by the ALT+ENTER make sense in so many occasions that it already starts to frighten me. On some cases I have suspected they have an Amazon Mechanical Turk watching me as I type – the recommendations are just so good.
To see the other reasons behind the migration, read the full article from this blog post.