James Selvakumar’s Blog

August 26, 2009

What UML Tools do you use?

Filed under: eclipse,general,netbeans — James @ 3:48 pm
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Poll: What UML Tools do you use?

Most popular Subversion clients

Subversion is a very popular version control system. As a result, subversion has a wide array of client tools which makes life difficult for us, the users. So we wanted to know what our readers actually use and here is the summary of their opinions. Read more from SolitaryGeek.

February 8, 2008

Eclipse Vs NetBeans again (on ubuntu)

Filed under: eclipse,java,netbeans,ubuntu — James @ 4:02 pm

Though i’m still fighting with ubuntu gusty to get the right screen resolution, i thought of giving my favourite java ides a try on gusty.

On windows, i tend to use netbeans more than eclipse, (mainly because i work with JSF/JPA more as of now)

So i thought of seeing how these 2 friends of mine behave in ubuntu.

I love ubuntu for a lot of reasons. And the most important reason is the ease with which you can install most of the day-to-day applications.

Ubuntu has a wonderful “package manager” (similar to the childish Add/Remove programs in windows). With the synaptic package manager, you can almost install all applications you ever need.

So, i looked for netbeans first and i was bit disappointed to see only netbeans 5.5 in the repository. But i thought of downloading it, because, something is better than nothing, right?.

Downloading and installing netbeans-5.5 is a piece of cake in ubuntu. All we need to do is to open a terminal and type “apt-get install netbeans-5.5”. Whoa!

I thought of doing the otherway round, since i feel more comfortable seeing a UI than a command line, so i used the synaptic package manager to download netbeans-5.5.

Smooth. Everything went through fine, until i opened netbeans.

The font rendering was horrible. (May be because i had only jdk 1.5). But i must admit that NetBeans looked really horrible. I couldn’t spend much time with it because of the horrible fonts. Though it’s a swing issue, it gives really a bad image to netbeans.

Leave alone the font, the look and feel was even more horrible. I just couldn’t digest the default “ocean” look and feel. NetBeans looked like “odd man out” in my ubuntu desktop. I felt really sorry for netbeans, because, on windows, it’s very difficult for a non-java user to point out netbeans as a java application. But on linux, netbeans looked like an old volkswagon among new sedans like lexus. Pity you netbeans.

So, i thought of trying our beloved friend eclipse. Again installing eclipse was really really easy. No need to go to eclipse.org. Just the ubuntu package manager does the job for you. I really really like ubuntu a lot in this regard.

I started eclipse. Wowwww..It’s beautiful man. The fonts were superb and pleasing to the eyes. In the first impression itself, eclipse won my heart eventually. And the look and feel, that’s the same as i see in windows. Great job, eclipse team.

I don’t know whether it’s because of swt or not, but i really gotta love eclipse on ubuntu.

Eclipse is really the winner over netbeans (alteast in ubuntu).

(Note: I’m currently downloading java se 6 and netbeans 6.0. Let’s see how well netbeans 6.0 fare)


January 13, 2008

Java Web Development with Eclipse 3.3

Filed under: eclipse,java,netbeans — James @ 12:22 pm

Hi all,
Blogging after a long….break. I was travelling a lot for the last 1 month or so. I went to Singapore, Putrajaya, Malacca to name a few. And as a result, very little time for blogging.

If you are following my blogs, i blogged sometime back about core java development using netbeans 6.0 and eclipse 3.3.

Both are excellent open source IDEs that have their own strength and weakness.
I’ve been using both netbeans and eclipse and i’m pleased with both of them generally.

Before the advent of version 6.0, netbeans was not on par with eclipse for core java development. The responsive editor, fast code completion, incremental compiling etc, etc.. were some of the trademark eclipse strongholds which netbeans never managed to enter leave alone capturing.

But with 6.0, netbeans has made really a very huge stride in the areas which where it’s traditional letoffs.

But i always believed that java web development with netbeans has been superior compared to eclipse for a long time. The WTP project in eclipse has improved a lot over these days, so i thought of giving it a try.

Can eclipse do well against the likes of netbeans in java web development? Let’s see…

My environment:
Eclipse 3.3 Europa
JDK 1.6.0_03
Tomcat 6.0

So i thought of refreshing my servlet/jsp/jsp-el/jstl skills in the above mentioned environment.

One thing that impressed me is that eclipse, by default, supports many popular application servers/web containers than netbeans does.
There is support for all versions of tomcat, jboss (even for 5.0), websphere (ofcourse dude) and also JOnAS server.
But how come they can leave out glassfish, which is the reference app server for java ee 5?
(I heard that glassfish team has released an eclipse plugin. But i expected more from the number one java ide)

One thing i missed though, is a separate menu item to configure “servers”. That’s ok.

Then i started churning out a few servlets and jsps in my sample app. I changed the web.xml a few times (to configure servlet init parameters etc)
All was going well until i got an “out of memory exception”. The IDE displayed a window which suggested me to close the workspace.

That was ok with me. I was changing the web app many times and was redeploying it often. Occasionally, i restarted the tomcat server from within eclipse. So i thought that might have overloaded the ide.

I closed eclipse and then started it again. It started up smoothly, but some of the changes i made were not saved. That’s ok. Then when i deployed my web app, i got an error which said that
"Several ports (8005, 8080, 8009) required by Tomcat v6.0 Server at localhost are already in use. The server may already be running in another process, or a system process may be using the port. To start this server you will need to stop the other process or change the port number(s).

I was quickly able to reckon that tomcat might not have been stopped properly because of the ide crash.
So i attempted to start/restart the server from eclipse, but couldn’t.
Then i went to the task manager and closed the tomcat process manually.

I didn’t expect this though. I expected the IDE to recognize correctly whether tomcat is running or not and should not ask the user to manually close the process.

After closing the tomcat process i was able to deploy my webapp.

But as time went, eclipse threw more and more such errors, which frustrated me, as i have to go through the process of not only restarting eclipse but also stop the tomcat process manually.

To be honest, i haven’t reported this as an issue yet to the eclipse. I’ll be doing that shortly.
I’m sure they can fix these issues quickly and give us an update.

Other things i really appreciate is the nice xml editor, which really save a lot of time. I find the eclipse xml editor marginally better than that of netbeans.

More on the complaints, i feel the code completion needs to be improved for jsp-el and jstl.
I found virtually no code completion for jsp-el.

So by the current standing, eclipse 3.3 provides good if not great support for java web development. I haven’t explored the struts/jsf support in eclipse yet.
Eclipse needs to improve in the web development area, if it want to pose a strong fight to netbeans which is clearly superior here.

November 18, 2007

Eclipse 3.3 – Initial impressions

Filed under: eclipse — James @ 7:21 am

In my last blog entry, i wrote an article about the best features in NetBeans 6.0.

This entry explains the initial impressions i had with Eclipse 3.3 (Europa)

I’ve always heard people saying that eclipse editor is superior to netbeans. I was very curious to find out how.

I don’t know whether these features are available in eclipse for a long time (as i’m a intellij idea/netbeans user). But these are the things that impressed me a lot.

1. Much intuitive syntax colouring. Eclipse stands out from netbeans here. I don’t think the default syntax colours in netbeans is great, though we can configure it. For example the colours chosen by eclipse to “Mark occurences” and to “highlight braces” are clearly eye-friendly than the netbeans colours.

2. Lots and lots of code navigation options. Wow! it’s really amazing. Now i can understand why eclipse users feel proud about their ide.
I really like the “navigate java elements – CTRL+SHIFT+UP/DOWN” option. This is one feature which i like very much in intellij idea and missed a lot in netbeans. I made a lot of requests in netbeans user mailing lists to add this feature but till now i don’t have that feature in netbeans :-(.

3. Very good “surround with” options. Eclipse simply offers a lot of options to surround your code with. Though intellij idea has supported this feature for a longggggg time, it’s nice to see that in eclipse.
Netbeans also has “surround with” options but i have a small complaint there. That is sometimes when i select a particular block of code and choose the surround with try catch option, it surrounds the entire piece of code inside the method (not just the selected block).

4. Lightning fast code completion. Hats off to eclipse here. The code completion is really really fast. (Netbeans guys, you still need to improve. Though 6.0 has reasonably faster code completion than 5.5, it’s not as fast as eclipse )-:

5. More options while creating a java class. Eclipse provides a lot of options while creating a java class. I would like to mention a few here:
– Options to declare a class as abstract/final
– Options to declare class access modifiers (public/default)
– Option to extend a super class
– Option to declare the list of interfaces the class shall implement.

Some might argue that these options make the class generation wizard a bit more complex to look nevertheless, it looks like a very useful feature to me.

6. Local history is just a right click from the editor window.

7. Improved servlets/jsp support. (Disclaimer: I didn’t spend much time investigating this, but i read an article which explained the improvements done in the web tools platform project)

But i found somethings which didn’t look intuitive to me:

– Running a project/class is not as simple as “right click the project/class, click run”. There might be some valid reason for this, but for me, it looks a bit more complex than it need to be.

– There are no menu items (atleast to my understanding) to stop a project which is running. (Yes, i have a small stop button in the run window itself, but trust me, it took me nearly half an hour to figure that out)-:

But overall, i think Eclipse 3.3 is a great product and i’m very much interested in exploring it further.

I also found onething that might amuse netbeans users…(i’m a loyal netbeans user as well 🙂

Netbeans is really catching up fast with eclipse in terms of pure java editing. Eclipse users, beware!!!!

I missed only a few (but very very useful)-: features in eclipse that don’t have a equivalent in netbeans.
I hope netbeans developers will take note of this and improve netbeans further.

As a java developer, i thank both the eclipse and netbeans teams for giving away world class products with amazing quality free of cost. Thank you so much………….

If anybody know a visual source safe plugin for netbeans/eclipse, please let me know, because if i don’t find anything i’m planning to develop that on my own :->> )

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