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XXX – the only IDE you need

I am a passionate programmer since I had access to a computer for the first time.

I have been working with many IDEs in my professional life. The first integrated IDE for me was the XEmacs which enabled me to include all build scripts and commands into the editor and start them via shortcuts or menu.

Since these days many things changed. You don’t write programs only in one language any more, a huge set of tools has to be controlled by the IDE and still an number of command line tools have to be integrated.

I used Eclipse since the version 2 because I liked the way they tried to make the IDE extensible. When the OSGi kernel came with version 3 I was completely convinced to finally have found my last IDE. Until this very day about a year ago when I tried to update the running Europa plugins and the update messed up my IDE in a form that I had to reinstall Eclipse completely from scratch. Because I was not able to get all needed plugins stable running due to dependency inconsistencies I had a look over to Netbeans.

As I could see the version 6.1 was a huge advancement to the last try I gave Netbeans. As I am a pragmatic programmer and only IDE user, not developer, I changed to Netbeans. You can guess how long. It started with a small problem to get the PHP module working together with other modules I needed so that I ended up with two installations. Now my main Netbeans 6.5 wanted to update some modules. After this update I had to deinstall Netbeans completely. No trick helped to recover from an inconsistency within the loaded modules.

So at the moment I have one Eclipse Environment for Java and Eclipse RCP development, one Netbeans 6.5 installation specially for PHP development and one Netbeans 6.7 beta for a Netbeans module I am working on. JRuby and Javascript development I am doing sometimes with Eclipse, sometimes with Netbeans.

I really thought with IDEs the world would become easier than during the times when I still programmed using the VI in different xterm windows and using command line tools but sometimes I have my doubts about this assumption.

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