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IntelliJ IDEA vs. Eclipse

Educative Answers Team
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1. History

IDEA is mainly used for Java programming. It was introduced by the private company JetBrains in 2000.

ECLIPSE is ​also used for Java development; it was an IBM project released in 2001.

2. Usability

Usability is the most important and impactful way to grab a user’s attention. The user interface should be simple, repeatable, and non-distracting to the user (e.g., auto-completion using IntelliSense increases the usability of an IDE).

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When it comes to usability, the code-completion assistance is much faster and easier in IDEA. The IDE has a gradual learning curve with a very simple and comfortable UI.​

It has the ability to add plugins, like checkstyle, but it lacks a default assistance feature. Eclipse has a steeper learning curve.

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3. Debugger

The Debugging tool is a key feature of every IDE, so it’s important to compare it. Debuggers help programmers to identify​ errors in the target program.

The debugging feature is very convenient in IDEA – just place the cursor inside the expression that needs to be evaluated.

In Eclipse, the debugging feature is a bit outdated because the complete expression must be selected for it to be evaluated​.

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4. Plugins

The number of plugins is another good way to compare these IDEs. Plugins extend core functionality, provide integration with application servers,​ add support for new frameworks, and boost productivity with new features.

IDEA offers 727 plugins and is difficult to extend.

Eclipse offers 1,276 plugins and is​ much easier to extend.

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5. Multiple projects

In IDEA the user can open a single project with multiple modules, but multiple projects cannot​ be opened in a single window.

In Eclipse, multiple projects can be opened in a single window.

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