I prefer eclipse over netbeans. It's relatively small (120mb, that's small compared to visual studio for example, and I think xcode on mac is huge too) and easily supports other languages such as python, c and c++ (there are others, for example php, but I haven't tried them) via plugins such as pydev and CDT.
It also has great support for features such as CVS and SVN and I believe is the 2nd most popular IDE out of all IDEs after visual studio.
However, I haven't tried netbeans for a few years.
scite is not an ide as far as I know, just a text editor I think.
Eclipse is definitely a handy and well received tool. Make sure that you investigate all the possibilities as there are a plentitude of different packages or plug-ins for Eclipse to enhance your Java development cycles.
An excellent example of the vastness of Eclipse regarding Java programming and design is the SWT GUI plug-in for Java. A very interesting and competent GUI kit that covers the your bases for native look and feel styling for your application's visual interface. There are also external GUI packages like wxJava, a wxWidgets GUI implementation, specialized for Java.
There are also libraries for designing your own plug-ins to connect right into and operate as: stand-alone or internal Eclipse tools. Due to this intuitive design it is quite mind-numbing the number of available tools for Eclipse ranging from open-source to commercial schemes.
Eclipse itself is open-source, has its own update tooling, many getting started cheat-sheets, and tutorial cheat-sheets. The IDE is featured-rich as an understatement, and therefore several books have been published on using, contributing, and building plug-ins for the Eclipse IDE environment.
Sun-Microsystems has also released several tools to the public for Java development purposes like: the J2EE enterprise SDK, J2EE application server(personal edition), and a Visual Java Web-Developer IDE(which is really comprehensive[covers it all:JSP, NetBeans; so on...]).
It's a mixed bag with Java development at this time with so many openly available tools. The best advice literally is to download as many of the afore-mentioned products as possible for yourself and find out which suits your needs and addresses your goals the best. Go on from there keeping the other tools in mind as your needs and demands change with the future and you should do just fine.
A major rule of thumb is to stick with the time proven technologies and Eclipse has been around for a great while as-well-as collaborated with SUN-MICROSYSTEMS and IBM. Sun is naturally the creator of Java and IBM is the creator of the frame-work that Eclipse is built on originally addressing Java development in a collaboration with Sun. Eclipse has value in virtue and a definitive lineage.
In my opinion it is definitely going to be the choice between Eclipse, Sun based Java development tools, or IBM based development tools and no others.
YOXOS is an Eclipse group that is currently addressing the isuue of the vastness of the Eclipse plug-in community. They have a system installed on the web to address the set-up and configuration of Eclipse based on focus for users new and seasoned. They have pre-configured packages for Eclipse and a tool that you can use to configure your preferred Eclipse IDE system like a shopping-cart and then download the bundle free of charge.
I myself have utilized YOXOS services in the past several times with great success. Their web system is quite beta at the moment, but is functional and quite awesome in concept. I suggest that you take a look at what they are doing even if you already have your IDE setup, you will be amazed and inspired.
Last edited by AhknubisX; 03-27-2007 at 12:32 AM..
On a separate topic relating to Eclipse, the following list is the available languages that are currently being addressed by development teams collaborating with the Eclipse organization. The list that follows is a sub-grouping and by no means exhaustive, favorable to any particular group, language or style.
01.) Java - standard
02.) SWT - Java GUI standard
09.) JPython (Python for Java with bindings)
15.) Apache Server
...and the list really goes on.
If you can not get anything done with Eclipse it is because: you don't feel like it, don't want to do anything today, decided that programming is not for you, or hate the competition. Plain and simple.
I have my favorite tools like everyone else, but still have use for Eclipse due to the depth of its development community.
I recommend that using an editor such as notepad is more convenient than using an IDE because you'll find that you will not be confused by the code that generated by the IDE. It is more pratical to hand code in java than use IDE's, I used to use Jbuilder throughout my academic yrs but have found that it is easier using notepad to edit java code rather than finding out how an IDE works.
Depending on what I'm doing, I've been going back and forth between Eclipse and Netbeans. I have an easier time with Netbeans for J2EE development, but for most other tasks I use Eclipse. Both are very similar in function, and in features. I also keep scite and notepad++ around for the really quick tasks when I don't want to load up an IDE for a simple test. I think it's important to get used to IDEs if you plan on programming professionally, because chances are, wherever you go, the development team will have an IDE that they use. Plus it is nice to interface with source control, attaching application servers to the debugger etc...