Java is one of the most powerful and versatile programming languages. Mostly all the desktop software and android applications that you are using are made up of Java. Since the beginning, Java constantly remains a dominating language over all other programming languages. Though many experts now believe that Java does not have a very long future, but we don’t think so.
When Java was dominating the market of programming language and possessing as the number one programming language position, at that time a ton of developers came and developed various IDEs for Java. This made Java easier for newcomers, so they do not find any difficulty to write Java code and bring more productivity to the Java Community. Here in this article, we are going to explore some best IDEs that assets developers to code for Java, and we will also discuss which IDE you should probably choose if you are just a beginner in Java. Start with us!
What is Java?
Java is an object-oriented high-level Programming language. It is one of the famous programming languages out there with a huge community. Java was created by James Gosling and released on 23rd May 1995. Java was developed by Sun Microsystem which is now owned by Oracle Corporation.
Best Java IDE for Java Coding
When you googled for Java IDEs on the internet, you will get dozens of IDEs to download, but choosing the best IDE amongst many might be very confusing and tougher to tackle the problem that which IDE to select and which do not. IDEs are designed to assists the developer so we could get more productivity from them. Here in this article, we are going to list out some top IDEs for Java. You can choose any one of them for yourself according to your preference.
- By Eclipse Foundation
- For Windows, Linux, macOS, and Solaris
Eclipse is the most popular and widely used IDE (Integrated Development Environment) tool for Java. It is designed by Eclipse Foundation and first released on 7th November 2007 and the fun fact about it that it is written in Java itself, that make it native to Java. Eclipse is a very ideal IDE for both beginners and who already have some experience with IDEs. In Eclipse you can easily create a new project and all the projects are save in a workspace folder by default from where you can easily open your project file and move it wherever you want.
Some Main features of Eclipse
- Easy to use
- Easily shift from one project to another
- Thousands of inbuilt plugins
- Intelligence Auto-code completion
- Syntax Highlighting
- Live debugging
- Pre-written code for main function (Source code Generator)
2. IntelliJ IDEA
- By JetBrains
- IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate (Paid), Community (Open source)
- For Windows, Mac, and Linux
IntelliJ IDEA is an Integrated Development Environment tool created by JetBrains and it was released in January 2001. JetBrains is very popular for their IDEs and they have created IntelliJ IDEA especially for Java and Kotlin. One of the main features provided by the IntelliJ IDEA is its plug-in feature which helps the developers to plug in the different packages so they can code for the different programming language too.
The IntelliJ IDEA comes in two versions, ultimate and community. Ultimate is a paid version whereas community is open source if you are a beginner, I suggest you download the community version it’s quite enough to serve you for your study and learning purpose. By default, IntelliJ IDEA support only Java and Kotlin if you want this IDE to write and execute code for other programming languages, you have to use the plug-in option.
The main disadvantage of IntelliJ IDEA is that it is not beginner-friendly if you are a complete naïve to the IDEs you might find some difficulties while operating IntelliJ IDEA.
Some main features of IntelliJ IDEA
- Intelligence Auto-Completion
- Syntax highlighting
- Support android
- Support inline debugger (live debugger)
- Provide shortcut keys
- Detecting Duplicates (Ultimate version)
- Give an interface for TypeScript (Ultimate version)
- By BlueJ Team
- For Cross-Platform (Windows, macOS, Ubuntu/Debian)
BlueJ is an open-source Integrated Development Environment tool written in Java for Java. It is an ideal and one of the best IDEs for the beginners. It is very beginner-friendly and specially designed for the learning and the Teaching Purpose. When the BlueJ team was working on this IDE, the main goal was to make such an IDE which can play a suitable role for the learning and teaching the Object-Oriented Programming languages.
It has a very simple interface so you won’t find any difficulty when you operate it. It is very light-weighted which make it more smooth even on the low-end computers.
4. Dr Java
- Developed by JavaPLT group at Rice University
Dr Java is another Integrated Development Environment tool which is free to use and specially designed for the students and beginners, so they can focus on the code with less complicated IDE interface. It is lightweight and can smoother run on the computer having a low-end processor.
The JavaPLT group at Rice University who had developed and maintained DrJava used Java to write to create it. One of the main features of DrJava is that has an ability to interactively evaluate Java code from a console and show the output to the same console. Many advance learners or developers do not prefer lightweight IDE for the big projects because they do not provide that many features but in the case of DrJava, despite a lightweight IDE it provides many features which even attract the advance developers to code on it.
Some main Features of DrJava
- Extremely lightweight IDE
- Intelligence code Editor
- Source level debugging
- Unit testing tool
- Developed by Genuitec
- For Windows, Linux and macOS
- Paid IDE
It is also a very powerful Integrated Development Environment tool comes with a number of features, by which an advance learner would like to cherish. It is developed by Genuitec which is a tech company and founding members of the Eclipse Foundation at United State. It got a similar name to an IDE Eclipse because it built upon the Eclipse Platform.
It is designed to write the Java and the Ajax code which make it more compatible with web development.
Some Main features of MyEclipse
- Eclipse packages
- Database tools
- Visual web designer
- Developed by Oracle Corporation
- Open Source
- For Windows, Linux, and macOS
Some Main Features of JDeveloper
- Code Editor
- Integrate with Oracle Application Development Framework
- Unit Test
- Version control
- Developed by Apache Software Foundation
- Open Source
- For Windows, Linux, and macOS
NetBeans falls in the top 3 Java IDEs. It is an open-source IDE specially designed for Java 8 and upper versions. It is supported by all the popular operating system, so it does not matter if you are on Window, macOS, Linux or Solaris, you can download it and build high-quality Java Applications.
The first stable version of NetBeans released in 1997, and by now it has thousands of in-built and third-party plugins which can be used to boost the development process.
Some Main Features of NetBeans
- It supports all the various Java Application Development types, such as Java SE, Java ME, web, EJB and Java mobile applications.
- It supports all the popular version controls such as CVS, Subversion, Git, Mercurial and ClearCase
- It contains all the essential Java modules.
- It provides a GUI tool to design Swing GUIs.
- Like other IDEs, it also provides all the necessary features such as syntax, highlighting, auto-code completion, error highlighting, etc.
- Developed by Xionx Software
- Open Source
- Only for Microsoft, and Linux
If you have ever work with Microsoft Visual Studio, then you can find all the resemblance in JCreator. It is a proprietary Java IDE created by Xionx Software, which is only available for Window OS. The reason behind it is only available for Window because it is entirely written in C++.
It comes in 3 Editions
- Lite Edition for $35.
- Pro Edition for $89
- Lite-Pro Edition
However, it is only designed for Window operating system, but it’s PRO, and LE versions can run adequately on Linux using compatibility layer tools such as Wine. So, if you have a paid version of JCreator, you can run it on Linux OS using any compatibility tool.
However, JCreator provides all the basic and some advance features but it still missing some advance features and plugins which are present in the paid versions of Eclipse and IntelliJ IDE.
Some main Features of JCreator
- It has options to customize the colour schemes.
- It comes with project templates for quick code writing.
- It has an intuitive interface for code debugging.
- Its UI customization is similar to MS visual studio.
- It runs your Java Application as an applet, that’s why it does not require any JRE to execute the Java code, which makes it faster as compared to other Java-based IDE’s.
- Developed by jGrasp team
- Open Source
- Available for Window, Linux, and macOS
jGrasp is a well-known cross-platform Light-weight Java IDE, which is best suited for low-end computers. Generally, all IDE consume CPU resources at a very high rate, so if you have a system with low specifications, you could find lag and hang problems while using IDE’s such eclipse, IntelliJ, NetBeans, etc.
jGrasp is specially designed to generate visualization for the improvement in the software comprehensibility. Using this IDE, you can create static visualization of code at runtime, this feature of jGrasp is so popular you can also find jGrasp plugin for Eclipse, IntelliJ and Android Studio.
Some Main Features of jGrasp
- It is light-weighted.
- It can generate data structure visualization at runtime.
- It supports CSD (Control Structure Diagram), which help in putting auto-indentation.
- It also supports extensions for other languages such as C, C++, Objective-C, and VHDL.
- Developed by Michael Kölling, Computing Education Group, King’s College London
- Open Source
- Available for Linux, Window, and macOS
Greenfoot is a very simple IDE and highly recommended for the beginners with no prior experience with any IDE. This IDE is primarily designed for educational purposes, and it can handle all the simple and some complex Java application which include graphics.
If you are into game development using Java, then Greenfoot is for you. It takes care of the low-level programming and automatically generates Java code for your game world and actors. It’s not like other Java IDE’s where you can code for different programming languages, here you are restricted to Java and graphic game designing.
Some main features of Greenfoot:
- It is specially designed for educational purpose.
- It is supported by Oracle corporation.
- With green foot, you can design graphical games.
- It is a fun and intuitive IDE to learn Java coding by building games.
Here we have listed some top IDEs which are famous for Java Development. There are many more IDEs on the internet that we did not mention here according to the popularity of those IDEs. If you ask me which IDE, I should prefer for Java, I will say go with Eclipse, if you have a system with a good processor and RAM or else you can go with DrJava.
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