Coding IDE preference/comments

Hi Kevin

What are your thoughts for coding IDEs? So far I have used PDE for most of my dirty and fast prototypes and AS for android. Now, I am also getting into more html/js and php.

I do C#/C++ in Visual Studio express.

What IDE do you recommend? I am considering NetBeans and IntelliJ. Any recommendations?

Oh yeah, I have used Eclipse but for some reason I just couldn’t get along with that IDE. Yes, more strict training to properly use the tool would be essential to manage that IDE and I always went back to working with PDE. It is just fast to setup a new project and fast executing (Fast as not many input dialogs asking for parameters…)



Like many things in programming, IDEs are a lot like tools. Eclipse is a wrench, Intellij is a hammer, etc. Different tools are better at different jobs, and which one you use depends more on you and your personal preferences than anything.

For Java, I tend to default to Eclipse just because I’ve used it the most. I’ve played around with Intellij a little bit, and it seems very similar to Eclipse. I never really liked Netbeans, but that’s probably because I hated its focus on drag-and-drop GUI programming. If you aren’t using that then it’s probably not too bad.

For Processing, I usually stick with the Processing editor. Like you said it’s simple, and doesn’t have all the complicated features that other IDEs have. For my purposes this is a huge benefit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking with the Processing editor.

For HTML I usually use a basic text editor, in my case JEdit. There are probably better editors out there, but JEdit is all I need for my purposes. I’ve never worked with PHP before, so I’m not really sure about that one.

Thxs for the comment. I can see you use eclipse. Booo, I was hoping you use another IDE. However I shouldn’t be surprised as you are a Java guru. I should give it a try. I always get a hard time setting out the environment. I should just do your guides and see if that helps me.

For php, I just went back to my emacs editor and installed the php mode. It did the trick for me this time, but for a bigger project, I still think I should use something else. I can see that if I get into netbeans,I might be doing the same amount of work as in Eclipse when learning the IDE. So probly Eclipse should be… my next option to try.

I see you started an Android section. What topics do you have in mind covering in the future?


Eclipse works for what I personally use. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for everybody. The best advice I can give you is to try out a bunch of different editors and see which one you like the best.

Also, never underestimate the power of a simple editor. I use JEdit for everything related to this site. At work I use a simple web-based editor. Sometimes simple is better.

Oh man, I have so many ideas! I want to finish up the basic intro to Android stuff, then add some libGDX tutorials. My eventual goal is to spend some time this year making some “real” Android games. My day job has been pretty busy lately, but I’m hoping to get back into it in the next few weeks.

What other tutorial sections will you layout under Android? Also, can you comment on libGDX? What is that? how do you eat that? [cough cough… as if it were food]

What do you know about kotlin? Worth to explore?

A game to explore: geocatching? Android GPS + game + other features?

By the way, what is your day job that keeps you busy? I am trying to figure out if you are in the server side or in the java programming world or a bit of both.


Hmm, let me think. So far I’ve got Hello World, Anatomy of an Android App, Layouts, and Activities. Next comes a tutorial on saving, then maybe custom drawing. I might go back and do a tutorial on event listeners, because right now I’m assuming the reader has already encountered those. Mostly I just want a set of basic tutorials, and from there people can go to the more advanced official Android documentation.

It’s a game development framework. Check out its homepage here. The nice thing about it is that you write everything in Java, and then you can deploy either as an executable, an Android or iPhone app, or an embedded JavaScript page. It comes with a bunch of cool features that are handy for game development, but it’s more towards the advanced end of the spectrum.

What do you know about kotlin? Worth to explore?

I’ve never played with Kotlin before, but I hear good things. The official Android tutorials have now defaulted to using Kotlin. Everything is worth exploring, I just haven’t had much of a reason to go there.

Yeah Android opens up a lot of cool possibilities. Playing with the accelerators is also pretty fun. Not to mention VR and AR that everybody is talking about now.

By day I work at Google. My work is split pretty much half-and-half between server (Java) and client side (JavaScript). I’m also pretty heavily involved with a Google educational outreach program. It’s been pretty cool to be able to use some of the tutorials I made for this site with real life people. I’m hoping to do more of that in the future.

I am surprised how much Kotlin is getting traction. And the sad thing is that I do not know enough about the Android part in the first place. Really cool you work for Google. Are they hiring? Is there Google in the East Cost by any chance?

By the way, any experience/comments about Xamarin?

I have to say your tutorials are pretty good. Do you get feedback from readers? I cannot keep up with the amount of knowledge in there. The database one was really good and it is helping me with an MySql task that I am addressing right now.

About VR and AR… what demos do you think are running right now that will mature and stay with us? have you seen any? I am more curious. One of the fields that I could explore in a near future…

Haha Google is always hiring. And yeah there are offices all over the world, including the east coast. Here is a map of all the different locations.

I’ve never worked with Xamarin. So many things to try, so little time!

Thanks, that’s awesome to hear! I don’t really do any advertising, except to use the tutorials as a reference on Stack Overflow and the Processing forum. So I’m not even really sure how many readers I have. I keep thinking about trying to get better about advertising, but honestly the process of organizing and writing stuff down is fun for me regardless of whether anybody else is reading it, so it hasn’t been a high priority.

I’m not a huge gadget fan, but I did try out an Oculus Rift and it was definitely an experience. I went in with a ton of skepticism, but looking over a cliff in VR was actually pretty scary. That was a few years ago, and I imagine the tech has only improved since then.

I’m less a fan of games, and more interested in more utilitarian applications. Hiking through the Amazon rainforest from my living room sounds pretty awesome, and it has more humanitarian implications that are pretty exciting. Or interacting with an AR interface on my phone to, for example, see the history of stuff around me.

I have an app called Field Trip that notifies me when I’m near something with some interesting local history. Coupling that with AR would be really neat.

I was exploring a bit of Kotlin. Check the side relevant to Android:

That framework sounds awesome. What is the learning curve of it? Can you do a tutorial or designing a simple application in Java and then deploy it as an app for Android and JS? I saw that it supports OpenGL. Have you done work on that domain? Shaders, framebuffers, textures…


Just to follow up in my initial question… VS Code seems to be a really cool IDE for JS, HTML, SCC and also for PHP plus other languages. There is a learning curve but also some really good videos out there explaining how to get started. In addition, the IDE is fast to start, or at least faster than Eclipse or AS.