What is an IDE?
IDE or Integrated Development Environment integrates all the tools required by developers at a single place which have a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Usually, an IDE integrates three things, Source editor code, Local build automation, and debugger, each to manage different sects of a program.
A Source editor code is nothing more than a text editor but for codes. If you are going for a JAVA IDE, you can write codes with JAVA language here and if, after compiling, you conclude that there’s something wrong with your code, you can alter it here.
Local Build automation accumulates utilities to automate certain tasks. It creates a local build for automation tasks that a developer can use, for example, converting source code into binary, running tests, etc.
A Debugger is used to compile your program and point towards an error if found any.
After being introduced to the world in 1997, it became a go-to application for Java developers. It is one of the most famous IDE for Java. This free open-source application is an official IDE for Java 8, so, you know it’s no slouch.
It is available for a wide range of users and can be a great inclusion in your arsenal if you are a Java developer.
Another thing that we need to look into is while going for a Java IDE is how active the developers are, and in the case of NetBeans, they are very active. With every new iteration, they are constantly giving out new features, removing bugs, and making their application as close to perfect as possible.
It highlights Java code in a correct syntax and a more systematic manner in order to make coding effortless for users.
Therefore, it is one of the applications that we can recommend to you without any doubt. You can download the application from its official website.
This is software has both desktop and cloud version, so, you can use depending on your convenience. Both the versions are good but if you are skeptical about storage then going for the cloud version that you can access via browser is a nice option.
However, you can’t go wrong with either of them. You have a wide range of different plugins that you can get from Eclipse Marketplace to add panache to your programming.
It doesn’t lack anything in particular but it doesn’t add something extra. Eclipse has a wide range of libraries, supports various languages, a perfect development environment, and all the essential features. It doesn’t have any crude extras but all the refined essentials.
It is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris. So, if you are a developer interested in a Java IDE, you can access the application from its official website.
3. IntelliJ IDEA
IntelliJ IDEA has two versions, a commercial version, and an Apache 2 community edition. Most of its features are somewhat similar to what an AI engine would do. Two of the most prominent ones are Smart Completion and Chain Completion to make coding easy and effortless for you.
This IDE is not only limited to JAVA but can also be used for some other JVM-based programming languages, for example, Kotlin.
IntelliJ IDEA can be a great alternative to Eclipse for someone who thinks that Eclipse lacks extra features as IntelliJ IDEA has all the bells and whistles. You can download IntelliJ IDEA from their official website and enjoy your free thirty days trial.
One of its perks is that it has simplified everything. When you open the application, you will see class structures for a better understanding. This simplification has a downside as well. You can create heavy programs here, the app is not powerful enough.
Because of this caveat, we can not recommend it to everyone. However, for a student or a beginner, it can’t get better. It allows you to create and compile codes, effortlessly.
It is not like the program has skimmed on some features but the developers have tried making this program geared toward teaching.
So, it has features that a teacher or a student would need, such as a separate portal for teaching, interaction among objects, cross-platform support, etc. So, if you are a beginner, use BlueJ for free after downloading it from its official website.
Although JCreator was not made on Java C++, you don’t need a JRE to execute Java programs. Because of that, it is blazing fast.
The speed is what makes JCreator stand out from the crowd. It packs some essentials as well as some advanced features that can attract both professionals and beginners.
If you are a beginner then you will enjoy Selection Margin, Color Syntax, Line Number & File Difference, etc and if you are a professional then you will enjoy Java Console, Runtime Configuration, JDK Tools, JDK Profiles, etc.
It is a feature-packed IDE and can be helpful to write codes as well. You can use Word Wrap, Spellchecker, Tabbed Documents, etc. JCreator can be downloaded from its official website.
JDeveloper is an all-in-one tool and covers everything from coding and compiling and everything in between.
Being an Oracle product, JDeveloper has other privileges as well. One of the biggest ones is its integration with Oracle Application Development Framework or Oracle ADF.
JDeveloper has a lot of things going for it, one such thing is that it offers a full development cycle, from coding to compiling. It has a Full Database Development Environment, Visual HTML 5 Editor, and various features.
7. Visual Studio Code
The way the program is built, we can easily say that the developers were trying to make a modern IDE. It has a simple build and if you want to increase something, you can easily add extensions to do the same.
However, there are some caveats. It is not as powerful as some other software on our list. Which was inevitable as the developers were trying to make the program minimal.
So, you can add features with extensions but it still can’t compensate for the lack of in-built tools. Therefore, we can not recommend it to you if you are working on a big project.
You can download the application from its official website.
Its developers are focusing on speed and some of its features such as instant splitting of the code window are a clear example of what the company is trying to do.
Atoms work with your command line interpreter as well. And the app, in general, has a nice integration with your PC. It has some interesting features as well such as Instant File Switching, going along the lines of a fast IDE, and a plethora of different features.
However, there are some major caveats here. You can not create big files, it may crash or freeze, once, the file size exceeds 100 MB. Another drawback is that sometimes it is slow to start, although, this is not as drastic as some bloggers might want you to believe it still is slow.
You can download Atoms from its official website.
It is customizable but to an extent that makes it a bit difficult to use. The basic setting on Vim is not simple, you need to change it accordingly. Another thing is that it has mouse supports, it doesn’t have that by default, you need to enable mouse support.
You can download the application form here.
10. Light Table
Light Table is a modern application that was started in 2012 via a kickstart campaign after the raised a fund of $300,000. Because of this, you would know that the developers have put a lot of attention on the way their application looks and works.
However, it is not like some other application that sacrifices performance for minimalism. Light Table has a clean and intuitive UI and still is powerful.
Apart from this, it is a powerful application with in-line codes and feature-rich plugins. So, if you want to download the application then Light Table’s official website is where you need to go.
11. AWS Cloud9
AWS Cloud9 is developed by Amazon and works on Windows, Linux, and macOS. This is pretty self-explanatory as the application is on the cloud and you don’t have to install anything to access this.
Amazon has covered every single thing here but they have paid the most attention to the scripting part. You can write codes, highlight errors, debug them, and use all the features that Amazon has included and added to their editor.
AWS Cloud9 is the software that doesn’t really have a stand-out con. But one particular thing that the Amazon marketing team is focusing on is pretty fishy. They want you to believe that the Software is free, which actually is, but it lacks some very essential features. And we can not recommend you going for its free version, there are some good free IDEs but it is not one of them.
You can access the application from here.
Just like any other free IDE, Brackets has mainly focused on aesthetics. It has all the design elements of Adobe and you will enjoy your time using it. So, Adobe is not shying away from its colorful aesthetics.
However, there is one thing that makes it better than Atom. In Atom, as mentioned before, when you try to create big programs, your app may end up crashing. In the case of Brackets, the app works just fine even if you through large files and large codes at it.
If Brackets has one thing going for it is its integration with Google Chrome. So, if you are a developer you can alter your code and see the effects in real-time on your browser. This is such a simple thing but not many applications on our list are apt enough to do so.
Another feature of Brackets is Extract Function. So, you can extract information directly from the PSD without the need for contextual code reference.
The only problem with Brackets is that it doesn’t have many extensions, so, you may have to find an alternative, or wait for the developers to build an extension for that very purpose.
You can access Brackets from here.
RJTextEd is a free text editor for Microsoft Windows and supports Unicode and allows source code editing. It is an all-in-one program and you can also use it if you are a web developer as it supports HTML and CSS.
It has some basics such as drag and drops support, syntax highlighting, and some advanced features such as automatic work completion, FTP Client, etc.
However, there is a caveat here, since the application is so small creating big programs is not easy and a bit jarring. Another con with RJTextEd is that the Text completion is not very accurate and is in the beta stage of development.
You can download RJTextEd from here.
It is not very powerful though but for quick checking of the code or checking some libraries, CodeReply is a perfect option. Even though it is free to use, in order to get updates you need to do a donation to the company. So, that can be a bit frustrating as if you fail to do so, you will get stuck on an old version of the program.
The application is fast and that’s its selling point. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and plugins for us to call it a perfect application for you but if you are a beginner or just want a light application then CodeReply is the way to go.
If you want to access the software, visit CodeReply’s official website.
WebStorm is a powerful application but can cost you a fortune. So, that’s right of the bat.
It supports various platforms such as Angular, Reacts, etc. It can also be useful if all you want is to debug node script and run test on embedded server.
Another advantage that WebStorm has over other IDEs on our list is that you may not have to use any plugin (you can use them if you want to add some specific feature), the application is packed with essential and extra features, so, you don’t have to download any other plugin.
Everything is not golden here. Since it is packed with all the features, the application is heavy. And when you work on a heavy project, it may end up chugging a lot of RAM. So, you have to make sure that you are using a powerful computer to build a large program.
You can download WebStorm from here.
16. Komodo Edit
Even though it is free, we don’t recommend you going for that. The paid version is what you need to buy and use if you are want to create big projects.
There is a caveat here, Komodo Edit is light, just like WebStorm, it packs all the essential as well as advanced features for you to use.
If you want, you can download Komodo Edit from its official website.
Last but not least, we have CodeLobster. It has a simple and intuitive UI that comes without compromising on any features as such.
It is a light application and works fine with small files. However, if you are planning to through large files here, it may crash or freeze. Another thing, that’s a bit problematic here is that it starts slow. Therefore, you may end up waiting for the app to launch.
All in all, CodeLobster is one of the best in the business and you can enjoy the application without any hassle if you are planning to work as a web designer, CodeLobster is the way to go.
Download the application from here.