Recommended IDE...?

Joel Bernstein joel at
Fri Jan 17 10:34:01 GMT 2014

There is no industry standard at all. What are you hoping to achieve from
an IDE? For the most part I use vim for Perl and Ruby coding, but I've used
IDEs for other languages in the past. My requirements for an IDE for C are
very different from those for an IDE for Java, let alone for a language
essentially integrated with the IDE like Smalltalk. Apart from the ancient
and venerable VisualAge -- perfect for Smalltalk -- the best IDEs I've
seen, in general, come from JetBrains (formerly IntelliJ, which is now the
name of their Java IDE).

The line between editor and IDE blurs a bit but there are some IDE features
which I rarely see provided by programmable editors like emacs and vim (and
which can be quite difficult to provide for dynamic languages without
executing them):

 - contextual code completion, for example method names on a given object
(requires knowing what class / role that object is expected to
 - automated refactorings (e.g. "replace conditional with polymorphism" or
"extract inner class")
 - workflow-based rather than simply file-based integration with testing,
version control, issue trackers
 (and probably a load more but I have work I should be doing)

You should consider which of these features are important to you, and in
which languages. Additionally, what you expect to achieve from an IDE, and
how patient you'll be when its half-arsed parser misunderstands some modern
Perl concept or syntax. I suspect that, at least for Perl, you may be
better served with a well configured GUI vim with a decent set of plugins,
rather than an actual IDE. For Ruby, the same, but take a look at RubyMine
anyway. For Java, IntelliJ is the best choice. That said, I've never used
Visual Studio, which some seem to think is the best IDE around.

PS: Win98SE and a 6 year old version of OS X? Did you just flush the outbox
of an email client you hadn't looked at for a while?


On 17 January 2014 11:18, Andrew < at> wrote:

> Looking to try using an Integrated Development Environment.
> Is there an industry standard everyone uses and I should get familiar with,
> or will any do?
> My previous experience is with NotePad and TextWrangler.
> I've Windows98SE and OSX 10.5.8 [Leopard] ;-), and use both in tandem via a
> KVM switch, XD.
> Thanks in advance, =).
> Yours,
> Andrew.

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