I’m an android developer, meaning that most of my job involves Java and XML. There is a lot of circle-jerk (I don’t know a better word for it, unfortunately) regarding these two technologies, and in fact I see some problems with Java, indeed. But it is a tool that does a good job at the end of the day, and JVM is a good and mature technology.
With all my “Emacs this, Emacs that”, maybe you’re thinking why I don’t using a “modern” IDE, like eclipse or NetBeans.
Well, since I’m a android developer, I actually use eclipse on my day-to-day work. There are three main reasons for that.
- Java is a dense language, with lots of classes and methods and types. With Android’s SDK, this is get even bigger. An IDE helps me to find myself out.
- ADT is really well integrated with Eclipse, providing a lot of features that are easily accessed.
- I never really got JDEE working on Emacs 24, much less android’s modes.
Since Emacs’ shortcut keys are starting to get hardwired in my brain, I installed the extension called Emacs+ (only available on Eclipse Indigo). There are a few things that I miss (if only it were a ELisp parser…), but I’m mostly happy with it.
Well, mostly. There are a few things that I really dislike about eclipse. When it gets in my way. When it doesn’t recognizes things that are there. When there is no other easy way of doing a task besides going to the mouse.
But how does eclipse gets in my way?
Well, I don’t understand exactly how and why, but sometimes eclipse will “hold” a file and no other program will be able to use the same file, even if it is already saved and I’m not doing anything on it. This is a HUGE problem if you, like me, uses version control on the command line because of the flexibility it provides.
Sometimes eclipse will only let me use the file if I close it inside of eclipse. But sometimes I don’t want to. I want it to remain open, because it’s terrible to reopen it.
Maybe this is my fault. I really don’t know.
And what am I talking about when I say that it doesn’t recognizes things that are there?
Sometimes, eclipse won’t start the main activity because, for it, the activity does not exist. Even if it does. Even if I can open it directly on the device.
Finally, about going to the mouse: I’m an incorrigible keyboard adept. My text editor won’t ask me to use the mouse. My window manager will avoid the mouse. I hardly ever use my file manager because I find more practical to do a lot of tasks on a terminal. When I can’t do that on eclipse because it thinks that mouse is easier, I get pissed.
I know, I know that eclipse has lots of shortcut keys and I can edit them. But it seems that eclipse is not meant to be used this way.
Oh, this reminds me of one last thing: customize eclipse is boring as hell. If it had a scripting language, like Emacs Lisp, vim script, Ruby, Python, or whatever, sometimes it would be just better. Eclipse is a programmer’s tool, why not benefiting from that?