Have You Made the Switch to NetBeans?

“An IDE should work with you, not against you....”

It's the type of reaction normally reserved for rock stars by screaming teenage fans, or displayed by ardent soccer aficionados cheering on their favorite teams, but how many IDEs can claim the distinction of compelling developers to want to lose their t-shirts in joy (rather than frustration)? NetBeans can, after Balmeyer, a French developer recently submitted a testimonial about his experience working with the NetBeans 5.5 IDE.

“I just tried NetBeans 5.5 under Linux, plus the Visual Web Pack, and I am breathless. I used Eclipse for a long time, and one day, I was curious and gave NetBeans 5.0 a try, but I still wasn't completely convinced. Until now. NetBeans 5.5 is incredible! I want to tear off my T-shirt in joy!...”

Generally, developers prefer to keep their shirts on—we think—but many have been just as effusive as Balmeyer in recounting their experience working with the NetBeans IDE. From Mali to Japan, France to Brazil, the stories have poured in from users who have discovered (or rediscovered) NetBeans and have made the switch from other IDEs.

“...after using JBuilder and Eclipse we definitively switched to NetBeans since it offers for free the most impressive and efficient Java development environment available in 2006 and 2007. With invaluable plug-ins and features like the Matisse GUI design tools and the integrated profile, it outperforms the Java IDE competition today...”

Testimonials from working developers, Java instructors and students since the release of NetBeans 5.0 and the upgrade to NetBeans 5.5 have shared a similar theme: enthusiasm for new tools added to the IDE and improvements to previous features. Users have raved about tools such as Matisse GUI builder, the Visual Web Pack and the NetBeans Profiler. They've cited the IDE's ease of installation, its support for J2EE and cross-platform development, access to tutorials and plug-ins, that it saves time and is available at no charge, and more.

The testimonials have also been evenly divided between newcomers to the NetBeans IDE and users who turned to other IDEs after they found older versions of NetBeans lacking. The Eclipse user interested in Enterprise development and who finally struck gold with NetBeans 5.5 after repeated tries with previous versions. The student searching for an IDE for a Java programming class and after an easy installation declared NetBeans his IDE of choice. A developer looking for an IDE that would give him Facelet support. A serial IDE user—Visual Age, Rational Suite, Eclipse and more—converting after discovering NetBeans's Profiler.

Ultimately, these "Switch Stories" bolster what recent reviews and awards have been saying about the NetBeans IDE: that it has become a significant contender in the field of IDEs.

Do you have a switch story to share? Tell us about it!

Not sure about making the switch? Here are 10 reasons why you should.
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