Eclipse vs IntelliJ IDEA vs Xcode

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Eclipse

2.6K
2.2K
+ 1
392
IntelliJ IDEA

42.8K
35.8K
+ 1
1.5K
Xcode

18.9K
14.4K
+ 1
213

Eclipse vs IntelliJ IDEA vs Xcode: What are the differences?

Introduction

In the world of software development, there are several popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) available, each with its own set of features and functionalities. Three widely used IDEs are Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode. While they all serve the purpose of aiding developers in writing code, there are several key differences between them that make each IDE unique. In this article, we will explore these differences in detail.

  1. Compilation and Deployment: One significant difference between Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode lies in how they handle compilation and deployment processes. Eclipse primarily relies on external build tools such as Ant, Maven, or Gradle to compile and deploy projects. IntelliJ IDEA, on the other hand, comes bundled with its own build system known as IntelliJ Build Tools. Xcode, specifically designed for macOS and iOS development, utilizes its native build system called Xcode Build System. This variance in build systems can affect the development workflow and convenience for developers working on different platforms.

  2. Code Assistance and Refactoring: IntelliJ IDEA differentiates itself with its superior code assistance and refactoring capabilities. The IDE provides intelligent code completion, quick fixes, and on-the-fly code analysis that suggests improvements and detects potential issues in real-time. Additionally, IntelliJ IDEA offers an extensive collection of built-in code refactorings, allowing developers to efficiently restructure their codebase. While both Eclipse and Xcode provide some level of code assistance and refactoring features, IntelliJ IDEA's advanced capabilities enhance developer productivity and code quality.

  3. Plugin Ecosystem: Eclipse is known for its rich plugin ecosystem, offering a vast array of plugins developed both by the community and official sources. This flexibility allows developers to extend the functionality of the IDE to suit their specific needs. On the other hand, IntelliJ IDEA focuses on providing a comprehensive set of features out-of-the-box, minimizing the need for additional plugins. Xcode, being an Apple-developed IDE, offers a narrower range of plugins compared to Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA. The differing plugin ecosystems affect the availability of specialized tools and integrations within each IDE.

  4. Platform Support: Eclipse prides itself on its platform independence, allowing developers to work on projects across multiple platforms such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. IntelliJ IDEA, while also being cross-platform, delivers a more native experience on Windows and macOS. Xcode, being exclusive to Apple's ecosystem, provides the best support for macOS and iOS development. This difference in platform support makes each IDE more suitable for specific development environments and target platforms.

  5. User Interface (UI) and Customization: Eclipse has a highly configurable UI, allowing developers to personalize their workspace with various layouts, perspectives, and themes. However, the overall appearance and usability of the IDE may not be as polished as IntelliJ IDEA and Xcode. IntelliJ IDEA focuses on providing an intuitive and visually appealing UI out-of-the-box while offering limited customization options. Xcode, closely integrated with Apple's design principles, presents a distinctive interface tailored specifically for macOS and iOS development. The variance in UI and customization options cater to different developer preferences and priorities.

  6. Language and Framework Support: Eclipse stands out for its broad language and framework support, thanks to its extensive plugin ecosystem. It provides robust tools for Java development and also offers plugins for other languages like C/C++, Python, and PHP, among others. IntelliJ IDEA, initially designed for Java development, provides excellent support for languages like Java, Kotlin, and Scala and has built-in features for popular frameworks like Spring and Android. Xcode, tightly integrated with Apple's ecosystem, offers unparalleled support for Swift and Objective-C languages, as well as various iOS frameworks. The varying levels of language and framework support make each IDE more suitable for specific development stacks.

In summary, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode differ in terms of compilation and deployment processes, code assistance and refactoring capabilities, plugin ecosystems, platform support, user interface and customization options, as well as language and framework support. Each IDE has its unique strengths and weaknesses, making them suitable for different development environments and requirements.

Advice on Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode
christy craemer
Needs advice
on
EclipseEclipseIntelliJ IDEAIntelliJ IDEA
and
PyCharmPyCharm

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

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Replies (12)
Recommends
on
Visual Studio CodeVisual Studio Code

Pycharm is great for python development, but can feel sometimes slow and community version has Somme very annoying restrictions (like they disabled jupyter notebooks plugin and made it premium feature). I personally started looking into VS Code as an alternative, and it has some very good potential. I suggest you take it into account.

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Recommends
on
PyCharmPyCharm

The Community version of PyCharm is free and should give you what you need to get started with Python. Both PyCharm and IntelliJ are made by JetBrains. IntelliJ is initially focused on Java but you can get plugins for lots of other things. I subscribe to JetBrains' Toolbox: https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox-app/ and have access to all of their great tools.

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Charles Nelson
Recommends
on
IntelliJ IDEAIntelliJ IDEA

I couldn't imagine using a development tool other than the IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate All Products Pack. A single license allows me to work directly on my server running Ubuntu and/or my workstation running Windows 10 Pro simultaneously. My current project uses HTML, W3CSS, JavaScript, Java, Groovy, Grails, C, GO, Python, Flask, and Rust. For me it's worth every penny of the $150 license fee. And you can try it for free.

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Recommends
on
Visual Studio CodeVisual Studio Code

Hi, I will give my opinion based on my experience. I have used PyCharm, both community and Professional version. The community has limited functions, like you can't use a Jupyter notebook whereas it's available in the Professional version. PyCharm is slower compared to Visual Studio Code. Also Visual Studio Code is an editor which supports various languages. I myself have used both Visual Studio Code and PyCharm. I feel Visual Studio Code would be better choice. You may as well decide based upon your requirements.

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awesomebanana2018
Recommends
on
Visual Studio CodeVisual Studio Code

Visual Studio code is easy to use, has a good UI, and a large community. Python works great with it, but unlike some other editors, it works with most languages either by default or by downloading a plugin. VS Code has built in linting, syntax coloring, autocompletes (IntelliSense), and an api for plugins to do there own tooling.

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Ivan Martinez Morales
Software Engineer Intern · | 4 upvotes · 669.3K views
Recommends
on
Visual Studio CodeVisual Studio Code

I'd personally recommend Visual Studio Code as it gives you the flexibility of working in any language, so long as there are extensions to support it. It gives you the flexibility to learn Python, venture into Java, Javascript, and eventually AngularJS, and potentially mobile applications. It's also free and you can install it on your personal computer. I think Visual Studio Code would serve your intended use case best.

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Pranshu Verma
Engineer at Cisco Systems · | 3 upvotes · 669.4K views
Recommends
on
PyCharmPyCharm

If you starting with Python then PyCharm is better. For Java I would suggest to go with IntelliJ IDEA but people also prefer eclipse so I would say try both and then decide. For JS/Angular/React I would suggest go with VSCode. I personally use it and prefer as its light weight and have good integration with chrome for frontend development.

PyCharm, IntelliJ IDEA are both products of JetBrains. They have a free (limited feature) and paid edition. Eclipse is free. VSCode is also free.

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Isaac Povey
Casual Software Engineer at Skedulo · | 3 upvotes · 669.4K views
Recommends
on
IntelliJ IDEAIntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ really is the best for Java, I switched from eclipse years ago and never looked back. As for javascript, python and angular either using the standalone products from jetbrains (pycharm for python, webstorm for js) or installing the relevant plugins for InteliJ will be your best bet. Pycharm etc. are really just InteliJ with some additional plugins installed.

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Pritam Nandy
Engineering Manager at Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited · | 1 upvotes · 616.8K views
Recommends
on
PyCharmPyCharm

This is a very easy to use tool and gives you the opportunity to start coding right after the installation with almost everything setup automatically by the tool.

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Recommends
on
PyCharmPyCharm

Pycharm is all you need to get start coding in python or any of its framework. Its an awesome tool you should give it a try :)

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Brian Turner
System Architect at Mary's Watch, Inc. · | 1 upvotes · 669.3K views
Recommends
on
IntelliJ IDEAIntelliJ IDEA

Easy to learn and everything you need

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Recommends
on
PyCharmPyCharm

All three are great, however, I believe that IntelliJ IDEA's multiple IDE's are slightly more straight-forward and more up-to date than Eclipse. If I had to choose one specifically for Python projects I would go with PyCharm.

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Decisions about Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode
Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 7 upvotes · 188.5K views

Expo was a tool Macombey really wanted to utilize from the beginning. I have been working with React Native since 2016 and originally I had to use simulators in Xcode, install pods on top of node packages, configure certificates, and more abundant objectives that take time away from actual development. As a development studio, we have to move quick and get projects to our clients and partners in a matter of months.

Expo made this easy for us. We now have a mobile app for clients to download and test their project on, there is no need to install pods or configure Xcode, and development is super fast and reliable now.

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Nikola Yovchev
Head of Engineering at Relay42 · | 4 upvotes · 162.6K views

Since IntelliJ is the de-facto standard for writing Java/Kotlin/Scala application, and in Relay42 we are heavy Java users, every new engineer gets an Ultimate subscription from day1. The gains in productivity, pair programming speed (esp with the Code With Me feature) by using the same and familiar editor are totally worth the cost.

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Samriddhi Sinha
Machine Learning Engineer at Chefling · | 6 upvotes · 981.3K views

Lightweight and versatile. Huge library of extensions that enable you to integrate a host of services to your development environment. VS Code's biggest strength is its library of extensions which enables it to directly compete with every single major IDE for almost all major programming languages.

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Manabu Tokunaga
CEO, Co-Founder at WinguMD · | 10 upvotes · 508.6K views

I originally chose IntelliJ over Eclipse, as it was close enough to the look and feel of Visual Studio and we do go back and forth between the two. We really begin to love IntelliJ and their suite of IDEs so we are now using AppCode for the IOS development because the workflow is identical with the IntelliJ. IntelliJ is super complex and intimidating at first but it does afford a lot of nice utilities to get us produce clean code.

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Pros of Eclipse
Pros of IntelliJ IDEA
Pros of Xcode
  • 131
    Does it all
  • 76
    Integrates with most of tools
  • 64
    Easy to use
  • 63
    Java IDE
  • 32
    Best Java IDE
  • 9
    Open source
  • 3
    Hard for newbews
  • 2
    Great gdb integration
  • 2
    Professional
  • 2
    Good Git client allowing direct stage area edit
  • 2
    True open source with huge contribution
  • 2
    Great code suggestions
  • 2
    Extensible
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 0
    Works with php
  • 301
    Fantastically intelligent
  • 242
    Best-in-class ide
  • 190
    Many languages support
  • 158
    Java
  • 121
    Fast
  • 82
    Code analysis
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 76
    Out of the box integration with maven, git, svn
  • 64
    Plugin architecture
  • 61
    Integrated version control
  • 12
    Code refactoring support
  • 11
    Best java IDE
  • 7
    Local history
  • 6
    Code Completion
  • 6
    Kotlin
  • 6
    Integrated Database Navigator
  • 6
    Built-in terminal/run tools
  • 5
    All
  • 5
    Free for open-source development, students and teacher
  • 5
    Base for Android Studio
  • 5
    Free If you're a Student
  • 4
    ERD Diagrams
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Cross platform
  • 4
    IDE
  • 4
    Database/Code integration
  • 3
    Out Of The Box features
  • 3
    Column Selection Mode
  • 3
    Server and client-side debugger
  • 3
    More than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Typescript support
  • 3
    Multicursor support
  • 3
    Reformating Code
  • 3
    Intuitive
  • 3
    Command-line tools
  • 3
    Android Integration
  • 3
    Vim support
  • 3
    Special icons for most filetypes in project list
  • 3
    Supports many frameworks
  • 3
    Built-in web server
  • 3
    Live Templates
  • 3
    Scala support
  • 2
    Works fine with mac os catalina
  • 2
    A lot of plugin
  • 2
    Just works
  • 2
    Integrated Ssh/Ftp Managers
  • 2
    Full support
  • 2
    Task managers
  • 2
    Diff tools
  • 2
    File Watchers
  • 2
    Support for various package managers
  • 2
    Integrated Code Linting
  • 2
    Clean UI
  • 2
    Open source
  • 2
    So modernised
  • 2
    Efficient, one Stop solution
  • 130
    IOS Development
  • 33
    Personal assistant on steroids
  • 29
    Easy setup
  • 17
    Excellent integration with Clang
  • 3
    Beautiful
  • 1
    Built-in everything

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Cons of Eclipse
Cons of IntelliJ IDEA
Cons of Xcode
  • 14
    2000 Design
  • 9
    Bad performance
  • 4
    Hard to use
  • 20
    Large footprint required to really enjoy (mem/disc)
  • 16
    Very slow
  • 8
    Bad for beginners
  • 7
    UI is not intuitive
  • 5
    Not nearly as many tools to integrate as vs code
  • 5
    Constant reindexing
  • 4
    Needs a lot of CPU and RAM power
  • 3
    Built in terminal is slow
  • 3
    Doesn't work that well with windows 10 edu
  • 1
    Ruby is a plug in
  • 1
    Pesky warnings increase with every release
  • 0
    AAD
  • 6
    Massively bloated and complicated for smaller projects
  • 3
    Horrible auto completiting and text editing
  • 1
    Slow startup
  • 1
    Very slow emulator

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What is Eclipse?

Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.

What is IntelliJ IDEA?

Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages.

What is Xcode?

The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

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What are some alternatives to Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode?
Android Studio
Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. It provides new features and improvements over Eclipse ADT and will be the official Android IDE once it's ready.
Visual Studio
Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.
NetBeans IDE
NetBeans IDE is FREE, open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers.
PyCharm
PyCharm’s smart code editor provides first-class support for Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, CSS, popular template languages and more. Take advantage of language-aware code completion, error detection, and on-the-fly code fixes!
Atom
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
See all alternatives