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At work my dev environment consists of bash, vim, ant, jdk 1.3, vss, and a couple dozen bash aliases, bash scripts and python scripts. I spend most of the day in and out of vim sessions debugging various things.

Every 6 months or so I try to switch to Emacs full-time, but I need all the pieces to be there in order to switch and I don't have a lot of time at work to figure it out, practice and get used to a new dev environment. Thus for the last 3-4 years, I've been hanging onto vim, bash, ant, jdk 1.3, vss and tweaking my scripts to make the process as smooth as possible. There are parts that work really well and parts that suck. Debugging sucks.

I figured I'd check out Eclipse and Netbeans. I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how to download Eclipse and set it up on Windows XP and got no where. I'm not really sure how so many people can use it--it's really difficult to get started. I spent an hour trying to get Netbeans to work with jdk 1.4.2 while compiling our stuff with jdk 1.3 and without stomping on the version of Java that runs applets in Internet Explorer. That sucked and could have been a _lot_ easier.

After that, Netbeans seems to work pretty well. I'm running 4.0 beta 2. I bump into NullPointerExceptions regularly, but Netbeans seems to recover from them pretty well without me having to restart. It's decent. I fixed my first bug today with the "new dev environment". It's already faster to iterate between the steps of the analyze, fix, test cycle than it was before. I've also caught a few bugs I didn't know about which have been there for a long time all quiet and hidden away.

I still want to switch to Emacs, but it'll have to wait until I have more free time to make it work.

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