Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions). On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
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Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Inline evaluation
With LT's inline evaluation, you don't have to re-compile your whole source file. Each time you want to see an output, all you have to do is hover your cursor over the line you'd like to evaluate and press
ctrl+enter; LT will evaluate that line of code for you.
Pro Your code runs live as you write it
The "Watches" feature lets you see your code running live as you type it. This means that you can debug your code live while writing it, which leads to considerably less programming errors.
Pro Plugin manager available
LT has a plugin manager built directly inside of it. This plugin manager connects to LT's own registry of plugins, so whenever you want assistance while writing your HTML, JS, or even Python, just open up the plugin manager, search for it, and click the little install button beside it's name. Your plugin will then be installed.
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Uses too much RAM
Con Slow startup
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).