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 Built-in browser live-updating
Brackets will automatically refresh the browser and load the latest saved version of a file open in the browser. This works with php as well. Editing a css will even highlight the tag that's currently being worked on. However, it only works with Chrome.
Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
Pro Built-in extension manager
The functionality of Brackets can be extended via a simple-to-use extension manager. The extension manager also has a considerable number of extensions and themes.
Pro Actively developed
Brackets is being actively maintained and developed.
Pro Can style a tag without switching over to the stylesheet
A feature called "Quick Edit" allows the user to select a tag in (a html file, for example) and edit the associated style without switching over to the css document. It also supports SASS and LESS pre-processors.
Brackets is easy on memory usage and it starts up quickly.
Pro Popup previews
Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images.
Pro Can be hacked by any front-end developer
Pro Vim mode
Vim-style editing is already built in the text editor.
Pro Drag and drop support
Brackets supports drag and drop of text, as well as multi / rectangular selection.
Pro Support for Adobe PSD content
A default extension allows for the extraction of PSD resources, such as images and styles. There's good integration for placing extracted resources into source.
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 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 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 Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
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 Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Con Still missing some elementary text editor commands
Some gaps have to be filled by plugins, while these features should be built in.
- Jump to matching brace (bracket / parenthesis);
- Gutter selection of lines;
- Recall previous searches / replacements;
- Autofill of search field with text under caret (text has to be selected);
- Show whitespace / end of lines / indentation guides / right margin;
- Selection to upper / lower case;
and some more.
Con Problematic updater
Though the website says there is an update available, the updater in Brackets may give you an error, resulting in you having to download updates manually.
Con Supports only web languages by default <but>
Brackets is built for web development and that's where it excels at out of the box. Other languages that have a CodeMirror mode can be added as well.
<and language support plugins can be added>
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 Slow startup
Con Uses too much RAM
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Althrough thesse are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.
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).