Eclipse is the do-it-all code editor
August 19, 2019

Eclipse is the do-it-all code editor

Richard Davies | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Eclipse

We use Eclipse as the IDE and code editor for our Adobe ColdFusion-based web applications. We only have a small number of ColdFusion developers but we standardized on using it as our IDE almost 15 years ago. As a full-featured code IDE, it allows us to edit code files in various languages, has an integrated code debugger, and integrates with our Subversion source code control.
  • Eclipse is very powerful and has a wide range of plugins that can be used to customize it and add additional functionality. For example, you can write code in a wide variety of languages, debug your code, commit it to your code repository, and manage your database schema and data all without ever leaving Eclipse.
  • As open-source software, it's available for free.
  • It has (or had) a very large user base so if you ever encountered issues, it's likely you're not the only one and you can find help from someone else who's experienced the same issue.
  • It runs on top of Java so it's available on almost any platform.
  • Compared to newer, more popular code editors today, Eclipse feels very large, bloated, and slow.
  • I've had compatibility issues in the past where certain 3rd party plugins I've relied on weren't compatible with newer versions of Eclipse and prevented me from being able to update to the latest versions. Or sometimes two plugins would conflict with each other or cause issues when used together. Occasionally I get random errors that are difficult to troubleshoot or identify the root cause.
  • Starting Eclipse always seems to take a really long time, it can consume a lot of memory, and sometimes runs slowly.
  • We've never had to buy a commercial ColdFusion IDE during the 14 years I've been a ColdFusion developer which has helped us to save money.
  • Over the years on multiple occasions, my Eclipse installation has somehow become corrupted and quit functioning properly. This caused a loss of productivity for a couple of days while I rebuilt it and reconfigured all of my plugins and settings. Eventually, I started keeping backups of my Eclipse folders so that I could more easily recover from such events.
  • Overall, it's been a critical and valuable tool for our ColdFusion web development.
Basic functionality is pretty straight-forward and easy to use. But more advanced features can be tricky to figure out if you're not used to the way Eclipse works. Many times things are hidden behind some obscure setting or within some new panel or view that must be enabled or switched to.
As an open-source project, I don't think you can get direct, personalized support from the Eclipse Foundation. You're most likely going to have to use forums, message boards, and mailing lists to obtain help from other users. There is/was a large user base so usually, you can find someone else that's had the same problem, but if you have a really unique/obscure issue you might have trouble getting support for it.
Eclipse has features like debugging and integrated code repositories that Notepad++ doesn't have. VS Code wasn't around when we started using Eclipse, but now that I've started using it for a Drupal project, I would strongly consider switching from Eclipse to VS Code because Code seems a lot quicker, more lightweight, and more modern.
If you need a full-featured IDE for programming or web development Eclipse might be worth a look at, especially if you need a free editor or if you're doing Java development. However, it's starting to show it's age when compared to newer IDEs like VS Code, Atom, or Sublime. But if you only need to occasionally edit code or don't need integrated debuggers and code repositories, then I'd strongly recommend looking at a more lightweight editor.