Reflections of a scattered Mind!!

"Not all scattered pieces are of broken glass"

Learning Android : Why I Moved Away From Eclipse

So, after a very long break, I started back with getting familiar with Android development… Felt happy seeing that Google has made a lot of improvements / features in the ADT. But, everything evaporated when I tried to debug an app on my machine, and got this error: “Android Packaging Problem: resources.ap_ does not exist”. I tried cleaning the project, restarted Eclipse, and re-creating the Eclipse project and this error didn’t go away… Googling it also didn’t help much… Then, I went to sleep….

The next day, to my surprise, there was no error and I was able to debug my app, at last… But, it didn’t last long… After 3 hours, the same error is back…. It looked like this ADT solves everything else (Resource Editors, WYSIWYG Editor etc.) but the basic task it is supposed to do (Basic compiling / packaging / debugging)…

Now that perfect mood is set to go hunting for a new and reliable IDE, I searched in stackoverflow.com for answers… Found some thread saying IntelliJ IDEA is good…. So, downloaded it, downloaded its dependencies (JSDK 1.6) and installed them… And there is no turning back… I don’t miss the resource.ap_ error at all…

The Pros of IDEA:

  1. Reliable (unlike ADT for Eclipse) at compiling and packaging…
  2. Supports the Android “Library” projects also… (Tried it with GreenDroid, and worked without a glitch)
  3. Import Eclipse projects directly…
  4. Integrated github support (and a few more Version Controls)
  5. Decent enough features, for Refactoring, Imports optimization, Code completion etc.

The Cons:

This could become a big list, but the reliability when compared to Eclipse beats everything in the below list combined..at least for me…

  1. Page Scrolling - Cannot use the Mouse Scroll.. Need to click on scrollbar and scroll it down.. :(
  2. Logcat sucks!! The one in Eclipse is hell lot better.. Seriously needs Filter by Application, Colored text based on log level, and saved searches.. A simple textarea doesn’t justify such an important feature..
  3. The keyboard shortcuts are completely different from Eclipse.. Why doesn’t IDEs come with keyboard binding set of other IDEs that user can choose to use? :(
  4. Memory hogger, seems to be more than Eclipse.. Could it be because of Swing & Java?
  5. Basic XML Editor - There are no Android Resource Editors…. I prefer to write XML files by hand, though…
  6. Some code warnings may misguide you.. It keeps telling me that Cursor cannot be NULL, though I have personally seen cases where it will be…

In simpler words, IDEA may not be as good as Eclipse in general, but for Android development, it is certainly a better choice… at least for now..

Atleast, you’ll know you are frustrated not because of IDE… (Trust me, frustration because of an IDE, instead of logic/code isn’t even worth trying to know.. )

Comments