14 Java IDEs and Text Editors – Complete Guide

Balazs Refi

April 8, 2023

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Java IDE Showdown: Uncover the perfect development environment in our comprehensive guide to Java IDEs and text editors.


Welcome to our latest blog post on the Bluebird website, where we take an in-depth look at the exciting world of Java IDEs and text editors. As a developer, choosing the right development environment is crucial to your success and productivity. That's why we've created this comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the extensive array of options available for Java development.

From the most popular and powerful IDEs to lightweight text editors, we'll explore the features and advantages that make each of them stand out. Whether you're a seasoned Java developer or just starting your journey, this guide will provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision about the best tool for your needs.

So, let's dive in and discover the ultimate Java development environment for you!

Which Java IDEs and Text Editors Should You Use?

Selecting the right Java IDE or text editor can significantly impact your development workflow and productivity. However, with a multitude of options available, making the right choice can be overwhelming. To simplify the decision-making process, consider the following factors when evaluating different Java IDEs and text editors:

  • Your experience level: If you are a beginner, opt for an IDE or text editor with a user-friendly interface and features tailored to help you learn Java, like BlueJ or DrJava. Experienced developers may prefer more advanced tools with extensive features, such as IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse.

  • Project complexity: For small projects or simple scripting, a lightweight text editor like Sublime Text or Visual Studio Code might suffice. On the other hand, larger and more complex projects can benefit from a full-fledged IDE with advanced features, like debugging and build system integration.

  • Platform support: Ensure that the IDE or text editor you choose is compatible with your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux). Many popular options, like IntelliJ IDEA and Sublime Text, offer cross-platform support.

  • Extensibility: An extensive plugin ecosystem can significantly enhance the functionality of your chosen development environment. Examine the available plugins for your preferred IDE or text editor to ensure they meet your specific needs.

  • Cost: While many IDEs and text editors are available for free, some offer premium versions with additional features. Determine whether you require these advanced features or if a free version is adequate for your needs.

  • Community support: A large and active community can be invaluable for getting help, learning best practices, and accessing useful resources. Popular IDEs like Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA boast thriving communities that can assist you in your development journey.

  • Performance: Consider the hardware requirements and performance of the IDE or text editor, as some tools can be resource-intensive. If you have limited system resources, a lightweight option like Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text may be more suitable.

  • Customizability: The ability to customize your development environment to your preferences is essential for some developers. If this is important to you, look for IDEs and text editors that offer extensive customization options, like themes, key bindings, and settings.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can determine the most suitable Java IDE or text editor for your specific needs and preferences, ultimately enhancing your development experience and productivity.

Most popular Java IDEs and Text Editors

1. Eclipse

A widely used open-source IDE that supports Java and various other programming languages.

Eclipse is a highly versatile and widely-used integrated development environment (IDE) for Java development, as well as other programming languages like C++, Python, and PHP. Initially released in 2001, Eclipse has evolved into a robust platform that offers many advantages and features for Java developers.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - Eclipse - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of Eclipse

  • Open Source: Eclipse is an open-source project, which means it is free to use, modify, and distribute. This accessibility has contributed to its widespread adoption and a strong, collaborative community of developers.

  • Extensibility: Eclipse is built on a modular architecture, making it highly extensible through plugins. This allows developers to customize the IDE to their specific needs and preferences, adding support for various languages, frameworks, and tools.

  • Active Community: Eclipse has a vast and active user community, ensuring that it stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in Java and other languages. This community contributes to the development of plugins, offers support, and shares knowledge, making Eclipse a continuously improving and evolving platform.

  • Cross-platform Support: Eclipse runs on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This makes it an attractive option for developers working in diverse environments or collaborating with colleagues using different operating systems.

The name "Eclipse"

Name was chosen for the Eclipse IDE to represent the rise of a new development platform that would outshine Sun Microsystems' NetBeans, as Sun was the creator of Java and the term "eclipse" implies overshadowing the sun.

Main Features of Eclipse

  • Code Editor: Eclipse's code editor provides essential features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and error checking. These features help developers write clean, efficient code and reduce the likelihood of errors.

  • Refactoring Support: Eclipse offers powerful refactoring tools that simplify the process of modifying and optimizing code. These tools help improve code maintainability and readability while minimizing the risk of introducing new bugs.

  • Debugging: Eclipse has a built-in debugger that enables developers to set breakpoints, step through code, inspect variables, and evaluate expressions. This helps to identify and fix issues faster and more effectively.

  • Version Control Integration: Eclipse supports integration with popular version control systems such as Git, Subversion, and Mercurial. This enables developers to easily manage their codebase and collaborate with other team members.

  • Build Automation: Eclipse integrates with popular build tools like Maven, Gradle, and Ant, making it easier to manage dependencies, compile code, and package applications.

2. IntelliJ IDEA

A powerful and popular IDE for Java development, available in both free community and paid ultimate editions.

IntelliJ IDEA, developed by JetBrains, is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) specifically tailored for Java development. Its robust feature set and intuitive user interface have made it a favorite among developers, from beginners to experts. 

IntelliJ IDEA - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Intelligent Code Completion: IntelliJ IDEA offers context-aware code completion that is capable of predicting and suggesting what a developer is likely to type next. This feature is not only limited to Java but also extends to other languages, frameworks, and technologies used in the project.

  • Advanced Refactoring: IntelliJ IDEA excels at refactoring capabilities, allowing developers to safely modify code structure and improve its quality. Its refactoring operations are context-aware, ensuring that changes made are accurate and efficient.

  • Seamless Version Control Integration: IntelliJ IDEA supports integration with popular version control systems such as Git, SVN, and Mercurial. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing changes, reviewing differences, and resolving conflicts within the IDE.

  • Built-in Debugging Tools: The powerful debugger in IntelliJ IDEA allows developers to step through code, evaluate expressions, and monitor variables during runtime, making it easier to identify and fix issues.

  • Extensive Plugin Ecosystem: IntelliJ IDEA has a vast collection of plugins that can extend its capabilities beyond Java development, providing support for a variety of languages, frameworks, and tools. This allows developers to create a customized environment that caters to their specific needs.

IntelliJ IDEA and JetBrains

IntelliJ IDEA was released in 2001, the same year that JetBrains, the company behind it, was founded. JetBrains has since become a major player in the software development tools market.

Main Features of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Smart Code Navigation: IntelliJ IDEA provides numerous navigation options, such as "Go to Definition" and "Find Usages," which make it easy to explore and understand large codebases efficiently.

  • Built-in Terminal: A built-in terminal emulator is provided, allowing developers to execute shell commands without leaving the IDE. This feature streamlines the development process by reducing the need to switch between applications.

  • Live Templates: IntelliJ IDEA offers a feature called Live Templates, which enables developers to define code snippets that can be quickly inserted into the editor. This helps to speed up repetitive tasks and improve productivity.

  • Customizable UI: The user interface of IntelliJ IDEA is highly customizable, allowing developers to tailor it to their preferences. They can choose from various themes, editor color schemes, and keymap configurations to create a comfortable working environment.

  • Support for Multiple Build Systems: IntelliJ IDEA can work with various build systems such as Maven, Gradle, and Ant, making it suitable for a wide range of Java projects.

3. NetBeans

An open-source IDE that supports Java, HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, and C/C++ development.

NetBeans has always stood out as a reliable and feature-rich choice for Java development. NetBeans is an open-source, cross-platform IDE supported by the Apache Software Foundation. Initially focused on Java development, it has expanded its capabilities to support HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, and C/C++ development as well.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - NetBeans - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of NetBeans

  • Ease of Use: NetBeans offers a user-friendly interface and an intuitive project management system that simplifies the development process for both beginners and experienced programmers.

  • Modular Architecture: NetBeans is built on a modular architecture, allowing developers to easily extend its functionality with custom plugins or select only the necessary modules for their projects.

  • Strong Community Support: As an open-source project, NetBeans benefits from an active community of contributors who consistently provide updates, new features, and bug fixes.

  • Integrated Tools: NetBeans includes a range of integrated tools, such as a profiler, debugger, version control, GUI builder, and support for various application servers, which streamline the development process and help maintain code quality.

  • Comprehensive Documentation: NetBeans has extensive documentation, tutorials, and sample projects, providing valuable resources for both beginners and experienced developers to learn and troubleshoot.

The Origin of NetBeans

NetBeans began as a student project in 1996 under the name Xelfi. It was later acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999, and in 2010, it became part of Oracle Corporation after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems.

Main Features of NetBeans

  • Intelligent Code Editor: The code editor in NetBeans features syntax highlighting, code completion, refactoring, and formatting capabilities, allowing developers to write clean and efficient code.

  • Support for Java Platforms: NetBeans provides comprehensive support for Java SE, Java EE, JavaFX, and Java ME, making it suitable for various Java development projects.

  • Maven and Ant Integration: NetBeans seamlessly integrates with popular build tools like Apache Maven and Apache Ant, simplifying the build and deployment process.

  • Version Control Integration: NetBeans offers out-of-the-box support for Git, Mercurial, and Subversion, enabling developers to easily manage their codebase and collaborate on projects.

  • Debugger and Profiler: NetBeans features a powerful debugger and profiler, helping developers identify performance bottlenecks, memory leaks, and other issues that may impact the application's stability and efficiency.

4. Visual Studio Code

A lightweight, extensible text editor with support for Java through extensions and plugins.

Visual Studio Code (VSCode) is a versatile and powerful text editor developed by Microsoft. It is lightweight, cross-platform, and highly customizable, making it a popular choice among developers, including those working with Java. Here's an overview of its advantages and main features from a senior programmer's perspective.

Visual Studio Code - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of Visual Studio Code for Java development

  • Extensibility: VSCode supports a wide range of extensions and plugins, including those specifically designed for Java development. These extensions, such as the "Java Extension Pack" by Microsoft, add rich language support, debugging, testing, and project management capabilities to the core editor.

  • Performance: Being a lightweight text editor, VSCode is fast and responsive, even when working with large codebases or complex projects. This performance advantage allows developers to maintain a smooth workflow without being bogged down by slow loading times or sluggish responsiveness.

  • Cross-platform Compatibility: VSCode is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it a versatile option for developers using different operating systems. This cross-platform support enables seamless collaboration and sharing of projects among team members.

  • Version Control Integration: VSCode has built-in support for Git and other version control systems, allowing developers to manage their code and collaborate with others more effectively. This integration makes it easier to track changes, manage branches, and merge code.

  • Active Community: Visual Studio Code has a large and active community of developers contributing to its improvement, extension development, and providing support. This thriving ecosystem ensures that the editor remains up-to-date with the latest Java features and best practices.

Microsoft and Java

Visual Studio Code, a popular text editor with Java support, is developed by Microsoft, which also develops the .NET framework and the C# programming language, often considered competitors to Java and the Java ecosystem.

Main features of Visual Studio Code for Java development

  • Intelligent Code Completion: With the help of Java-specific extensions, VSCode offers context-aware suggestions and autocompletion, making it easier for developers to write code quickly and accurately.

  • Syntax Highlighting and Formatting: Visual Studio Code provides syntax highlighting for Java and a variety of other programming languages. Customizable formatting settings ensure that the code is readable and adheres to the team's coding standards.

  • Debugging: VSCode offers a powerful and intuitive debugging experience for Java, allowing developers to set breakpoints, step through code, inspect variables, and evaluate expressions during runtime.

  • Built-in Terminal: The integrated terminal in Visual Studio Code allows developers to run tasks, such as building and running Java applications, without leaving the editor. This streamlines the development process and increases productivity.

  • Refactoring and Navigation: VSCode, in conjunction with Java extensions, provides powerful refactoring and navigation tools that help developers quickly navigate to definitions, find references, and perform safe code refactoring operations.

5. JDeveloper

A free integrated development environment (IDE) provided by Oracle for Java application development.

Oracle JDeveloper is a powerful, feature-rich, and free integrated development environment (IDE) specifically designed for Java application development. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and features that cater to the needs of Java developers, particularly when working with Oracle technologies.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - JDeveloper - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of JDeveloper

  • Streamlined Development: JDeveloper is an all-in-one Java IDE that supports the entire development lifecycle, from coding and debugging to testing and deployment. This simplifies and accelerates the development process, allowing developers to focus on writing quality code.

  • Oracle Technology Integration: JDeveloper is tightly integrated with Oracle technologies, such as Oracle Database, Oracle ADF, and Oracle WebLogic Server. This makes it an excellent choice for developers working on Oracle-based enterprise applications.

  • Visual Development: JDeveloper's visual development approach, including drag-and-drop components and visual editors for JavaServer Faces (JSF) and ADF, allows developers to build web and mobile applications faster and more intuitively.

  • Extensibility: The Java IDE offers a flexible and extensible architecture, enabling developers to integrate third-party plugins or create custom extensions to enhance the IDE's capabilities.

Main Features of JDeveloper

  • Code Editor: JDeveloper's code editor provides features like syntax highlighting, code completion, refactoring, and real-time error checking, making it easier for developers to write and maintain Java code.

  • Integrated Debugger: JDeveloper includes an integrated debugger that allows developers to set breakpoints, inspect variables, and step through code to identify and fix issues efficiently.

  • Version Control Integration: The Java IDE seamlessly integrates with popular version control systems like Git, Subversion, and CVS, enabling developers to manage their codebase effectively.

  • Profiling and Diagnostics: JDeveloper offers a suite of profiling and diagnostic tools that help developers identify performance bottlenecks and memory leaks, ensuring optimal application performance.

  • Built-in Testing Framework: JDeveloper incorporates support for JUnit and TestNG testing frameworks, allowing developers to create and execute unit tests directly within the IDE.

6. BlueJ

A simple yet powerful Java IDE specifically designed for teaching and learning object-oriented programming.

BlueJ is a Java IDE specifically designed to facilitate the learning and teaching of object-oriented programming, particularly Java. It simplifies the development process by providing a clean, intuitive interface that focuses on the essential elements of Java programming. BlueJ has been developed in collaboration with educators and experts in the field of computer science education, ensuring that it meets the needs of both students and teachers.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - BlueJ - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of BlueJ

  • Simplicity: Designed with beginners in mind, BlueJ's interface is clean and easy to navigate, making it an excellent Java IDE for newcomers to Java programming.

  • Educational Focus: BlueJ was specifically developed for teaching Java and object-oriented programming, providing an environment that encourages learning.

  • Interactive Visualization: The built-in UML-like class diagrams enable students to better understand the relationships between classes and objects.

  • Direct Object Interaction: BlueJ allows users to create and manipulate objects directly, promoting a deeper understanding of object-oriented concepts.

  • Integrated Debugger: The built-in debugger simplifies the process of finding and fixing errors in the code.

  • Free and Open-source: BlueJ is free to use, making it accessible to students and educators alike, and its open-source nature allows for community contributions.

Blue programming language

BlueJ, a Java IDE specifically designed for educational purposes, was inspired by the Blue programming language, a precursor to Java that was created by James Gosling, the creator of Java.

Main Features

  • Object-oriented Environment: BlueJ's design is centered around objects, making it easier for students to grasp object-oriented programming concepts.

  • Interactive Class Diagram: The Java IDE visualizes the class structure and relationships, helping users better comprehend the architecture of their programs.

  • Direct Object Manipulation: Users can instantiate objects, call methods, and pass parameters, all within the IDE, fostering a hands-on approach to learning.

  • Built-in Editor: BlueJ includes a simple yet powerful code editor with syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and automatic indentation for a seamless coding experience.

  • Code Templates: BlueJ provides customizable code templates to help students write code more efficiently, following best practices.

  • Extensibility: The Java IDE supports extensions that can add functionality or customize the user interface to better suit individual needs.

7. JGrasp

A lightweight development environment with automatic generation of software visualizations, designed to improve software comprehension.

JGrasp is a lightweight Java IDE that offers several unique features tailored for Java development, making it an excellent choice for programmers who want a streamlined and visual approach to their coding process. I find the following advantages and main features of JGrasp to be particularly noteworthy:

Java IDEs and Text Editors - JGrasp - Bluebird Blog


  • Visualization: JGrasp provides automatic generation of visualizations like Control Structure Diagrams (CSD), Object Reference Diagrams (ORD), and Unified Modeling Language (UML) class diagrams, which aid in understanding the structure and organization of your code.

  • Lightweight: JGrasp is a lightweight Java IDE, which means it consumes fewer resources and is faster than many other feature-rich IDEs, making it suitable for systems with limited resources or for developers who prefer a more minimalistic environment.

  • Simple Interface: The user interface is clean and straightforward, making it easy for developers to navigate and focus on their code.

  • Education-oriented: JGrasp is particularly useful for teaching and learning purposes, as it helps students visualize the code structure and better understand the concepts of object-oriented programming.

  • Cross-platform: JGrasp is available for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to a wide range of developers.

The Origin of jGrasp 

JGrasp, a lightweight Java IDE, was developed at Auburn University, primarily for educational purposes, and its unique feature is the automatic generation of software visualizations to improve software comprehension.

Main Features

  • Control Structure Diagrams (CSD): JGrasp automatically generates CSDs for your Java code, making it easier to see the flow of control within your program and identify potential issues.

  • Code Folding: This feature allows you to collapse and expand sections of code, making it easier to navigate and focus on specific parts of your program.

  • Syntax Highlighting: JGrasp offers customizable syntax highlighting for Java and other languages, making it easier to read and understand the code.

  • Integrated Debugger: The Java IDE includes a built-in debugger that helps you identify and resolve issues in your code by allowing you to set breakpoints, step through the code, and inspect variables.

  • Workbench Integration: JGrasp can be integrated with other Java IDEs like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans, allowing you to take advantage of its unique visualization features while working within your preferred development environment.

8. DrJava

A lightweight Java IDE designed primarily for students and beginners.

DrJava is a lightweight Java IDE that has gained popularity among Java developers, particularly those who are just starting out with Java programming. I can appreciate its simplicity and user-friendliness, which helps beginners to focus on learning Java concepts without being overwhelmed by the complexity of a full-featured IDE.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - DrJava - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of DrJava

  • Easy to Use: DrJava offers a clean and intuitive interface, making it easy for beginners to start writing Java code without any steep learning curve.

  • Lightweight: Unlike some other Java IDEs, DrJava is lightweight and launches quickly, making it ideal for users with less powerful systems or those who prefer a more responsive development environment.

  • Educational Focus: DrJava is designed with education in mind, providing features that help students and instructors better understand Java programming concepts.

  • Cross-platform: DrJava is written in Java and runs on any platform that supports a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), making it accessible for users across different operating systems.

  • Free and Open-source: DrJava is freely available and open-source, which allows the community to contribute to its development and improvement.

DrJava and The Rice University

DrJava was initially created in 2001 by a group of students at Rice University, led by a professor, as a lightweight Java IDE targeted at beginners, with simplicity and ease-of-use as its core design principles.

Main features of DrJava

  • Interactive interpreter: DrJava's "Interactions Pane" allows developers to test and execute Java code snippets in real-time, without the need to compile or run an entire program. This is especially helpful for learning and understanding how specific lines of code behave.

  • Syntax highlighting: DrJava provides syntax highlighting for Java code, making it easier to read and understand the structure of the code.

  • Integrated debugger: DrJava includes a basic debugger that helps developers identify and fix issues in their code, a valuable feature for novice programmers.

  • Automatic Indentation: DrJava automatically indents code based on its structure, improving code readability and helping beginners learn proper code formatting.

  • Code Navigation: DrJava offers basic code navigation features like "Go to Line" and "Find/Replace," which can be helpful for quickly locating specific code segments.

  • Customizable Key Bindings: DrJava allows users to customize key bindings, enabling them to create a more 

9. MyEclipse

A powerful, commercially available IDE built on the Eclipse platform, offering advanced features and support for Java EE development.

MyEclipse is a powerful Java IDE designed to facilitate efficient Java development. 

Java IDEs and Text Editors - MyEclipse - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of MyEclipse

  • Comprehensive Java Support: As a Java IDE, MyEclipse provides extensive support for Java development, including Java EE, Java SE, and Java ME.

  • Streamlined Web Development: MyEclipse has built-in tools for web development, making it easier to develop, test, and deploy web applications in Java.

  • Integration with Popular Frameworks: MyEclipse has out-of-the-box support for popular frameworks like Spring, Hibernate, and JavaServer Faces, which simplifies the development process.

  • Database Connectivity: MyEclipse allows you to connect to various databases easily, providing a convenient database management experience.

  • Team Collaboration: MyEclipse's team collaboration features enable developers to work together more effectively, with features like version control, code review, and real-time communication.

  • Customization: MyEclipse is highly customizable, allowing developers to tailor the IDE to their specific needs and preferences.

Main features of MyEclipse

  • Code Editor: MyEclipse's advanced code editor offers features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and refactoring, which significantly improve coding efficiency.

  • Visual GUI Builder: MyEclipse includes a visual GUI builder that allows developers to design user interfaces easily and quickly.

  • Integrated Build and Deployment: MyEclipse comes with an integrated build and deployment system that supports various application servers, streamlining the deployment process.

  • Code Generation: MyEclipse offers code generation capabilities that automate repetitive tasks, such as generating getters and setters, or creating database connections.

  • Debugging and Profiling: MyEclipse provides powerful debugging and profiling tools that help identify and resolve performance issues in Java applications.

  • Extensibility: MyEclipse supports a wide range of plugins, allowing developers to extend the functionality of the IDE to meet their specific needs.

10. Greenfoot

An interactive Java development environment designed for education and beginner programmers, focusing on creating games and simulations.

Greenfoot is a unique Java IDE specifically designed for teaching and learning object-oriented programming with Java, focusing on creating games and simulations. I can appreciate the importance of having accessible tools for learning programming languages, and Greenfoot does an excellent job of catering to beginners.

Advantages of Greenfoot

  • Beginner-friendly: Greenfoot provides an intuitive interface that makes it easy for new programmers to learn Java and object-oriented programming concepts.

  • Visual Environment: Greenfoot enables users to create and interact with graphical objects, making it an engaging platform for learning and experimenting.

  • Interactive Learning: The IDE encourages users to modify, tweak, and explore the code, promoting a hands-on learning experience.

  • Educator Support: Greenfoot has a strong community of educators who have developed various resources, including tutorials and example projects, to help students learn Java programming.

  • Cross-platform: Greenfoot is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

Connection Between Greenfoot and BlueJ

Greenfoot, a Java IDE for education and beginner programmers, is developed and maintained by the same team that created BlueJ. Its primary focus is to help users create games and simulations using Java.

Main features of Greenfoot

  • Object Interaction: Greenfoot allows users to interact with objects directly on the screen, making it easier to understand object-oriented concepts.

  • Real-time Code Execution: The Java IDE supports real-time code execution, which enables users to see the immediate effects of their code changes.

  • Built-in Code Editor: Greenfoot includes a built-in code editor with syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and error checking, simplifying the coding process for beginners.

  • Scenario Sharing: Users can share their Greenfoot projects (scenarios) with the community, fostering collaboration and learning from others' work.

  • Extensive Documentation: Greenfoot offers comprehensive documentation, including an extensive library of tutorials and examples, catering to different learning styles.

11. Android Studio

The official IDE for Android application development, based on IntelliJ IDEA, with built-in support for Java and Kotlin.

Android Studio is an excellent Java IDE tailored specifically for Android app development. Here are some of its key advantages and main features:

Android Studio - Bluebird Blog


  • Officially Supported: As the official Java IDE for Android development, Android Studio is consistently updated and maintained by Google, ensuring a seamless and up-to-date development experience.

  • Integrated Emulator: Android Studio offers a built-in, fast, and feature-rich emulator for testing and debugging apps on multiple device configurations without the need for physical devices.

  • IntelliJ IDEA Foundation: Built on the powerful IntelliJ IDEA platform, Android Studio inherits its code editor, code analysis tools, and debugging capabilities, providing a familiar environment for Java developers.

  • Kotlin Support: In addition to Java, Android Studio supports Kotlin, a modern, expressive, and more concise language that is fully interoperable with Java, allowing developers to gradually adopt Kotlin or write mixed-language projects.

  • Gradle Build System: Android Studio utilizes the powerful Gradle build system, which simplifies build configuration, handles dependencies, and enables complex, multi-module project structures.

Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA

Android Studio, the official IDE for Android app development, is built on top of IntelliJ IDEA, inheriting many of its powerful features and adding specific tools and components for Android development.

Main features

  • Intelligent Code Editor: Android Studio's code editor offers advanced code completion, refactoring, and analysis features, helping developers write high-quality Java code more efficiently.

  • Layout Editor: A visual layout editor allows developers to design and preview Android app UIs using drag-and-drop components, making it easy to create responsive layouts for different devices and screen sizes.

  • Integrated Version Control: Android Studio supports popular version control systems like Git, SVN, and Mercurial, enabling seamless collaboration between team members and efficient management of code changes.

  • APK Analyzer: The APK Analyzer helps developers optimize app size by examining the contents of APK files, identifying resources and code that can be reduced or removed.

  • Profiling Tools: Android Studio includes a suite of profiling tools for monitoring app performance, memory usage, and network activity, allowing developers to identify and resolve bottlenecks or issues in their Java code.

12. Codenvy

A cloud-based Java IDE that allows developers to code, build, and debug applications from any browser.

Codenvy is a cloud-based Java IDE that offers a unique set of features, making it a valuable tool for Java development. I can appreciate the following advantages and main features it provides:

Java IDEs and Text Editors - Codenvy - Bluebird Blog


  • Cloud-based: Being a cloud-based Java IDE, Codenvy allows developers to access their projects and write code from any browser, without the need to install or maintain software on their local machines.

  • Collaboration: Codenvy facilitates real-time collaboration between team members, making it easier to share and review code, which can significantly improve development efficiency.

  • Scalability: The cloud-based architecture allows for easy scaling of resources, ensuring optimal performance regardless of the size of the project or team.

  • Integration: Codenvy integrates seamlessly with popular version control systems, continuous integration tools, and issue trackers, streamlining the development process.

  • Containerization: Projects are run in isolated containers, providing a consistent and secure environment across different stages of development.

Main Features

  • Intelligent Code Editor: Codenvy offers a feature-rich code editor with syntax highlighting, code completion, and refactoring support tailored for Java development.

  • Debugging: The Java IDE provides powerful debugging capabilities, including breakpoints, variable inspection, and step-through execution.

  • Built-in Builder & Runner: Codenvy includes built-in tools for building and running Java applications, making it easier to test and deploy code.

  • Workspace Management: The cloud-based workspace management system allows developers to create, share, and manage multiple workspaces with different configurations, catering to the diverse requirements of various projects.

  • RESTful APIs: Codenvy exposes RESTful APIs, enabling developers to integrate their tools and automate various development tasks, further enhancing the overall development experience.

13. jEdit

A mature and powerful programmer's text editor with support for Java and many other languages, offering extensive customization options.

jEdit is a versatile Java IDE and text editor that provides a robust and efficient platform for Java development. I would like to highlight the key advantages and main features of jEdit that make it a useful tool for Java developers.

Java IDEs and Text Editors - jEdit - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of jEdit

  • Cross-platform Compatibility: jEdit is written in Java, which makes it portable across different operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • Extensibility: jEdit supports a vast number of plugins, allowing developers to customize and extend its functionality according to their specific needs.

  • Regular Expressions Support: jEdit provides powerful search and replace features using regular expressions, which is an invaluable tool for Java developers.

  • Large File Handling: jEdit is capable of handling large files efficiently, which is crucial when working on complex Java projects with numerous source files.

  • Active Community: jEdit has an active community of users and contributors, ensuring regular updates, bug fixes, and feature enhancements.

Main features of jEdit

  • Syntax Highlighting: jEdit provides syntax highlighting for Java and numerous other programming languages, which enhances code readability and allows developers to spot errors more easily.

  • Code Folding: The Java IDE supports code folding, which enables collapsing and expanding blocks of code, making it easier to navigate and understand complex code structures.

  • Auto-indentation: jEdit offers automatic indentation, allowing developers to maintain a consistent code formatting style throughout their projects.

  • Macros and Scripting: jEdit supports macros and scripting, enabling automation of repetitive tasks and customization of the editor's behavior.

  • Split Windows: The Java IDE offers the ability to split windows, allowing developers to view and edit multiple files simultaneously, which is particularly useful when working on larger projects.

  • Integrated FTP/SFTP Support: jEdit includes built-in FTP and SFTP support, which enables developers to easily access remote files and perform file transfers directly from the editor.

14. Sublime Text

A sophisticated text editor with a strong Java plugin ecosystem that provides features like code completion, syntax highlighting, and more.

Sublime Text is a popular and versatile text editor that is widely used for Java development, among other programming languages. As a Java IDE, Sublime Text offers a rich feature set and a multitude of advantages that appeal to both novice and experienced Java developers.

Sublime Text - Bluebird Blog

Advantages of Sublime Text for Java development

  • Lightweight and Fast: Sublime Text is known for its high performance, ensuring smooth and efficient Java coding experiences.

  • Cross-platform: It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, allowing Java developers to work seamlessly across different operating systems.

  • Customizable: Sublime Text offers a high degree of customization through settings, themes, and color schemes, enabling developers to tailor the environment to their preferences.

  • Extensibility: A vast collection of plugins and packages are available to enhance its functionality, making it a powerful Java IDE.

  • Multiple Cursors and Selections: These features allow developers to perform simultaneous editing, increasing productivity.

  • Split Editing: Developers can work on multiple files or different parts of a single file in parallel, boosting efficiency.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text, despite being a general-purpose text editor, has become a popular choice for Java developers due to its performance, extensibility, and rich plugin ecosystem, enabling users to transform it into a capable Java IDE.

Main features of Sublime Text as a Java IDE

  • Syntax Highlighting: Sublime Text automatically recognizes Java code and highlights syntax accordingly, improving readability and reducing the chance of errors.

  • Code Completion: The editor provides intelligent suggestions for Java code, helping developers write accurate and efficient code more quickly.

  • Goto Definition and Goto Symbol: These features allow developers to navigate through Java code easily, moving between classes, methods, and other code elements.

  • Build System Integration: Sublime Text can be configured to integrate with Java build tools like Maven or Gradle, streamlining the build process.

  • Error Checking and Linting: With the help of plugins, Sublime Text can identify and highlight errors and potential issues in Java code.

  • Debugging Support: Though not built-in, debugging capabilities can be added to Sublime Text via plugins, assisting developers in identifying and resolving issues in their Java applications.

Download the Chosen Java IDE or Text Editor

In our comprehensive blog post, we've explored the vast landscape of Java IDEs and text editors, providing valuable insights to help you find the perfect tool for your development needs.

Catering to developers of all skill levels and project complexities, we've discussed the pros of various popular options. By considering factors like experience level, project size, platform support, extensibility, cost, community support, performance, and customizability, you can confidently select the ideal Java development environment to boost your productivity and elevate your coding experience.

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