Which IDE supports Groovy best?

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Which IDE supports Groovy best?

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Recently I got a lot of advice about Groovy and IDE support. In the recent past, I tried other IDE plugins for Groovy and was less than impressed. Yesterday evening, I tried IDEA + the Jetgroovy at the advice of Manuel Palacio and was quite impressed. Fred Grott told me the Eclipse Groovy plug-in was the way to go (which I tried a while ago and did not like as much, but perhpas it is better now).

The feedlr.blog has a post about trying the Groovy Eclipse plug-in, IntelliJ IDEA 7's JetGroovy plugin and NetBeans early support for Groovy. It rates IntelliJ support 4/5, Eclipse support 3/5 and the NetBean's support 1/5**. The NetBeans support is not out yet.

Has anyone tried all three? And if so, what was your impression? What is the best IDE to develop Groovy code in? How important is having IDE support for Groovy's continued success?

Feedlr comparison of IDEs  (thanks to Mike Cantrell for passing that along)

Here are my initial impressions of JetGroovy 

Andres Almiray reminded of a prediction I made earlier:

Rick, if I remember correctly you ended 2006 with a piece stating that if Groovy tools did not make it into the scene then the language was doomed for mass adoption, I hope your latest exercise has shown that IDEA delivered (Eclipse is getting better). You may also want to have a look at GSQL and eventually GORM, they will simplify more your queries and still give you full control.


Opinion: Groovy will never live up to its potential until it has good tool support from Eclipse to a much lesser extent NetBeans. This is not to say that Groovy wont be useful and find a good niche.  IDEA support is really great, but without Eclipse support and to a much lesser extent NetBeans support, it is going to be harder to achieve the developer mass market. Free IDEs are pretty popular. The problem with IDEA, although wonderful, it seems it is a very small part of the IDE mass market.

I have been putting Groovy off for two things: good IDE support, and support for Java 5 features like Generics and Enums. Well JetBrains has a great plugin for Groovy and Groovy 1.5 has the Java 5 features so now I am starting to put Groovy into the mix of tools that I use. IDEA support is enough for this rank and file developer.

rick hightower cto of arcMind blog linkedin


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