Picking an IDE for Grails Development
I’ve been using Eclipse for a while now for most of my development (with Textmate as a backup when I don’t want to fire up an entire IDE). However, coming to the Grails world recently it was pretty clear that the Groovy Eclipse plugin wasn’t really ready for prime time. There are some notes on using it for Grails development, but it didn’t seem to me to be a viable option for Grails development.
I looked for a while at using Netbeans for Grails development. When I first started looking, it appeared to be a non starter, but with the fairly recent announcements of version 6.5+ support for Grails it has become a much more credible contender. It doesn’t have debugging, support for GSPs and there can be performance issues, but if you’re in the market for an IDE, the price is right (free!) and I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot.
In the end, I decided to go with IntelliJ. I bought a license for 8.1. As a personal developer it’s $250 for a license, but if I do even one project in Grails and it saves me a morning it’ll have paid for itself. It’s the IDE that most of the core team seem to use, and while there have been some complaints about IntelliJ choking on Grails 1.1 projects (especially with global plugins) I think they’re going to continue to invest in keeping this as the premier IDE for Groovy/Grails development.
If I change my mind, I’ll certainly let you know! What do you think? What IDE did you choose (if any) and why? I’d also be interested to hear from anyone using Textmate or vi (I don’t speak to emacs people 🙂 – kidding!). Have you ever used an IDE? Were you already a long time text editor afficianado or did you choose to move because you felt (for instance) that the benefits of an IDE were less in a dynamic language (limitations on code completion, etc.)?