5 Things I Like Better about Visual Studio then NetBeans

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I have been using Visual Studio since it first came out and have been big fan of it for quite a few years.  Until just recently it had no real competition but with the NetBeans (and Eclipse) getting better every release I cannot say definitively that Visual Studio is the best editor anymore.  Having said that there are still many features that Visual Studio has that I miss every time I use NetBeans. 

  1. When doing a search I do not have to copy and paste the search term into the search box: When working with legacy code I often find myself looking for code using text searches.  Often I will follow the uses of a variable with a search only to find the variable assigned to or from another variable.  I then want to follow that variable.  It is real nice not to have to do a copy, go to the search text box, then paste it to now search for the new text.  In Visual Studio I just have to highlight the text and bring up the find, or find and replace.  I find NetBeans very irritating every time I need to do a text search.
  2. Right click drag and drop: I find this one of the more useful features in Visual Studio.  In fact I now expect the right click drag and drop functionality to work on every application I use.  This is very useful when I am modifying some code and place a copied piece of code with in it.  I also do not need to think about weather I need to move or copy the selection until I am ready to drop it.  For some reason it does not occur to me what my intent is until I am ready to drop.
  3. using the ctrl } or { to go to the matching curly braces:  When working with legacy code, especial bad legacy code, I often need to find where an if or loop statement ends.  this can be a pain if the code within the block is large.  I know this is bad coding practice but when fixing a defect I do not always have the time to refactor the code.  When tracing though a long code statement I often want to skip past an if statement or loop if I know the defect I am hunting is not in that block of code.
  4. Auto-complete works for just typing any word: Auto-complete is one of the best IDE features every invented.  NetBeans Does this very well when accessing a property or method of an object, but does not do it when typing a class or variable name.  Visual Studio does this well and has become a time saver, especially for some with a bad short term memory like me.
  5. Naming book marks:  This may seem like a small thing but I used it all the time and really miss it in NetBeans.  I often use it to mark definitions or code I want to come back to and look at or code I intent to revisit after I finish my current task.  The trouble I run into then is I also book mark things as a temporary step while coding and I end up with too many book marks to be useful.  In Visual Studio I can name the book marks I want to keep around and quickly go to the correct one and remove the extra book marks easily.

These are just some simple things I notice every day while coding.  There are many other useful features that I use less often in both IDEs.  I just wanted to point out some of the little thing I notice every day that make a big difference.  I feel these improvements in the IDE make me more productive.   I now find myself wondering what little features I can add to my applications to help my users be more productive.

6 thoughts on “5 Things I Like Better about Visual Studio then NetBeans

  1. You do realize you are going to get shit for this post ??

    Ha I do agree with most of the stuff .. its like a bad habit hard to stop

  2. Use IntelliJ. Do you use Resharper w/ Visual Studio? IntelliJ is much better than netbeans and eclipse.

    You should really compare apples w/ apples….and since you have to pay for a good version of Visual Studio, a commercial version(IntelliJ) shouldn’t be beyond your comparison as well.

  3. About point 1: Yes, I have the same complaint. In addition, the “Find In Projects” menu item in NetBeans is not the same as Visual Studio’s “Find In Files”; you can’t search a directory outside the project structure.

    About point 4: Auto-complete does work for any word in NetBeans, but you have to press Ctrl-Space if it doesn’t appear automatically (when entering a class or variable name). In fact, press Ctrl-Space again and NetBeans can even find matches that don’t yet have an import statement.

    Posts like this are critical to open-source software development. If someone working on NetBeans reads this, all these features could be pretty easily implemented in the next version. On the other hand, I don’t expect any response from Microsoft about Jim’s post from a couple weeks ago about NetBeans’ advantages. Besides, those features are more fundamental, and it would be a lot harder for Visual Studio to catch up.

  4. Ha ha, the only thing shows in this post is that you don’t know other IDEs even Visual Studio.

  5. wnrigkfdzcwfckilwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

  6. eochhnetggysrewqwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

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The opinions and content expressed here are my own and not those of my employer.