Sep 2010
AUTHORMike Benner

IntelliJ, The IDE for Everything

I don’t even get involved in the VIM vs EMACS flame wars.  Why?  Because I am one of the people that can unify them.  I love a good IDE.  I am willing to put up with the “bloat” to gain the benefits a well built IDE can bring.  Over the years I tried many of them and kept going back to Eclipse, even if it left me unsatisfied.  Last year I started using RubyMine from JetBrains for Rails development and never looked back to Textmate or RadRails.  Recently, I started writing more Flex and Android code, as well as, maintaining older Coldfusion applications.  This drove me back into Eclipse, but left me wanting a RubyMine like alternative.

After some searching I found IntelliJ (another JetBrains product) that actually worked with Flex, Android,

Coldfusion, Ruby and Rails.  I have now used it IntelliJ for all of my development for that last few months and will not be going back to Eclipse anytime soon.  While it is heavy, it runs rings around both Ganymede and Helios on my Macbook Air.

Support from JetBrains has been awesome.  They have been very responsive to all of my questions (although they could have been avoided if they had better documentation) and are constantly updating their various IDEs.  Which is another thing, they have standalone IDEs for PHP, Python, Ruby/Rails, .net, Java and even basic HTML/CSS.  While all appear to be built of the granddaddy IntelliJ, their developers are great about building IDE specific functionality into plugins for IntelliJ.  This allows one of my favorite features, creating modules for different languages in one project.  So now, can have my Robotium Android Tests, my Android app and the web app that provides an api all open in one IDE that is truly useful across the different languages.

It also supports hooks into TeamCity (their CI Server) and YouTrack (their bug tracking software) which is a feature I am looking to try out next.

If you are looking for an alternative I would recommend giving JetBrains a try.


  1. I am sorry it took you so long to find IDEA. Eclipse makes me pull my hair out, but from the inside, through my eyes. The free IDEA Community Edition is fairly good, too, but it doesn’t support as many languages. Either edition is rock hard stable, and version 9 is a lot faster than previous versions.

    Happy coding

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