People I know who use Eclipse ask me why I use IntelliJ IDEA, when Eclipse is really good and free. Well, it’s little gems like the following that put IDEA miles above anything and everything else. And you don’t even have to know what all the gems are, they just appear when they need to.

I was writing some unit tests for some new code, and one of my tests was failing. I had hit the “run tests” button, and I had got a red-bar. So I clicked on the failing test, and this is what I saw [this is sample code to protect the guilty]:


Okay, a comparison failure (two multi-line strings were were not asserting-equals). But wtf… Click here to see difference? Normally you get a truncated version of the expected and actual strings. Clicking there produced:


Oh… my… god! A freaking ediff of the two strings. That is exactly what I wanted, and I didn’t even know it. IDEA simply activated one of its little gems, because it would make my life easier.

IDEA is just good. My only gripe is that new logo: I keep alt-tab-ing past it. My eye/finger memory hasn’t caught up yet.