Although it's still rare for management to get it, programmers know that programmers should get the latest and greatest hardware. The case is clear: at a lowball price of $70,000 a year, even a %1 speedup is worth $700 a year.
Developers, however, have a way of sticking with substandard software out of inertia -- afraid of the breakage that might result from switching to new tools, we suffer with tools that never work quite right.
The Eclipse IDE is the poster child for a "dull tool"; visual debugging support, autocompletion, and automated refactoring make something like it indispensable for Java projects, yet, it's rare for an Eclipse installation to work 100% correctly. And even if you do have it working correctly, you're just one plugin away from disaster.
We've all got our pet peeves, but let's name a few of mine:
- Eclipse comes in many editions, some of which will work with your build and others which won't
- Eclipse has plugins which can (sometimes and almost) do useful things, but the one certain thing is it will become increasingly unstable as you install more plugins.
- Eclipse always seems to hide the tab I'm looking for (could they please patent that algorithm?)
- Under linux and gtk, graphical screwups that hurt usability are the norm. Autocompletion labels, for instance, frequently appear white-on-white. (Don't get me started on the difficult-to-grab "scrollbars" that appear on Ubuntu)
- Eclipse is slow
The last one is something you might not notice without comparing Eclipse to another IDE.
About a year ago, a fellow programmer told me that I was wasting my time using Eclipse. I wasn't ready to switch then, because I didn't want to deal with the breakage that comes with changing my dev tools, but when I had a chance to catch my breath, I tried out IntelliJ Idea and found that, finally, my laptop feels like a 4 core machine with 32GB of RAM and an SSD.
If you use Eclipse, you owe it to yourself to try another IDE
Creator of database animals and bayesian brains