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I know that Eclipse is a universal IDE and variety of plugins are available to scale it. What is the difference between: The original Eclipse IDE, Aptana and NetBeans. I looked into Wikipedia and came to know that the latter two originate from the main Eclipse. For Aptana specially, what was the need to reproduce a new variant that resembles too much with its base IDE?

If your preferred choice is Eclipse itself, what makes it unique as compared to the other two.

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Why don't you look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… in java section? –  user Feb 21 '12 at 11:57

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Eclipse was originally created as a platform for IDEs. There are many IDEs based on Eclipse and each of them is targeted to a particular niche. The original Eclipse download contained the base platform plus JDT (Java Development Tools) and that misled many people to think Eclipse was only a Java IDE.

With relation to "...a new variant that resembles too much with its base IDE..." I guess I can explain that because Eclipse based IDEs simply extend the base Eclipse through plug-ins. So they all follow the same UI guidelines and inherit a lot of the base functionality and look and feel.

Now I don't have much experience with Aptana or Netbeans but Aptana seems to be targeted to web development and Netbeans seems to be another platform similar to Eclipse.

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Aptana is geared towards web, particularly using ruby/rails. Netbeans is not based on Eclipse (afaik), but it was made to make GUI development in Java simpler (using Swing etc). –  Mark H Jan 9 '11 at 3:23
I understand that Netbeans is also PHP-friendly. –  Mark C Jan 9 '11 at 3:48
@sparkie, Netbeans is not based on Eclipse and was not made to make GUI development easier. –  user1249 Jan 9 '11 at 12:25

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