Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This has nothing to do with having a favourite editor or anything like that. I was just wondering, per language, what are the most popular Integrated Development Environments? Maybe a top 2-3 if there is some contention. (Perceived popularity is enough)

Thus Far:

C# - Visual Studio, SharpDevelop

Java - Eclipse, NetBeans, IDEA

Objective-C - Xcode

Delphi - RAD Studio

Object Pascal - Delphi, Lazarus

C, C++ - Visual Studio, Vim

PL/SQL - RapidSQL, Oracle SQLDeveloper

PHP - Eclipse, NetBeans, Nusphere PHPed

Actionscript (AS2, AS3) - FlashDevelop

Flex - Flash Builder 4

Python - Eclipse, IDLE

Perl - Padre

Common Lisp - Lispworks, Emacs

Ruby - TextMate

Haskell - Vim

Fortran - Vim

Visual Basic - Visual Studio


locked by maple_shaft Aug 14 '13 at 10:58

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

closed as not constructive by Mark Trapp May 1 '11 at 3:54

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Is this a bit too broad? – MIA Sep 21 '10 at 15:40
@Jim, why too broad? Just a question that lists IDEs, not compares and describes them. – Pavel Shved Sep 21 '10 at 15:44
One way to treat this question would be to list one language/IDE pair per answer and let the # of upvotes gauge popularity. – Adam Sep 21 '10 at 19:00
If this is going to become a voting thing it should be Community Wiki – WalterJ89 Sep 21 '10 at 19:09
I agree that this should be community-wiki, not because it's a poll, but just because it's broad enough that it wouldn't make sense to have multiple answers for each language, so anyone should be able to edit them. – Gelatin Sep 22 '10 at 16:21

33 Answers 33

All languages - VIM

I don't like IDE's.

If I'm on OSX I'll use TextMate at time, but mostly I do everything (JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP) in VIM. I'm also quicker then several colleagues who use an IntelliJ.

I'm a bit disappointed it didn't say emacs, but +1 nevertheless. ^^ – gablin Sep 21 '10 at 18:01
It asks what are the most popular IDEs, not which one you use. – Andrew Grimm Sep 21 '10 at 23:41
@Andrew: Half the Zend dev team uses VIM. I doubt it's "unpopular" by any stretch. – Josh K Sep 22 '10 at 21:02
Can do you debugging from VIM, is that possible? – Jon Onstott Nov 17 '10 at 22:37
@Jon: Sure, and the perl debugger can even drive plain old vi, the real one, that Keith Bostic wrote. – tchrist Nov 20 '10 at 0:38

Java - IDEA, Eclipse, NetBeans.

In that order? If so, do you have a source? I would have thought it was Eclipse, NetBeans, IDEA or NetBeans, Eclipse, IDEA... – Chinmay Kanchi Sep 21 '10 at 16:27
to my understanding Eclipse is the most popular for Java itself. – WalterJ89 Sep 21 '10 at 17:06
@Chinmay Kanchi: Then I consider this question a success already! – Steve Evers Sep 21 '10 at 20:12
@Chinmay - I listed them in order of my personal preference :) In fact, I would always prefer IDEA over the others. – talonx Sep 22 '10 at 4:20
Walter's right: Eclipse is probably the most popular. IntelliJ IDEA is the best one though. :-) – Jonik Sep 22 '10 at 17:57


There's a question in the Hampton's Ruby Survey that may provide some concrete numbers about the "text editor" of preference in the Ruby world. Here's a chart of the results (at the time of writing):

A chart of the results for the "text editor of preference" question of the Hampton's Ruby Survey

The results suggest that TextMate is the most popular text editor among Ruby developers. It is worth noting that TextMate's popularity seems to be declining; so is the popularity of Eclipse based editors. On the other hand, the popularity of Vim, which I personally use, seems to be increasing.

+1 Nice graph, much quicker to parse than the source page – Alan Pearce Nov 3 '10 at 15:07
Vim is gaining! More power to the engines, don't let them get away! – Mark C Nov 23 '10 at 5:21

Objective-C - Xcode

What else can you write Obj-C in?! – Alex Feinman Sep 22 '10 at 18:01
Is that a question or just rhetorical? – Mark C Oct 11 '10 at 4:35
@Alex: ProjectCenter and ProjectManager under GNUstep, TextEdit under OpenStep, and emacs on pretty much anything all have Objective-C syntax support. There's a stillborn project to do Objective-C for Eclipse, which failed because the CDT didn't support ObjC. – user4051 Nov 3 '10 at 14:45
Syntax support doesn't make for an IDE; it's necessary but not sufficient. I was quite curious to see if there were any other full-fledged IDEs for Obj-C; sounds like there may not be, yet. – Alex Feinman Nov 3 '10 at 15:58
Objective-C does exist besides Mac doesnt it? As such, I'd think that its Cocoa that is so tightly coupled so Xcode, not necessarily Objective-C. I'm kind of conjecturing tho, I am not a serious Objective-C coder by any means. – jon_darkstar May 1 '11 at 4:00

For Delphi, the Delphi IDE.

I don't recall there being a choice ;-) But I wish there was (at least for Delphi 7) Whoops, there go my blue dots, time to restart. – Peter Turner Sep 21 '10 at 17:30
@Peter: Well, there's always Lazarus... :P – Mason Wheeler Sep 21 '10 at 17:33
Technically Objective Pascal... Blue dots? – Mark C Oct 11 '10 at 4:32
@Mark C: Dots in the gutter at the side of the editor that indicate where lines of executable code are. They show where the debugger will stop when you're tracing through the code, and where the valid lines to set breakpoints on are. There were some glitches in earlier IDEs that could break this functionality, though. – Mason Wheeler Oct 11 '10 at 4:45

Common Lisp

Commercially, probably LispWorks.

Outside of the commercial implementations, almost certainly EMACS + SLIME

+1 for Emacs+SLIME – Inaimathi Nov 18 '10 at 1:37

C++: Visual Studio with Visual Assist X


C --- Emacs


Java - Eclipse (Java EE, with Google App Eng, and GWT, and Plug-in for Version Control)

C++ - EMacs/Eclipse/GEdit

GEdit does a pretty good just at color coding most languages.


Erlang - Emacs


Everyone I know working with Python uses Emacs or Vim.

I use PyDev, but then I'm really working with Jython. – user4051 Nov 3 '10 at 14:46

For both Perl and Python: Emacs and Vim. Beats Eclipse in terms of popularity.


For PHP there is also Nusphere PHPed which is absolutely great, not free but one of the best. I used to use it all the time.

For Haskell I would say vim,and that probably goes for C too.


Object Pascal - Delphi, Lazarus

C,C++ - Bloodshed Dev C++ , Visual Studio 2008 C++

PL/SQL - RapidSQL (by Embarcadero), Oracle SQLDeveloper

C# - Visual Studio (Currently in 2008, but 2010 looks sweet when I upgrade!)

For the record, Dev-C++ is more than a little out of date. It includes MinGW-GCC 3.4, while the current release of MinGW-GCC is 4.5. wxDev-C++ supposedly comes with a more recent compiler, although I would say there are fer better alternatives. – greyfade Sep 21 '10 at 20:46
---> CodeBlocks – Mark C Oct 5 '10 at 23:01

Visual Basic - Visual Studio
C++, Fortran - Visual Studio, Vim, Emacs

Are you saying that Vim,Emacs are among the most popular IDEs for C#? I somehow doubt that. – JohnFx Sep 21 '10 at 16:04
I agree with vim about C++ definitely not C#. For c# there's visual studio and you can't really get anything better imho. – Daniel Sep 21 '10 at 16:22
How could you list vim and emacs for C# and C++ and not for Python. I would have thought more Python programmers use them than C# programmers. – Chinmay Kanchi Sep 21 '10 at 16:28
@JohnFx - You're right. An error on my part. – Rook Sep 21 '10 at 16:33
@Chinmay Kanchi - An error on my part in regard to C#. As for Python, I had a feeling these are more used. – Rook Sep 21 '10 at 16:34

Java - Eclipse, NetBeans

Python - IDLE? (Ships by default, don't know about popularity)

Perl - Padre

Why would anyone ever want any other IDE than vi for perl? – tchrist Nov 20 '10 at 0:39
@tchrist: The fact that it was made from scratch to be an IDE for perl indicates that there are people who want it – Daenyth Nov 21 '10 at 2:21
That doesn’t answer my question. Why would they want it? – tchrist Nov 21 '10 at 2:25

I'm not sure, but I would say that the most popular in Python is Eclipse + pyDev

Everyone Ruby programmer I know uses TextMate in MacOS

What about non-Mac Ruby programmers? – Mark C Oct 11 '10 at 4:25
Curiously, any Rubist I know is absolutely a Mac fan! (and uses also vi when they have to use other machines) – Khelben Oct 11 '10 at 8:24

Was never really a fan of an IDE and find I learn the language better without the assistance. VIM was mentioned but at times I really am not interested in VIM and would rather use nano.

Nano Editor


Actionscript(AS2,AS3) - FlashDevelop



Actual PHP programming - Netbeans (PHP version) or Eclipse (PHP Development Tools)
PHP Templating - Dreamweaver

Note - By actual PHP programing I mean (for example) OOP using frameworks like CakePHP, Symfony or CodeIgniter.
By templating I mean using simple PHP for including headers/footers or formatting.

Netbeans also has a nice Vim plug-in I hear, for those of you who love vim. I've never used it myself – WalterJ89 Sep 21 '10 at 17:33
I started using Eclipse for Java, but was initially reluctant to use it for PHP. I've since been quite happy with it, especially for Drupal development. – gapple Sep 21 '10 at 18:29
I also see Komodo appear frequently in IDE discussion in the Drupal community. – gapple Sep 21 '10 at 18:30
"PHP Eclipse" would be more accurate then "Eclipse", the PHP Eclipse package includes all the tool you need to develop PHP. – HoLyVieR Sep 21 '10 at 18:32
@HoLtView Made the change, – WalterJ89 Sep 21 '10 at 18:39

JetBrains has IDE's for several languages that have a similar look & feel:

IntelliJ IDEA for Java

RubyMine for Ruby and Ruby on Rails

PHPStorm for PHP, HTML and JavaScript

PyCharm for Python and Django

(I have the last three.)


C++ - code::blocks

I belive Code::Blocks is one of the best IDEs for C++, however, it's kinda struggling with acceptance. It won't beat VisualStudio on Windows. However, with declining popularity of Eclipse, Code::Blocks might get another chance. – polemon Apr 30 '11 at 22:12

One IDE that has been forgotten: Aptana - Eclipse based IDE for PHP, Ruby, Javascript and Python.



.Net (3.5) - Visual studio 2008 .net 4 - visual studio 2010

flex - flash builder 4 / eclipse Java - Eclipse

ROR - TextMate HTML/CSS/JS etc - TextMate


C# / Mono - I'd add MonoDevelop. Cross platform, so you have a C# IDE on Linux and Mac as well as Windows.

I was going to add MonoDevelop but I thought I heard that it had problems and couldn't compile against .NET? – Steve Evers Sep 22 '10 at 0:18

C/C++ - Visual Studio C# - Visual Studio Java - Depends. I use java mostly for mobiles, so, for example, Blackberry I use the Blackberry JDE, for any other J2ME mobile, Java ME SDK 3. I once used JCreator PRO to develop, one, when i didnt knew specified tools existed to code for mobiles, xDDDDD JavaScript - Visual Studio, and that's cause i use mostly on my ASP.Net web applications Visual Basic - 6.0 on MSVB6, .Net on Visual Studio (there's a software my companie bought and that was debeloped on 6; I was assigned to mantain and develope it further PHP - DreamWeaver


XSLT - XmlSpy, Visual Studio


Not exactly freeware, but I'd use whats necessary.

  • C/C++ Win — Visual Studio 2010
  • C/C++/Fortran Linux —Netbeans
  • HTML/CSS — Dreamweaver
  • Perl — Activestate Komodo
  • PHP — Activestate Komodo
  • Python — Activestate Komodo
  • TCL — Activestate Komodo

If you're including Vim, then Notepad++. I use it for most languages, including Java (compiled with Ant) and smaller C++ projects (compiled with MinGW), and it seems to be pretty popular in general, especially for web development. It has more/better features than some of the more popular IDE's I've used, even. I do prefer using Visual Studio for C# and XCode for Objective-C, though.


Smalltalk - your own image.

So Squeak uses Squeak, Pharo uses Pharo, ...

I think only Gnu Smalltalk doesn't, where I suspect they use Emacs or Vim.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.