In my tests with both platforms I found that for distribution of your project using Eclipse you should know about ant. NetBeans did everything automatically correctly so that I had no problems redistributing my project to get it run on a completely different machine without either knowing that ant exists.
In my opinion the general fear of using Gui-Designer comes from the fact that in the past it was very buggy (I tested Eclipse and Visual Editor about 2 years ago then again about 9 months ago and it got much better - but still I got things messed up). On the other hand I found the NetBeans 6.x quality of Gui designer very much improved so people should give it a try!
However, I think the Gui designer should be used for new projects only and not for already existing projects where the Gui has been "designed" writing the plain code because it can very easy be that this is not interpreted correctly.
But all that said I must note that I am a beginner and do not have experience with larger projects.
I used Netbeans since 1. It has highlights errors and I don't have to wait for the errors to show up and compile time, and 2. I find using an IDE simpler. I don't really think Netbeans is the best one, just that I have used it since I started with Java and found no reason to change. It works fine for me.
Why don't you think that NetBeans is the best IDE? Any special reason for that?
I used eclipse a few times on windows and it was good too. Best? I dunno. I need to have used and evaluated the others to say that netbeans is best. :)
I used both and I find Eclipse faster but for me as a beginner NetBeans did support me better (e.g. I do not need to know anything about ant to get a distributable package). And my first big problem with Eclipse was to decide which distribution to use. On refactoring in my opinion Eclipse is also better and for Eclipse there are more plugins available (as far as I could notice).
An important issue for me was the GUI Builder. I tested Visual Editor under Eclipse because I was told that it is ok. And it was awful unstable and sometimes after editing code it could not display the GUI anymore in designer. But (in the meantime) there are maybe other alternatives that work better. Any suggestions?
I know also people designing the GUI with NetBeans and then continue coding in Eclipse - which for me seems to be more annoying than the benefits of Eclipse.
Here is a link that also discusses the dilemma Eclipse vs NetBeans (and SWT vs Swing): SWT vs. Swing & Eclipse vs. NetBeans 5.0
Only difficulty I found on NetBeans is, Swing/AWT control alignments. As far as I know, it's impossible to align controls relatively to each other. There may be a plug-in, but I didn't found a such so far. Except that, NetBeans is the best for me. :)
Hoping, that I understood you correct,
Yes I tried first of all the absolute layout so far only. I did only very few tests with other layouts and didn't like them. The issues you are talking about are also happening with the absolute layout?
What I'm saying is, with the absolute layout, the docking indicators are not working. Actually it's work only for Free Design layout mode, which is the NetBeans default layout we can see on first time.
Oh sorry, I used the default free layout only - so I said that wrong in my last post.
The two I use aren't in that list ;P
I mainly use JavaEditor, and else I use VisualCafe. I both like them, although I prefer JavaEditor. (I think it's both payware)
VisualCafe is java-only; it also supports netbeans and stuff btw. JavaEditor is mainly for Java, but it also supports some other languages.
You need to pay (not sure about JavaEditor), but I got them for free from school anyways. ;)
Ah, it may be a cracked version. ;) Anyway, why don't you try with NetBeans.
Not sure what NetBeans is tbh. And I'm fine with the standard :)