As a generalist I usually have to open multiple applications just to get work done; Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks/Image Ready, VS2005 and all major browsers are but a few apps in my developer toolbox I use frequently. Having multiple desktop applications open at the same time makes ctrl-tabbing frustrating—killing productivity. Development tools are usually very memory intensive too, so the more you have open the slower your system gets.
Eclipse is platform independent as it’s built on the Java Runtime environment. So theoretically if you have a team of developers with different OS taste you could even share project settings.
I’m currently running Eclipse IDE 3.3 with the following plugins:
- The Aptana plugin
- Aptana Radrails
- Adobe Flex Builder
- PDT (PHP Development Tools)
- WST (Web Standard Tools)
I don’t ctrl+tab as much now but Eclipse does get pretty sluggish at times, which could be a downer if you have a slow system.