Nerval's Lobster writes: Developer and editor Jeff Cogswell is back with a comparison of Eclipse and Visual Studio, picking through some common complaints about both platforms and comparing their respective features. "First, let’s talk about usability," he writes, "and let’s be frank: Neither Eclipse nor Visual Studio is a model for sound usability." That being said, as an open-source project, Eclipse wins some points for its customizability and compatibility with languages; it's more difficult to modify Visual Studio to meet some programmer needs, which has led to any number of abandoned projects over the years. Microsoft choosing to eliminate macros in recent versions of Visual Studio has also led to some programmer frustrations (and a need for external tools). "A developer with sufficient skills can be productive in both Visual Studio and Eclipse, although each platform has its own aggravations," he concludes. "But in the end, both can get the job done." Read on for a more extensive comparison of features, as well as some discussion about whether IDEs are really helping programmers all that much. What do you think?