What I Don't "Get" About Eclipse Advocates...

Read this article by Ian Skerrett on Eclipse Zone and then read this blog entry by Chris Aniszczyk. Both Chris and Ian are prominent members of the Eclipse community. Their "take" on the new possibilities of NetBeans Platform applications to include OSGi bundles and even to run natively as OSGi bundles is interesting. Rather than saying: "Hey, awesome, great to hear!", both the responses seem to be along the lines of: "Welcome out of the stone age and, yes, we've been right all along!" Not exactly a warm embrace.

But, anyway, speaking of which, arguing along the same lines (i.e., "at last NetBeans has seen the light"), when is Eclipse going to run natively on Swing? That's the standard UI toolkit for Java desktop applications, isn't it? The point is, if your argument is that it's great that NetBeans can "finally, at last, hurray" run on the standard module system, isn't it weird that you consider it acceptable to run on your own proprietary UI toolkit?

It's not just me that thinks this, since probably (rough guess) 95% of those who choose to use the NetBeans Platform over Eclipse RCP (read some of their motivations here) do so because the NetBeans Platform uses the standard UI toolkit, while Eclipse doesn't. So, here's hoping Eclipse will continue operating in the stone age (i.e., using their own system while a standard system exists) of using SWT for all eternity since it is exactly this differentiator that has made the NetBeans Platform so popular. :-)

Comments:

Having read both blog posts you are pointing to, I don't see anything negative about them. I think people are quite careful anyhow when writing about these matters because nobody wants another flamewar about IDEs or text editors.

The way I remember it, the NetBeans Module System predates OSGi and it's just Sun's fault they didn't try to make it a standard module system. Just as they never tried to actually push the NetBeans Platform as a product (but Oracle now seems to do, but Oracle also loves OSGi, so...).

Being a standard is nothing to be very proud of anyhow (be it a module system or GUI toolkit). Standards mostly win in my book just because they have a large industry support or because they are the first, not because somebody actually took each (new) solution and compared it on some technical level.

Anyhow, it's a good strategic decision for NetBeans to support OSGi. Some companies (like Google) only released Eclipse (OSGi) plugins so it's nice to know we might be able to use some of that. Although we are only half-way there since the API hooks are different on each IDE (JSR 198 anyone?).

Posted by Emilian Bold on May 16, 2010 at 06:41 PM PDT #

Read the two blog posts too and I agree their responses are not really nice. But they're not really too negative either. But what you expected?

Posted by Thomas on May 16, 2010 at 06:48 PM PDT #

What I noticed is: Most Eclipse users never tried NetBeans (or they tried it a really long time ago).
Many use Eclipse because they got told that Eclipse is THE IDE for Java.

I tried both in their current versions last time about 1,5 years ago. It was quite difficult to find a combination of Eclipse base + plugins that fit my needs and was stable at the same time.

I find their use of SWT is maybe the reason why the startup and interface is a little faster than NetBeans.

My understanding of SWT vs Swing is, that SWT uses the OS widgets and Swing builds and draws it's own. I have chosen Swing for GUI development, because you are more flexible in Swing, as not limited to the widgetset that is offered by all OS (you can only use those offered by everyone).

On the other hand NetBeans was more stable and easier to handle out-of-the-box. And the Swing GUI editor (Matisse) is very good. I was not able to find anything similar on the Eclipse side (the Visual Editor was bare waste).

Posted by Martin Wildam on May 16, 2010 at 07:00 PM PDT #

Whether SWT is a little faster to start I don't know, but I suspect that "little" is the key word.

Personally I have found more than once that Eclipse would not work for me because SWT had broken on Linux. Most recently it was because the "OK" button would not respond! Swing on the other hand is well tested on each platform that it runs on as is NetBeans (all hail NetCAT) and it is hard to imagine this such a problem could occur.

I am a long-time NB user (mainly daily builds!) and only rarely foray into Eclipse, mainly to keep options open around job hunting and out of curiosity to see what's changed! I expect to be a user of NetBeans for some time to come...!

Posted by Daniel Sheppard on May 16, 2010 at 07:44 PM PDT #

I wonder if it is the choice of UI toolkit which differs that much for choosing Netbeans or Eclipse.

Personally, I look at the technologies which I prefer using and then look at which IDE has the best support for them. Some technologies are supported first class in Eclipse (Google Eclipse plugin / Spring tool suite / JBoss tool suite) others have first class support in Netbeans (Java EE, Mercurial, .?.)

I rather see Eclipse improving real functionality than spending time replacing the UI technology.

Posted by Edwin Commandeur on May 16, 2010 at 08:45 PM PDT #

I agree with Martin. Eclipse users have the bad habit to say what they say about NB based on the ancient 3.6 version.

I heard from a colleague: "Eclipse is better because everybody uses it". Yeah, right. Nelson Rodrigues once said "Unanimity is dumb" - and I agree with him.

Too bad for them - I fall in love with NB every new version. Brand new features, old bugs corrected, even a new splash!! (and I don't need to remember what moon cames first)

Posted by Eduardo Costa on May 16, 2010 at 09:22 PM PDT #

See this post, for some arguments that it actually can make sense to have different UI toolkits:

http://ablog.apress.com/?p=88

SWT takes a different take on implementing UIs than Swing, so it's existence seems justified.

Just because Swing is a standard it doesn't mean that SWT is therefore not relevant anymore. IMHO the pragmatic approach is: Use standards because they make sense, not just because they are a standard.

About some apparent misconceptions:
- SWT and JFace are not proprietary, both are open source and were so before Swing (SWT and JFace are non-standard, that is not included in the JRE)
- SWT is not limited to the lowest common denominator of native widgets. It uses native rendering where it can, and emulates where necessary

Posted by Edwin Commandeur on May 16, 2010 at 09:48 PM PDT #

Regarding the button lock-up - in a Javaposse newscast that was mentioned - see
http://javaposse.com/java_posse_301_newscast_for_april_2nd_2010
Dick mentions in the podcast episode how he solved the issue.

And the bug according to this:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/gtk/+bug/442078

Maybe it was comment #52 what Dick did.

Posted by Martin Wildam on May 16, 2010 at 09:51 PM PDT #

Looking at the posts by Ian Skerret or Chris Aniszczyk they do state "Now it seems NetBeans and IntelliJ are ready to provide OSGi support" and "Netbeans finally cares about OSGi".

I don't agree with Aniszczyk that it is better to adopt a standard than hold your own. It all depends if the standard way fits your needs and if the standard is widely supported. Furthermore, OSGi is not the standard module system for Java. It is standardized, but that is something different. I wonder what will come out of project Jigsaw, because modularity at the level of distributed artifacts would be a great asset to have in standard Java.

Posted by Edwin Commandeur on May 16, 2010 at 10:14 PM PDT #

I really don't want to troll, but the question is difficult to avoid: how does JavaFX fit in this debate? FX puts \*both\* Swing and SWT in the "stone-age" category -- at least in technology, not adoption yet -- and it is produced by Sun itself, so unlike SWT it's not something you can dismiss as an aggressive, anti-Java-standards initiative from some evil competitor.

Maybe some day, both the NetBeans and Eclipse teams will "see the light" and rewrite both RCPs and both IDEs in JavaFX. ;-)))

Posted by Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein on May 16, 2010 at 10:18 PM PDT #

Please...let's make sure Eclipse never runs on Swing. Seeing it on Linux is still painful for the eyes.

When is Swing on GTK+ finally going to be equivalent to Swing on Windows in terms of L&F and overall fidelity?

And those atrocious Swing dialogs for files/folders on Ubuntu just make me cringe.

Posted by Jacek on May 16, 2010 at 11:23 PM PDT #

Geertjan,

I think you misunderstood my blog post. It was really intended to show that OSGi is gaining a healthy ecosystem of tools providers. Recently there has been some doubts about OSGi momentum on the blogsphere, so I think NetBeans and IntelliJ support for OSGi is a good sign for the OSGi community.

It really wasn't my intention to start a flame war of IDEs. I would really like to see NetBeans provide great support for the EclipseRT technology, like Equinox, EclipseLink, Jetty, etc.

Ian

Posted by Ian Skerrett on May 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM PDT #

Swing is not the standard UI toolkit on any operating system that I use.

Posted by Hauke Ingmar on May 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM PDT #

What I like about Eclipse JEE version is that I can easily control how JEE applications are built and deployed, specifically, using Ant. I like the fact that my projects do not depend on Eclipse to build; a user with Ant can just as easily build the same project in a terminal window. Seems that too many IDEs make it difficult to configure and build projects outside the IDE environment. Also seems that the latest version of JDeveloper lacks the ability to work directly with Ant; the older versions made this easier. How unfortunate--I used to like JDeveloper a lot.

Posted by Mike Quentel on May 17, 2010 at 12:46 AM PDT #

I read each blog entry inline from your entry - and I totally expected your blog entry to say "At least these two people get it". I figured from the title of your entry, that you were annoyed by Eclipse Advocates.

I have a feeling that if you read those entries again a bit later, with a fresh perspective you may see them a bit differently. Maybe your read came after some other fanboy post?

Either way, I'm glad to see all of the IDE's progress. I have to say that this day it is a hard choice for me on what to use. It used to be - "I want to use IntelliJ, but work wants us to use Eclipse". These days, I want to find a few hours (or days) to really spend with NetBeans to appreciate where it is today. And I'm really curious about the new IntelliJ release, but somewhat annoyed with how they chose to opensource a "light" version of it.

Posted by David Sachdev on May 17, 2010 at 01:44 AM PDT #

Still don't get how the usage of OSGi should be applauded based on that it is a 'standard', while the non-usage of Swing, which is also a 'standard', is not considered a problem.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 17, 2010 at 02:13 AM PDT #

Geertjan, I meant nothing negative about my post and am a bit surprised you took it that way. I'm generally very careful with my words. I was trying to state that Netbeans adopting OSGi is a positive thing for the Java community. I even sympathize a bit with the Netbeans platform team because when Eclipse move to using OSGi in 3.0 over its own module system, we had a lot of backwards compatibility issues to deal with. We had to do some clever tricks in the runtime to convert the old style plug-ins to OSGi style on the fly to support them in OSGi because we didn't have the option to fully break backwards compatibility.

The way I look at it now... OSGi can not only be associated with Eclipse anymore given its success outside the Eclipse ecosystem now.

Posted by Chris Aniszczyk on May 17, 2010 at 02:37 AM PDT #

Quite a few respondents seem to believe that this blog entry has anything to do with IDEs. FYI, it doesn't; it's all about the platform underneath it and the fact that the majority of its users (i.e., developers creating applications on top of it) make their choice (over Eclipse RCP) based on the single fact that the NetBeans Platform is a native Swing application, which is what their own original application also tends to be.

Others responding here seem to believe that the NetBeans Platform now runs on OSGi. It doesn't. Instead, it is now possible to import OSGi bundles into your NetBeans Platform applications. It is also possible to convert your whole NetBeans Platform application to run natively as a set of OSGi bundles, but that is experimental:

http://wiki.netbeans.org/NetBeansInOSGi

Finally, I still don't get how the usage of OSGi should be applauded based on that it is a 'standard', while the non-usage of Swing, which is also a 'standard', is not considered a problem.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 17, 2010 at 02:55 AM PDT #

"I would really like to see NetBeans provide great support for the EclipseRT technology, like Equinox, EclipseLink, Jetty, etc."

Nice, Mr. Ian. Me, I would really like to see Eclipse provide great support for NetBeans technology, like NetBeans modules, TopComponents, wizards for the creation of NetBeans Platform applications... ah, the list goes on and on.

Why should the love come from one side only?

Posted by Kareem on May 17, 2010 at 03:51 AM PDT #

The good thing about "standards" is that there are so many to choose from.

Posted by Christian on May 17, 2010 at 03:55 AM PDT #

I haven't looked at this OSGi thing much but just wanted to check what Netbeans support means for IDE users. Does it mean that I will be able to use all the plug-ins that people like Google make for Eclipse?

Sorry if the question is a bit dumb but it's the main problem I have with using Netbeans. I actually tried out Eclipse last year because of it. It seemed good enough once I got used to it but in the end I wend back to Netbeans over a very small feature difference that I decided was actually critical to me.

Also, with regards to modules - I'm not sure if this has got anything to do with OSGi but I found the Eclipse plug-in system surprisingly difficult to use after working with platforms like Netbeans and Mozilla. These just seem to work but I found it more challenging with Eclipse. Maybe it was just me...

Posted by Ewan Heming on May 17, 2010 at 04:08 AM PDT #

You can't blame anyone for not using Swing, as it has been dying on the vine unmaintained and unenhanced for years. You know who else doesn't use Swing? Sun's former Swing development team, all of whom got repurposed to work on JavaFX.

Posted by Sun Doesn't Use Swing Either on May 17, 2010 at 04:23 AM PDT #

Eclipse is much better than netbeans:

- for the java editor (faster)
- for debugging (faster)
- because it does not generate ant build script
- because the on-the-fly compilation is much faster
- because the refactoring is easier and faster
- because the generic layout of all windows is ugly, netbeans does not look professional - where is the native look&feel for nb? the jsplitpanes are to wide, the console output is awful, and no thought has been put into the problem pane

netbeans is better than eclipse for:

- swing ui design
- javafx (but again, who cares?)

Posted by T on May 17, 2010 at 05:01 AM PDT #

I totally agree with Kareem, it would be great if the Eclipse IDE finally supported the NetBeans Platform.

Of course, the NetBeans Platform is just built from technologies like Swing, XML and Ant/Maven that everyone's been using for years. You can use any IDE you want to build an application with it, but it's a heck of a lot faster using NetBeans because it has wizards to generate code you'd have to write manually in Eclipse.

BTW, Geertjan described how to use EclipseLink with NetBeans Platform in the past:

http://netbeans.dzone.com/news/eclipselink-netbeans-platform

Posted by Tom Wheeler on May 17, 2010 at 06:22 AM PDT #

...as well as Equinox:

http://netbeans.dzone.com/emf-on-netbeans-rcp-2

How many Eclipse technologies should the NetBeans Platform support before Eclipse IDE begins providing tools enabling developers to create applications on top of the NetBeans Platform? Lots of organizations have legacy applications in Swing that they want to port to an RCP. They'd be very happy to use the combination Swing + Equinox + EclipseLink + Eclipse IDE. When will Eclipse begin supporting this scenario in the same way that NetBeans is now supporting the scenario OSGi + NetBeans Platform? I'm not holding my breath. :-)

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 17, 2010 at 06:34 AM PDT #

I am not sure about the OSGi thingee - but when Eclipse eats up memory, slow on rebuilding workspaces (read time is money), then I find that Netbeans works. OSGi is not as important as an environment that accelerates productivity not prohibits it.

Posted by Tim O'Dell on May 17, 2010 at 07:08 AM PDT #

The whole discussion seems to be spurred by this fragment on Aniszcyck's blog: "it’s better to just adopt a standard than hold onto your own".

Apparently, GeertJan agrees with this fragment and departing from the idea in that fragment it is strange that Eclipse is holding onto SWT instead of converting to Swing. However, the question is whether it is true that it is "better to just adopt a standard". If the non-standard way is healthy and alive it may evolve faster than the standard way, and, in practice be superior for certain uses (not that I am saying this necessarily applies to SWT vs Swing).

Eclipse RCP and Netbeans RCP are both great platforms. I don't see why either should lie awake if they support each others technologies enough. It may even be better for the competition moving ahead if they do not.

GeertJan, your comments seem to be somewhat in anger, while Ian and Chris both explain they mean nothing negative and are just enthousiastic about OSGi. IMHO OSGi is interesting regardless of whether it is a standard.

Posted by Edwin Commandeur on May 17, 2010 at 04:20 PM PDT #

Not in anger, Edwin. In confusion. Why is it a good thing to adopt OSGi? Because it is a standard. Then why is it not a good thing to adopt Swing, after all, that's also a standard? Secondly, I don't mean anything negative either and I am enthusiastic (as are several other respondents, see above) about the NetBeans Platform (as are many many large companies) and am wondering when Eclipse IDE is going to start supporting NetBeans Platform development. As Kareem says above: "Why should the love come from one side only?"

Posted by Geertjan on May 17, 2010 at 04:29 PM PDT #

>>Why should the love come from one side only?

That is the difference between a market leader and a trailer. It would have been reverse if Netbeans was leading the market.

Now for a bit off topic discussion:

I can understand your frustration that even after putting so much efforts Netbeans is not leading. There is a reason. Usability.

If Netbeans is trailing, it is not because we the users have a religious fatwa against Netbeans. It is simply because it is not serving our needs. Look and research into our needs. Implement them. You will automatically see adoption going better.

One good example is Matisse. Netbeans has it and those who need it can get it only here. But for everything else, it is Eclipse. Thats the way it is, until Netbeans clean up its issues.

Posted by guest on May 17, 2010 at 05:20 PM PDT #

In the area of Swing RCP development, which is what this blog entry is about, NetBeans Platform is definitely leading. :-)

Further information about the NetBeans Platform:

http://platform.netbeans.org/

Posted by Geertjan on May 17, 2010 at 05:25 PM PDT #

>> In the area of Swing RCP development

True. But for RCP development (if you remove Swing vs SWT), people are willing to learn SWT (which I assure you is more difficult to develop with than Swing), suffer testing over multiple platforms, etc to use Eclipse RCP.

The question is why?

I believe the answer is simple. It meets their needs.

Posted by guest on May 17, 2010 at 05:38 PM PDT #

I think the reason is that Sun has done a very bad job at marketing the NetBeans Platform. Sun didn't even really know that it had a Swing framework in the first place. But that's clearly changing now (e.g., new OSGi support in 6.9).

Posted by Geertjan on May 17, 2010 at 05:48 PM PDT #

Are you kidding me? You think most people that use Netbeans do so because it uses Swing? Yeah, that's exactly why I choose my IDE. That's like saying most people choose their car by picking the color.

Posted by AlSki on May 17, 2010 at 09:24 PM PDT #

Read this sentence AlSki or, at least, try to do so: "This blog entry has NOTHING to do with IDE." Now, read the sentence again. This is what the blog entry has to do with:

http://platform.netbeans.org

The above is a URL pointing to a website about a Swing framework. THAT is what this blog entry is about.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 17, 2010 at 09:28 PM PDT #

Both IDEs have different best use scenario. To me it as simple as use Netbean to build desktop app, use Eclipse to build web app. Sometimes even a mix of both on a single app.

Too bad none of them does everything perfectly...

Posted by Mike on May 17, 2010 at 10:22 PM PDT #

Mike, this blog entry has NOTHING whatsoever to do with IDEs. The point of this blog entry (and most of the discussion that followed it) is to suggest that there's as much reason for Eclipse RCP to provide support for NetBeans Platform as there is for the reverse to be true. The welcoming words by Chris and Ian re OSGi adoption of NetBeans Platform, and Ian's expression of hope that NetBeans (and IntelliJ) will be "offering tighter integration with Eclipse RT technology", indicate that they're not aware that Eclipse has as much reponsibility in providing that integration as NetBeans (and IntelliJ) do. Especially since NetBeans Platform is the leading vendor of Swing RCP development, isn't it about time that Eclipse IDE begins offering tooling support for it?

Posted by Geertjan on May 17, 2010 at 11:01 PM PDT #

Geertjan, if I understand you right, the NetBeans platform could also be used when writing Swing applications in Eclipse, right?

But I think why the IDE discussion does not go away here is because of the fact that there is a tight relation between SWT- and Swing-Lovers and the IDE they use.

I don't have any statistics but those who I know writing (mostly) SWT apps use Eclipse and those writing (mostly) Swing use NetBeans. I do not know anybody writing SWT apps with NetBeans for example. In my personal case I prefer Swing over SWT and this was one of the reasons I have chosen NetBeans.

Posted by Martin Wildam on May 18, 2010 at 12:19 AM PDT #

It's simple, really. Swing sucks. Üeriod. SWT doesn't. Eclipse is one of the few java desktop apps whose UI doesn't stick out like a sore thump.

Posted by Wulf on May 18, 2010 at 01:15 AM PDT #

@Wulf: This is really an unqualified comment. Both technologies have their pro and contra. I spent a lot of time in hospitals the last months and there I have seen some Java applications. They were all Swing. Do you really think, that GUIs like these (http://www.ensode.net/java_swing_mustang_screenshots_gtk.html or http://platform.netbeans.org/screenshots.html) suck so much?

Posted by Martin Wildam on May 18, 2010 at 01:25 AM PDT #

I doubt that the module system of NetBeans really predates OSGi. The history of NetBeans mentions a rewrite of the codebase to a more modular system in 1999, so assuming that is the module system that is still in use it was created that would be in the same year the OSGi alliance started.

Anyway, it's nice to see NetBeans adopting OSGi!

Posted by Marcel Offermans on May 18, 2010 at 01:50 AM PDT #

As platform user I can only see advantages in been able to develop bundles that work both in Netbeans RCP and Eclipse RCP. And to be able to do it both in Eclipse or in Netbeans, not to speak about framework creators that could be able to create plugins for both IDEs, the idea of a compatibility layer in both eclipse and netbeans platform makes me salivate. As many people already said I don´t think the IDE of choice (or the underliying technology, or the underliying egos, or the underliying companies, or the underliying whatever...) is as important for platform users as it´s the possibility to create bundles/plugins/modules/applications for both options easily.

Just my opinion.

Posted by Raul on May 18, 2010 at 01:51 AM PDT #

I found interesting that the "feature" that finally made me choose NetBeans over Eclipse was its licensing.

I had the impression that the Eclipse Public License would significantly limit my options of open source projects I could borrow code from (for the most part, only Eclipse related projects it think).

I preferred GPL instead because it seems to me that is much more widely used, and thus gives me a larger code base to work with. In addition, it makes my code readily available to that code base so that my code has better chances to be perused by someone else.

Personally, Swing vs SWT trade-off didn't have that much weight; but now that the choice is made, it also feels better to know that the expertise I'm developing is on more "plain vanilla java". Besides, NB gave me a slightly better experience out of the box, and of course, support for OSGi is now another plus for it.

Feature-wise, however, it was a really, really tough decision to make for someone with little prior experience with any of them.

Posted by Paulo Sequeira on May 18, 2010 at 03:29 AM PDT #

Some months ago I've started a discussion over twitter http://twitter.com/AntholoJ/status/8362980777 that landed over Netbeans Platform users ML http://forums.netbeans.org/topic22641.html
As I have in the past build some application running on top of Netbeans Platform and new a happy user of Netbeans OSGi support on my current project. With this little knowledge of both runtimes I've seen many similarities and few real differences.
What I'd really be happy with is bringing the best of both module system into the jvm. Project Jigsaw doesn't really address modularity as deep as any of the two module systems do, it's really basic compared to them and wont solve today modularity needs. What will really be useful is getting together both teams to set the standard right into the jvm!
Kind regards.

Posted by Daoud AbdelMonem Faleh on May 18, 2010 at 07:32 AM PDT #

@Wulf, I've noticed that when people need to write the letters forming the word "Period", whatever precedes is bound to be pretty contentious, at the very least requiring a "Comma", rather than a "Period". Your statement doesn't disappoint in that regard. :-)

@Marcel, why do you doubt it? Maybe the one predates the other, maybe not. But I have no reason to doubt what anyone contends to be true in that regard, though I strongly doubt that it matters.

@Martin, yes, I don't know anyone writing SWT apps in NetBeans IDE. (Where, other than in the context of Eclipse RCP is SWT used, anyway?) On the other hand, I know several people using Eclipse and IntelliJ to write Swing applications on the NetBeans Platform. They tend to use NetBeans IDE to generate their code from templates (e.g., new TopComponents) and then they use their favorite editor (in Eclipse or IntelliJ) for coding. What I'm proposing is that Eclipse, at least, should provide those templates themselves. In the midst of all the cheering above in these comments from Eclipse fans about NetBeans support for OSGi, it would be nice if thet'd help out the actual users of NetBeans+OSGi, who tend to come from the Eclipse world, by providing them with the templates in Eclipse that they now need to use in NetBeans. Or is concern for the users not uppermost in their minds here? Just wondering.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 18, 2010 at 08:13 AM PDT #

I am really sorry I brought up this topic in the first place. :-( I was really trying to say something nice and wasn't making any comments about standards? I've have no interest in getting into a Swing/SWT, NB/Eclipse flame war. Oh well...

Just to clarify some of the comments about Eclipse and Swing. Lots of developers build Swing based applications using Eclipse. In fact our community survey shows Swing and SWT are equally as popular. We didn't ask about Swing RCP so I can't qualify more.

Posted by Ian Skerrett on May 18, 2010 at 11:11 PM PDT #

Mr. Ian, Swing applications USING Eclipse is different to Swing applications ON Eclipse. Is Eclipse going to provide support for developers wanting to create Swing applications on the NetBeans Platform (since it's not possible, without a hard bridging time) to do so ON Eclipse? Plugin is needed for wizards for creating new NetBeans Platform applications, new NetBeans modules, new TopComponents, new Actions, etc. Only then will you be really nice. :-O

Posted by Kareem on May 18, 2010 at 11:21 PM PDT #

Actually this typically a looser position from the eclipse evangelist.
Years ago, i developed an application on eclipse RCP, even got a case study published on eclipse.org
I remember those days when basically netbeans was blaming eclipse RCP (eclipse is bad, come on netbeans is better). Eclipse RCP was just better. Period.

Then Netbeans changed their policy. Romen did an amazing job in that respect. They start to study what was the success of eclipse and try to integrate somehow in netbeans. Netbeans platform born, and actually without the main issues of eclipse RCP (basically SWT and plugin management nightmare).

The situation has just reversed I think.

Personally I have switched to Netbeans 2 years ago when i wanted to integrate JOGL in my application. Eclipse RCP was not just good for that.

To tell the truth, I just don't believe in OSGI. I think it is trying to solve issues that less than 1 per cent of people meet... other simpler way are just enough to solve most of the cases.

Posted by gershwinou on May 19, 2010 at 12:07 AM PDT #

Edwin Commandeur said: "Some technologies are supported first class in Eclipse (Google Eclipse plugin / Spring tool suite".

I must say that Netbeans support for both is much more elegant, stable, feature full and natural. Just try in a GAE App mix GWT, Spring MVC or Grail and GWT.

Posted by Valery on May 19, 2010 at 08:20 PM PDT #

I have developed NetBeans module a few years ago, and now I am developing on the Eclipse RCP. My expectation was (given all the PR) that it would have been better... quite frankly, I was very very disappointed by the Eclipse RCP.

Just to name a few problems: it does not provide an out of the box way to build at the command line without the use of Eclipse. After 3 months of work, we were able to assemble our own script (based on the recent development), which still "downloads" and unpacks eclipse. The dependency management is still not tied to the build (so that if I ask to build a product it automatically builds all the plug-ins it requires). It's just not as clean as what I got on NetBeans even a few years back... :-/

With SWT you essentially lose all the component libraries, such as JIDE, SwingX, Flamingo... You just have no good pre-made components: not even a table with autosorting already done (you have to wire it yourself). From the little I have seen, Swing components seem to scale better than SWT/JFace. And what about unit testing with something like FEST? Didn't find any replacements yet... Plus, the performance on Linux systems is not on par to the Windows/Mac (there are bugs filed on this more than 4 years ago). And the Eclipse UI builder is essentially no longer mantained (can't even get it run anymore) Maybe SWT was great when IBM first released it, but it does not seem to me they just left it there.

So, yes, I really wish I could use Swing components natively in Eclipse. Even just putting more work in the SWT/AWT bridge would go a long way...

The one thing that SWT does better is that it throws exceptions if you call a component on the wrong thread. This is something Swing should DEFINTELY copy... Have a configuration flag (so that you can get backward compatibility), but please, add it!!!! ;-)

Posted by Gabriele Carcassi on May 24, 2010 at 02:32 AM PDT #

In response to Kareem and Tom Wheeler

I'am with you, Eclipse supporting NBP-Apps would just be great.

B U T check this out:

http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=113603

You can see my post is from Feb 02 2010 and so far not one single reply and you know what: I am a paying customer.

From this I think one could derive that if we would like to see Eclipse supporting NBP it will be probably up to the NetBeans team to come up with Eclipse ports of the NetBeans wizards.

To me it seems that the Eclipse community - and once again so far I am a passionate Eclipse user - simply does not get the point of the benefits to the overall community if Eclipse supported NBP-Apps.

It think Geertjan's initial post bringing the Eclipse community's mentality to the point: "Welcome out of the stone age and, yes, we've been right all along!", sad to say, is just right - sigh

But well my fellow Eclipsians isn't it in common not about being right but moving in the right direction ;-)

Posted by Thomas G. on May 26, 2010 at 09:28 PM PDT #

I would have created a plugin for Eclipse IDE users to create NetBeans Platform applications about 3 years ago... except I know nothing about the Eclipse APIs. That's the point. And that's why someone with Eclipse API knowledge needs to pick up this task. Plus, it would be a benfit to Eclipse itself -- since someone using the NetBeans Platform wouldn't be forced to use NetBeans IDE anymore, they could simply stay with their favorite IDE. (See? I don't care about IDE wars and I don't care about IDEs, only about actual users -- i.e., users need to use NetBeans Platform + Eclipse IDE, so let's make it happen.)

But thanks SO much for your response Thomas G. and also for your already having filed this request with Eclipse sometime ago. And also thanks for the supportive comment in general. Hope we'll end up with Eclipse IDE support for the NetBeans Platform, somehow someday. "I have a dream that one day Eclipse users will rise up..." :-)

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 26, 2010 at 09:42 PM PDT #

Dear Geertjan!

I don't know how to stress this up to the level I would like because I am the much more most MOSTEST with you.

You saying "And that's why someone with Eclipse API knowledge needs to pick up this task" is the only sensible consequence.

That is exactly why I wrote in my post to the MyEclipse forum that now with Oracle being the major sponsor of NetBeans and consequently the NetBeans Platform we actually have the momentum required to come up with high quality grade Eclipse plugins for NetBeans Platform Development.

Oracle itself is a strategic member of the Eclipse foundation and has its Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse right available. So they do know very well how to develop Eclipse plugins. So at least from my point of view it should be possible for Oracle to join their Eclipse team and their NetBeans team to forge use these plugins.

But well maybe I am a to simple man ;-)

------

and rise and rise and rise and up up up :-DDD

Posted by Thomas G. on May 27, 2010 at 03:57 AM PDT #

From a MyEclipse team member here, Thomas G., I'm not sure why your post wasn't answered in our forums but we're investigating it now and will respond.

On topic, after having read Ian, Chris and Geertjan's posts, I'm fairly sure that neither Ian or Chris meant anything negative. Merely that NetBeans and IntelliJ support for OSGi is good for the OSGi community.

We've seen IDE flamewars play out in the past, some downright rude and vicious, though this just doesn't have the venom of past conflicts, it seems like a misunderstanding at most.

Posted by guest on July 22, 2011 at 08:27 AM PDT #

Dear anonymous MyEclipse team member!

Just revisting this discussion here I find your post. Can't believe it - the MyEclipse Team i.e. Genuitec is investigating THIS issue. If that was true I would call this really good news ...

Unfortunately I cannot verify that you TRULY are a member of the MyEclipse team. I have just revisited my post

http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=113603

in the MyEclipse forum and so far there is no response and also no confirmation that the issue is being investigated.

Therefore I will now post on the MyEclipse forum kindly asking for such a confirmation.

Posted by guest on September 18, 2011 at 09:44 AM PDT #

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About

Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.

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