In this blog entry I would like to summarize my experience when running Eclipse Callisto on my desktop during last 2 hours. As a NetBeans evangelist I am clearly biased, but I will try to be objective. If you doubt it, you don't have to read this blog entry :)
The installation/download experience is ok. It takes quite a while to download, but that's fine, I'm behind a 6 Mbit line so I don't mind installing more than 250 MB of data (although I am used to much smaller download sizes from NetBeans). Installation went without problems, let's try to run it.
I'll start with the good. What I like on Eclipse: fast editor, for pure java coding it's great, code completion, hints, problems window, all work fast and are helpful. Local history is neat. Import/export functionalities are useful. The outline view is on the right position (unlike our navigator). I get used to the dialogs quite quickly (I run on Windows). I really like Ctrl-1. I like embedded native browser, so much better than swing browser. I like many formatting options. I like getting javadoc/help on mouseover. Replace in project/workspace is nice. I like code completion for javadoc (actually code completion everywhere). I like things like "remove unused import". I like rename in file and mark occurences.
I wish we had these features in NetBeans, with a similar speed as in Eclipse (and the good news is that AFAIK many of them are going to appear in 6.0 including speed improvements). All these features come from classical Eclipse, so I am actually not trying the full Callisto yet.
Now comes the bad and ugly. I try to use Eclipse Callisto outside the Java editor - do some more advanced stuff. I try to create a J2EE project in Callisto... it offers me to create a J2EE application with xDoclet (?). I have not found a way how to create a normal session bean... do I really have to use xDoclet to work with J2EE?
Next I try to work with C/C++ in Eclipse and I am not able to run my C/C++ project whatever I do. It just says "Launch failed no binaries". I do have a file with a main method... I wonder what's wrong.
Then I hang Eclipse a couple of times when trying out the enterprise stuff - it just hangs and disappears.
Let's try someting else... I create a SWT Frame and almost immediately get an Out of Memory Exception (I have 1 GB of RAM).
Second attempt... so I create the Frame... why is this stuff so slow? Hmm still the old gridbag way, no functionality like Matisse.
So I try to use the "dynamic web project" and at the end of the wizard I get:
One or more constraints have not been satisfied. Cannot install project facet Java 6.0. Some version of this project facet is already installed.
What is this...?
I get another Out of Memory Exception and need to restart Eclipse.
Now when launching Eclipse I get an error that the workspace is already being used so I need to create a new one. Ok I create a new workspace.
I try to create the EMF project. I choose to create the sample project. Eclipse hangs and then disappears from my desktop. Another restart.
Next I try to create the "dynamic web project" again. Now I get a dialog which tells me it tries to open a XSD file and I need to accept a license. The license says: "Action canceled, Internet Explorer was unable to link to the Web page you requested. The page might be temporarily unavailable." I accept this license and open the J2EE perspective. I hate perspectives.
I create a simple web application with an HTML page and a JSP. I try to run it, but it doesn't seem to work. I need to define Tomcat... but I cannot find it in the Eclipse installation.
I give up... going back to NetBeans.
Conclusion: I like the editing functionality of Eclipse. But outside the editor, there is a lot of work to be done. I don't accept getting so many bugs and so many hangs in less than 2 hours, I've been just using the wizards and doing nothing really demanding (on Windows XP with JDK 1.5.0_06 and 1 GB of RAM). Although I am an experienced IDE user - I've been using NetBeans, JBuilder, IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse and JDeveloper in many versions in the past - I really have a hard time to work with most of the advanced features of Eclipse.
It is great that Eclipse Callisto was delivered on time but it really needs some QA and usability reviews. NetBeans beats Eclipse in the out-of-the-box experience, while Callisto is a good step forward, it's just the very first step. I think both projects have what to learn from each other so I can't wait to compare them again say after one year, both IDEs are moving forward in a fast pace.
P.S. Here is the log file
with Out of Memory Exceptions.