With a software donation to the open-source community, IBM Corp. last month launched the Eclipse Project, whose charter is to give developers a platform for integrating any of the application and middleware development tools they use together into a single IDE. But the move has sparked controversy among Sun, who say that IBM is ignoring the efforts of NetBeans, a similar project started by Sun in 1996.
Read IBM Software Donation: Move To Eclipse Sun?
I've used netbeans for about 9 months now and I like it. I thought that I would give eclipse a try recently. One of the big factors for me was the idea that the SWT, the alternative to Swing, would be more responsive, as it is based on native widgets. To my amazement, netbeans feels much more responsive! I am doing this on a linux box, which uses Motif as the backend to SWT, so I also had a terrible looking interface to use. I can see tremendous potential in eclipse, though. It is well thought out and has the ideal pedigree for an IDE. For now, though, I'll be sticking with netbeans.
Ignoring an already-established open-source framework and imposing a proprietary SWT library; sounds to me like IBM is flexing it's Microsoft-like muscles!
I read from one of the recent articles(comments) on Eclipse, which said that Eclipse's SWT does not provide a rich library compared to JFC/Swing like Custom renderers. It's looks more like an AWT competitor.
I guess given an opportunity everybody wants to become a Microsoft :(
I am working with eclipse for the past couple of months..Wow.. too good. I was happy with JBuilder except its sluggish response. Thanks to Swing !!.
I guess in future Eclipse might eat IDE/tools market as the way Websphere is eating the rival Appserver's market.
I was happy with JBuilder except its sluggish response.
> Thanks to Swing !!.
You are mistaken. Netbeans is written using JFC/Swing components and it performs very well, even on average machine.
No, my notebook with crusoe 5400 and 128Mb of ram, does not work well with Forte, Netbeans. But eclipse runs well, as well as JBuilder but latter is proprietary and I do not want. Yes, I'd been VAJ user. Anyway eclipse runs well on my "AVERAGE" machine.
I went to see IBM last week and had a chance to play with Websphere Application Developer (WAD is to Eclipse as Forte is to Netbeans). It's responsive and flexible and IBM packages some *lovely* tools with it. For me, WAD is flavour of the month, and I'm about to use it on a project. That may all change with a new release of Netbeans.
Now, some are complaining that IBM is ignoring Netbeans. However, just because an OpenSource project exists doesn't mean we all have to use it. If that happens we'll just get a monopoly in OpenSource instead of proprietary software. Competition is good etc.
... NetBeans, a similar project started by Sun in 1996.
1) From 1996 to 1999, Sun sold two development tools called
"Java Workshop" and "Java Studio". In October 1999 they
dropped these tools for some reasons ... and bought a Czech
company Netbeans (as well as Forte).
Problably the same time or earlier, IBM started the Eclipse
2) The approaches and objectives of the Eclipse and Netbeans
projects are quite different. Therefore it´s unlikely one
tool is killing the other.
If Sun has a problem with that - why not force Borland or
Webgain to drop their tools as well?
I've been using Eclipse for around 2 months now (It's been out for a while actually) and I have to say it's the best IDE I've used and I've used a fair few (VCafe, JBuilder, VAJ, Forte etc.)
It has a nice interface and draws all the best pieces of VAJ, and loses the pieces that always caused grief (like the ENVY repository - which is excellent but always have psychological problems for most people :))
It's easy to use, easy to set up and very stable. I have never had it crash on me once, and I've been using it a lot. It responds quickly, and the incremental compilation and error reporting is very nicely implemented. The pluggable IDE and the debugger are also very easy to use and very flexible.
It's integrated stream suppot (Albeit tied to CVS) is very nice and much more integrated than the SCC hooks in most IDEs. I'd encourage anyone to try it. Just download two ZIP files, and unzip them. That's IT! Installed!
I have been using NetBeans for year now and gave Eclipse a brief try. One thing that set apart these two IDE's is the support for refactoring which I see missing in NetBeans. If NetBeans can quickly come with a good refactoring support then I guess I can retain lot number of users. NetBeans comes with lot of goodies like DB Explorer, CORBA wizard etc. and I wouldn't like to see it being 'eclipse'd. :)
IMHO, i think Eclipse has a great future as an IDE AND as business application framework. Eclipse brings many useful features out of the box : perspectives, plugins, autoupdate, help system, and a very fast UI due to SWT...
People developing business application will be able to leverage these aspects in their own projects. We are currently evaluating Eclipse as our GUI applicative platform and i must say that it looks very promising.
Here is lot of very strange responses about Eclipse.
1. Complains that IBM pretend to drop AWT/Swing UI because they more likely going Microsoft way absolutely unreasonable. SWT is opensourced and works in Windows, Linux and Solaris. The main reason of SWT is performance. It is fast because use native widgets (not that fast on non Windows platforms but still good enough). There is highlevel API JFace developed on top of SWT and usually developers need to use JFace API but not SWT.
2. Eclipse is a first tool where EVERYTHING is a plugin. According announce of Eclipse Consortium maybe IDE vendors will came with a new standard API for a modules and module developed for one IDE will work in any other IDE. It is might be important for things for UML modelling, code analysis/audit, doc or report generators, refactoring tools and so on.
Off subject warning: Can you do J2EE development in Eclipse? I can't for the life of me figure out how. I even tried connecting to the Eclipse Tools repository, but there wasn't anything there. I guess you're just supposed to import the libraries?
To do J2EE, it is probably best to use the WS studio Application Developer available as a trial on IBM website (ibm.com/websphere). It is available for Windows and Linux.
About the other comments, I have tried a number of IDEs and I beleive that only WS Studio Application Developer suits me with interesting tooling, plugin architecture (easy to develop new plugin - see on Java Foundry of SourceForge.net)
If your looking for plugins, have a look at JEdit.
The JEdit IDE has plugable architecture and it's been available for ages, so a very rich set of plugins is available.
In my opinion, Eclipse looks good and is quick but comes no where near the level of functionality available with JEdit. The WSAD provides a lot more but it's a huge download, and how long will it remain free ?
Having used VAJ, JBuilder and Forte, Eclipse is refreshing, but for me JEdit leads the way.
Oh yes, JEdit uses Swing and is plenty quick enough !
: - )
Eclipse is a first tool where EVERYTHING is a plugin
Hmm, how about JEdit? (Unless Eclipse came first...)
Can you replace or add another navigator for JEdit? Can you change layout within JEdit frame? I'm not quite sure. From other hand Eclipse plugun framework allow to do that.
Can you replace or add another navigator for JEdit?
>Can you change layout within JEdit frame?
I have nothing against another opensource project... hey, it's free and drives competition! So I'm evaluation Eclipse right now myself, just to see what the hubbub is all about.
People are often pretty unhappy to give up what's familiar. I, on the other hand, have been pretty dissapointed with every IDE I've yet used, and like many posters, I've used them all.
Eclipse is the first IDE I've used that works the way I want it to.
People keep focussing on the SWT; they're missing the point. It the pluggability interface that's so cool. The fact that the Java and Version Control aspects of the tool are plugins is a very clear demonstration of the power of the design.
The big competitor is NetBeans (open source, pluggable, etc.). NetBeans requires you to work the way IT works. I quickly grew frustrated with NetBeans (even recent versions) because when I wanted to change any behavior of the system ... say, change simple things like indentation rules or colors, I had to hunt through a maze of JavaBeans properties. I'm a programmer, but I'm not an IDE developer, and NetBeans makes me think like an IDE developer just to find the configuration objects I need.
I've also found NetBeans (under JDK 1.3) to be just too sluggish. Frequent GC interrupts on my 512MB system; odd interface behavior, ugly interface, etc., etc., etc.
I saw a quote that really summed it up for me. I don't have the exact quote, but it was basically "NetBeans is like the coolest, tricked out bicycle in the neighborhood. It gets a lot of attention ... until someone shows up with a motorcycle." Eclipse is that Motorcycle.
One of the key people behind the SWT is Mr. Erich Gamma, one of the Gand of Four. I had the opportunity to attend one of his presentations of the framework, but at that time IBM did not know what to do with the SWT and most attendant's impression was that they will launch it as part of VAJ. I wonder if Eclipse would not be rather canibalizing VAJ than undermining efforts around Netbeans.
I am a Netbeans fan but I will have to keep an eye on Eclipse. The names behind it are "heavy" and I totally trust them.
And regarding SWT I can say it has nothing to do with any corporate world-dominance strategy. The SWT stemms from trying to overcome basic issues faced by the desktop Java developers. Eclipse is just an application, the intended reasoning and target usage is much wider.
I might not switch from Netbeans for now, though :-)
As far as I know IBM planning to completely replace VAJ by something based on the Eclipse code (maybe by Websphere App Studui Workbench). From other hand this is a good news for the enterprize IBM's users, especially if you need to use Websphere, MQ, VAJ together and you need them integrated. We already can see small piece of this afford in the first beta of the WASW.
Yes, IBM keep lot of Eclipse plugins only for commecial products but same happend with Netbeans too. There is J2EE version of Netbeans which is not free.
From other hand nothing stops someone to develop free Eclipse plugin for J2EE development and all highly paid J2EE developers and contractors may use it for free to be paid. ;-)
Eclipse is a tooling platform. Well designed, extendable, multiplatform. It is fastest one (because of SWT, even you don't like it). And all those things making Eclipse really good.
I wonder if IBM would ever make SWT downloadable separately. I can certainly see some value in it, but it should be forked from the Eclipse package, or nobody will ever adopt it if it means they need the whole Eclipse runtime.
Why start yet another splinter?
Because IBM is and always will be IBM. That's why they have AS/400, MVS, DOS-VSE and every other proprietary crap they already have. They are a Wannabe Microsoft and dont want to be a part of a commuinity. They want to be the at the top.
MS and IBM will always be this way. If IBM really wanted this to be mainstream they would have followed the JCP. Instead they did their own theing and finally realeased it to the community. Same old IBM.
Such a strange point of view. You a prefer to use x86 platform for a high loaded system? AS/400 is really good in those kind of solutions.
I see nothing wrong with SWT toolkit. By the way it's a Pure Java solution (even if it have some native code, it's a JNI, which is acceptable for Pure Java). And if it makes UI faster - it is a right way to do things like this.
Yes, IBM is out of mainstream but this is only way to came with a real innovations.
didn't we discuss this before..
I cant see why IBM going this way, i think this is abuse of the opensource community..
First, I am a two year VAJ User and thought it was a good IDE with a lot of quirky behavior. I too thought the repository was strong untill you had it crash and or you had to export out of that into some other kind of source control system.
I recently had the chance to work with JBuilder which is a great tool but the interface is just not very fluid and is bothersom at times like Netbeans. I have used Netbeans off and on especially when I would get frustrated with things in VAJ....:)
I have not really used Eclipse but I have used the beta of WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) for a couple of months and now the Production version of WSAD 4.0. I too think this is the best IDE I have ever used. The interface is quick and responsive once it gets loaded into memory that is...and the refactoring is second to none. They have also refactoring as well as debugging of JSPs which is going to save me a great deal of time sinse I will not need to spend time fixing typos in my JSPs when they don't compile. I wouls sometimes use Netbeans to do this sinse I could use code completion there...but this is all in the WSAD now. You also get wizards that work, GOOD HTML editor, XML IDE that is not bad, EJB wizards, WebService tools...and so on...
It is also very easy to install and just starting using...
On the down side the thing takes for ever to load and it will eat up every bit of free memory you have available up to a point. I have used it on a PC with 128mb and it works ok..untill you start up the WebSphere Test Environment..thenit starts paging...I now use it on a machine with 384MB (My Laptop) and 512MB (my desktop) and with all the same things open views test environment etc. They both seem to run ok but WSAD on the machine with 512MB is still using more ram (maybe because it has more ram and just uses it) than my laptop. Oh well memory is cheap....so I told my boss I need 512MB in my T22 Laptop and she said I will have it in the next week or so...Problem solved.
Have fun everyone and if you can get the WSAD it is pretty darn good.