Inside SWT

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Eclipse is not crap ..."

The other day, I was out somewhere and a guy found out that I was Mr. SWT and started haranguing me, saying "Eclipse is crap". Usually, I don't bother with this sort of thing. For one thing, who cares? Also, SWT is my baby, not Eclipse. Anyhow, the guy expected me to start bashing him, his company, his product or at least quote a few statistics. Then we could argue over those! Pointless, pointless, pointless.

But then it occurred to me, "Eclipse is not crap ... and I can prove it". Here goes, "SWT is a large pile of Java and C code, build scripts, directories and other random artifacts. It's complicated and runs on five different platforms. I use Eclipse exclusively to develop and maintain it and Eclipse works well. Therefore, it cannot be crap".



  • Such people are generally best dismissed as idiots. They like to see things in black and white: Eclipse = crap, IntelliJ = best thing EVAR (sic). Or maybe he was a NetBeans guy. Whatever.

    Eclipse is used on countless projects all over the world. So is SWT. Whatever you think of the relative merits of Eclipse vs NetBeans or SWT vs Swing, you can't just dismiss one or the other as "crap". It just makes you look stupid.

    By Blogger Neil Bartlett, at 4:28 PM  

  • I'm a big guy, nobody near me gets away with that.

    People never said anything bad about eclipse after I spread the rumor that someone lost his arm for calling eclipse crap.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 AM  

  • I think Neil has a better take on it. Let's leave everyone's arms in place!


    By Blogger Steve, at 12:33 PM  

  • Of course Eclipse isnt crap. IT does have a steep learning curve though with plugins and so on but then again one can go ahead and get myeclipse. As an avid user of Netbeans and JDeveloper, I think eclipse is great for keeping those IDE developers on their toes and keep pushing the envelope on their IDEs. I welcome Eclipse...not shun it.

    By Blogger Surya, at 1:01 PM  

  • That is perfectly reasonable and sensible position.


    By Blogger Steve, at 5:32 PM  

  • This guy had it all wrong. Eclipse is great, its powerful, extensible, it works and best of all it's free!

    SWT is crap.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 PM  

  • eclipse is the best IDE.
    And SWT is the best thing happend to java in years !

    By Blogger vishwas, at 5:07 AM  

  • > SWT is crap

    Interesting, so it's possible to build great things out of "crap"?

    In any case, the discussion is about Eclipse, not SWT. Feel free to pipe up then and sign your name this time, anon-y-mouse.


    By Blogger Steve, at 10:54 AM  

  • The "SWT is crap" line was a joke ( a bad joke I guess ). SWT is great and Eclipse would not be as successful without it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:25 PM  

  • The reality of software is that nothing is crap or great, it's all just a bunch of design trade offs.


    By Blogger Steve, at 5:05 PM  

  • Well, its not crap - however, the return on effort is worthless. Why bother going back to stone-age of programming when things could be done more simply?. It is a better way of wasting research funding - but certainly not for commercial projects.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 PM  

  • Anon-y-mouse "Jay",

    What on earth are you refering to? The discussion is around Eclipse, a successful IDE that millions use to develop, test and debug their code. If you want to argue SWT, do it somewhere else with someone else.

    By Blogger Steve, at 12:04 PM  

  • Well, no personal offence. I agree it is a pretty good IDE and a nice one - I like it for plain programming. Good to write middleware code, or to write a hardcore java code.

    But working with EMF/GMF and GEF to produce a nifty looking fully integrated platform is a pain.

    Just to confess, I am not a beginner - I have programmed OS portions and worked on serious projects running into near millions of lines of codes. Still, I will bet that support for Eclipse Platform based development is still lot to go. - Which I am referring to Stone-Age-Programming.

    Not expecting a walk-in-the park, but our effort should pay us off very positively. I am happy to work and make other work on it - because, it is the research funding. But if I were to run the same project as a company project ... story is different. By the time one masters EMF/GMF/GEF, one could finish the whole lot with a different platform.

    Again, I am not referring to "PLAIN", java programming. IDE is not everything - it is a skin. How myuch the platform offers or pays us back is the whole point.

    And .... I am Jay --- not Ano-ny-mous. Left a name.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 PM  

  • Ok, Jay. I made the mistake of assuming you were a heckler. Forgive me.

    I am not involved with EMF/GMF and GEF and therefore can't comment on how easy or hard they are to use.

    By Blogger Steve, at 10:44 AM  

  • Hi Steve,
    In fact the sheer amount of techonology involved in it making the life much harder. May be they are thinking BIG.

    In addition to this the complexity of the GMF is too complicated. Hopefully, things are settling down at the IBM side. - WHo knows, they may make it even better. (and naturally - gain comes after much of a pain) - may be I should get used to that :)

    I might have over-reacted after got exhausted with GMF on the other day.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM  

  • I would not agree to your opinion and cannot understand your euphoria. there are so many flaws and bugs in SWT. we work with eclipse in our company and have lot of problems with the debugger, SWT runtime errors that occurr permanently without any explicable reason. many plugins are crap, for example WTP, the XML editor which suddenly hangs up. if you look at netbeans, these add ons are just more sophisticated and solid.

    but instead of fixing existing bugs, eclipse 3.4 comes along with a lot of useless features like a redesigned update manager...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:22 AM  

  • Anon-y-mouse,

    Eclipse is not SWT. If you are having problems with Eclipse, did you report bugs?


    By Blogger Steve, at 5:30 PM  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 PM  

  • I started programming in Java using Eclipse in 2007, and I never, EVER, managed to install a plug-in. Wait, let me rephrase: there was only one time in which, after some effort, I could finally install a plug-in (the ANTLR editor) and have it on a working condition from the start. Mind you, I tried 3rd party and official plug-ins (from the repository), no custom things being done. I tried JIgloo, Subversive, Subclipse, the ANTLR plug-in, EMF, and a few more, to no avail. But I'll be honest: as long as I don't install a plug-in, everything works and behaves quite well. Oh, right, except when Xulrunner crashes Eclipse horribly (it makes me cry at nights T_T ).

    With Netbeans, on the contrary, everything is like wiping your a** with silk. I've abused the plug-in system since Netbeans 3.0 (guess why I started using it in 2007). Not a single time I had an issue with a plug-in, and even 3rd-party plug-ins were smoothly installed.

    Do I have the right to say it? I'll do it anyways: XXXXXXX is crappy. (Hint: is not Netbeans because it has 8 letters)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:28 PM  

  • Anon-y-mous,

    I've installed all sorts of Eclipse plugins and had them work and so have many others. Perhaps there is something wrong with your setup?

    The crashing of XULRunner is due to Mozilla changing their API and breaking binary compatibility. SWT has moved on to WebKit in the latest version. Unlike Mozilla, these guys know how to build and support an API.

    Finally, I wish you happy computing with the IDE of your choice.

    By Blogger Steve, at 8:45 AM  

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