Eclipse, sick, dying, dead, or am I missing something??

Discussion in 'Java' started by James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest

    I learned about Eclipse as an open source, fairly platform and language
    neutral
    development IDE about 8 months ago and was very intrigued.

    Now I'm in a new job and was trying to introduce Eclipse as a tool that
    we can
    use. Unfortunately it now seems that there are no good GUI (Swing or
    SWT)
    development tools (one of the main reasons to use an IDE in my
    opinion). What
    gives? Is this thing going anywhere or should I just go back to the
    ever buggy
    NetBeans??
    I hope I'm just missing some major plugin that everyone's using.
    James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005
    #1
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  2. James Kimble

    Aquila Deus Guest

    James Kimble wrote:
    > I learned about Eclipse as an open source, fairly platform and

    language
    > neutral
    > development IDE about 8 months ago and was very intrigued.


    me too!

    >
    > Now I'm in a new job and was trying to introduce Eclipse as a tool

    that
    > we can
    > use. Unfortunately it now seems that there are no good GUI (Swing or
    > SWT)
    > development tools (one of the main reasons to use an IDE in my
    > opinion).


    Wrong, IDE should track tasks and code dependency, do version control
    and refactoring, and give you an overview of project by drawing
    diagrams (UML).

    > What
    > gives? Is this thing going anywhere or should I just go back to the
    > ever buggy
    > NetBeans??
    > I hope I'm just missing some major plugin that everyone's using.

    You mean GUI designer? Why do you need it?
    Aquila Deus, Jan 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest

    >Wrong, IDE should track tasks and code dependency, do version control
    >and refactoring, and give you an overview of project by drawing
    >diagrams (UML).


    No, it's very simple to use external tools to do all those things and
    generally
    in a more effective way than those that are tied to and IDE. An IDE
    just gives
    you a single interface to all of them (though often not as good an
    interface as
    they offer individually).


    >You mean GUI designer? Why do you need it?


    Drag and drop GUI generation that works well in a reasonably
    generalized
    way (XML description) to allow rapid development is a function that is
    uniquely useful in an IDE. You need it to be as productive as possible
    in creating a GUI. Yes, it can be done manually but it's not as fast as
    doing it graphically. You're designing a graphical thing (a GUI) it's
    best done graphically. Even very
    experienced GUI creaters (and I am) prefer to work in a gaphical Vs
    manual
    environment.
    James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005
    #3
  4. James Kimble

    Aquila Deus Guest

    James Kimble wrote:
    > >Wrong, IDE should track tasks and code dependency, do version

    control
    > >and refactoring, and give you an overview of project by drawing
    > >diagrams (UML).

    >
    > No, it's very simple to use external tools to do all those things and
    > generally
    > in a more effective way than those that are tied to and IDE. An IDE
    > just gives
    > you a single interface to all of them (though often not as good an
    > interface as
    > they offer individually).


    I think external command-line tools are fine, but not those GUI ones.
    Just look at those diff apps - they can't even highlighten keywords and
    parens when you view code, that's really a pain in ass (especially when
    you're reading lisp).

    >
    >
    > >You mean GUI designer? Why do you need it?

    >
    > Drag and drop GUI generation that works well in a reasonably
    > generalized
    > way (XML description) to allow rapid development is a function that

    is
    > uniquely useful in an IDE. You need it to be as productive as

    possible
    > in creating a GUI. Yes, it can be done manually but it's not as fast

    as
    > doing it graphically. You're designing a graphical thing (a GUI) it's
    > best done graphically. Even very
    > experienced GUI creaters (and I am) prefer to work in a gaphical Vs
    > manual
    > environment.


    Not if you use Tcl/Tk and Python's Tkinter :)

    Even if GUI designers are useful, most of them (including vs.net's) are
    too lame. None of those which I have seen can let you preview the
    possible look after resizing or color changing (on windows), or help
    you to design custom widgets.
    Aquila Deus, Jan 22, 2005
    #4
  5. James Kimble

    Tony Morris Guest

    "James Kimble" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >Wrong, IDE should track tasks and code dependency, do version control
    > >and refactoring, and give you an overview of project by drawing
    > >diagrams (UML).

    >
    > No, it's very simple to use external tools to do all those things and
    > generally
    > in a more effective way than those that are tied to and IDE. An IDE
    > just gives
    > you a single interface to all of them (though often not as good an
    > interface as
    > they offer individually).
    >
    >
    > >You mean GUI designer? Why do you need it?

    >
    > Drag and drop GUI generation that works well in a reasonably
    > generalized
    > way (XML description) to allow rapid development is a function that is
    > uniquely useful in an IDE. You need it to be as productive as possible
    > in creating a GUI. Yes, it can be done manually but it's not as fast as
    > doing it graphically.


    I beg to differ.
    I can create a GUI using a text editor, faster than, more robust than, more
    maintainable than any "GUI builder" - even some of the best (i.e. not
    Eclipse). This is not a special talent or anything - I know of others who
    feel the same way, but one is inclined to question the experience that you
    boldly claim to have given such remarks.

    > You're designing a graphical thing (a GUI) it's
    > best done graphically. Even very
    > experienced GUI creaters (and I am) prefer to work in a gaphical Vs
    > manual
    > environment.
    >


    --
    Tony Morris
    http://xdweb.net/~dibblego/
    Tony Morris, Jan 22, 2005
    #5
  6. James Kimble

    j-marvin Guest

    j-marvin, Jan 22, 2005
    #6
  7. James Kimble

    Wald Guest

    "James Kimble" <> wrote:

    >
    >
    > I learned about Eclipse as an open source, fairly platform and language
    > neutral
    > development IDE about 8 months ago and was very intrigued.
    >
    > Now I'm in a new job and was trying to introduce Eclipse as a tool that
    > we can
    > use. Unfortunately it now seems that there are no good GUI (Swing or
    > SWT)
    > development tools (one of the main reasons to use an IDE in my
    > opinion).


    Far from a reason for calling Eclipse a "sick, dying, dead" project :)

    Nevertheless, have a look at these:

    http://eclipse.org/ve/

    = the official Eclipse Visual Editor project, which is working on just
    what you describe. Try it out, AFAIK it is in a very usable state.

    http://www.swtguibuilder.com/index.htm

    = a commercial plugin to build SwT GUI's. According to the comments, the
    freeware version is not all that good, but that says nothing about the
    full-fledged version of course.

    Anyway, I'm not into the GUI builder stuff, so I can't tell you what is
    going to work for you and what not. Just try it out, and see :)

    Regards
    Wald

    PS. If you can't find certain functionality in Eclipse, check out the
    plugins archive at http://eclipse-plugins.info. You'll usually find
    something useful there.
    Wald, Jan 22, 2005
    #7
  8. I used jigloo for about a week but I didn;t like it. I had trouble getting consistent results. Now I've been using the IBM Visual Editor plugin for two weeks and so far it has been quite nice.

    --
    Message posted via http://www.javakb.com
    javakilo via JavaKB.com, Jan 22, 2005
    #8
  9. James Kimble

    Tom Dyess Guest

    >> Yes, it can be done manually but it's not as fast as
    >> doing it graphically.

    >
    > I beg to differ.
    > I can create a GUI using a text editor, faster than, more robust than,
    > more
    > maintainable than any "GUI builder"...
    > but one is inclined to question the experience that you
    > boldly claim to have given such remarks.


    Tony, it's really a matter of preference. I don't think preferring to use a
    GUI designer makes you any less of a coder. I think it's a left brain/right
    brain thing. One of the best GUI designers I have ever seen can only use a
    visual designer. He is better than me hands down; his GUI's are beautiful in
    form and function. To compare extremes, I would rather have a glass enema
    than create a GIF without a designer, but I prefer my HTML work with an HTML
    aware text editor. Alternatively, I know way back when that VB 3.0's visual
    designer came out, it was vast improvement in form, function and
    productivity over creating ASCII "windows" under DOS.

    Personally, I'd like to know what the upper echelon of GUI designers for
    Eclipse are. I'm afraid I'm going to have to delve into AWT/Swing before too
    long.

    Tom Dyess
    OraclePower.com
    Tom Dyess, Jan 22, 2005
    #9
  10. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest

    > Far from a reason for calling Eclipse a "sick, dying, dead" project
    :)

    Well, I really wasn't calling it that, I was hoping that it wasn't. I
    think the
    philosophy of it (platform and language independant) is great! I've
    always used a text editor to write code and never made the transition
    to an IDE because I saw no advantage to having to learn an IDE
    for every language I use (which are many) especially since each and
    every one has quirks.
    Thanks for your comments though. Gives me a place to start.
    James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005
    #10
  11. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest

    >I beg to differ.
    >I can create a GUI using a text editor, faster than, more robust than,

    more
    >maintainable than any "GUI builder" - even some of the best (i.e. not
    >Eclipse). This is not a special talent or anything - I know of others

    who
    >feel the same way, but one is inclined to question the experience that

    you
    >boldly claim to have given such remarks.


    It really comes back to what you get comfortable with. I've seen guys
    do an
    incredible job with a text editor but I've seen it go the other way
    too. I've
    always used a text editor for GUI work but I simply do better when I
    can
    see where I'm going rather than having to carry it in my head as I
    code. Maybe
    it's a sign of age ;<). On the other hand you can take my vi away when
    you
    can pry it from my cold dead hands. It's really what you get used to.

    I think my biggest point is that GUI design can be done by neophyte
    programmers (or non-programmers) if a good tool exists. Otherwise it
    must be
    done by someone with a fair amount of coding expertise. Why waste the
    talent of a programmer doing graphical design, human interaction stuff.
    It's
    really a different area of interest.

    My primary reason for this post, however, was to test the waters of
    those that
    are using an IDE for Java development and see where they stand on
    Eclipse.
    I like the idea but it doesn't seem ready for prime time. I could be
    convinced
    I'm wrong though. I just haven't used it enough to know.
    James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005
    #11
  12. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest

    Thanks, I'll give it a try!
    James Kimble, Jan 22, 2005
    #12
  13. James Kimble

    Chris Smith Guest

    James Kimble <> wrote:
    > My primary reason for this post, however, was to test the waters of
    > those that are using an IDE for Java development and see where they
    > stand on Eclipse.


    > I like the idea but it doesn't seem ready for prime time. I could be
    > convinced I'm wrong though. I just haven't used it enough to know.


    You may or may not be, but I'm certainly convinced that you're wrong.
    Eclipse is, from my experience at least, the most single widely used IDE
    for Java development (that's even more certainly true if you include
    WSAD, which is Eclipse + more plugins). To call Eclipse not ready for
    prime time is basically a matter of sticking your head in the sand and
    ignoring reality.

    If you are part of the minority of Java software developers who care
    about a visual GUI designer, then certainly check out the options as
    others have suggested. However, you should realize you're in a
    minority. At least 80% of Java is run on systems that don't have a
    monitor attached. Of the remaining 20%, I'd guess more than half is
    written by people who don't care for GUI designers anyway -- a
    phenomenon that's very common in Java because the high-level layout
    mechanisms free you from having to line up pixels by hand.

    You probably created a lot of these incredulous reactions by implying
    that the lack of a good visual GUI designer suggests that Eclipse is
    sick or dying. That is so far removed from reality, frankly, that I am
    guessing a lot of people assume you are merely trolling.

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 22, 2005
    #13
  14. James Kimble

    Steve Sobol Guest

    Chris Smith wrote:

    > You may or may not be, but I'm certainly convinced that you're wrong.
    > Eclipse is, from my experience at least, the most single widely used IDE
    > for Java development (that's even more certainly true if you include
    > WSAD, which is Eclipse + more plugins). To call Eclipse not ready for
    > prime time is basically a matter of sticking your head in the sand and
    > ignoring reality.
    >
    > If you are part of the minority of Java software developers who care
    > about a visual GUI designer, then certainly check out the options as
    > others have suggested. However, you should realize you're in a
    > minority. At least 80% of Java is run on systems that don't have a
    > monitor attached. Of the remaining 20%, I'd guess more than half is
    > written by people who don't care for GUI designers anyway -- a
    > phenomenon that's very common in Java because the high-level layout
    > mechanisms free you from having to line up pixels by hand.


    NetBeans and SunONE Studio (that's the commercial version of NetBeans, right? I
    forget what the name is) do exceedingly good jobs of handling GUI-related
    stuff. They're also bloated, resource-hogging applications, in my opinion. (Not
    to mention that the last NetBeans version I tried crashed often.)

    Eclipse does much better. I like Eclipse as an IDE for much the same reason
    that I like IBM's SWT as a widget toolbox over Sun's Swing. I respect and
    appreciate - and admire! - Sun's desire to maintain total platform
    independence. On the other hand, real-world application performance is
    extremely important to me, and some people don't run their apps on a PC with a
    half-gigabyte of RAM. Hell, even the laptop that serves as my development
    machine only has 256MB! :)

    > You probably created a lot of these incredulous reactions by implying
    > that the lack of a good visual GUI designer suggests that Eclipse is
    > sick or dying. That is so far removed from reality, frankly, that I am
    > guessing a lot of people assume you are merely trolling.


    There IS a good visual GUI designer available for Eclipse. It may not be free,
    but it's under $100, and it works well. I don't know how well the built-in GUI
    designer works in the newer versions of Eclipse, but Jigloo rocks. Especially
    3.0, which has removed the few objections I had to using earlier versions of
    Jigloo. http://www.cloudgarden.com/

    And I am not employed by them, just a satisfied user.

    --
    JustThe.net - Apple Valley, CA - http://JustThe.net/ - 888.480.4NET (4638)
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

    "In case anyone was wondering, that big glowing globe above the Victor
    Valley is the sun." -Victorville _Daily Press_ on the unusually large
    amount of rain the Southland has gotten this winter (January 12th, 2005)
    Steve Sobol, Jan 23, 2005
    #14
  15. James Kimble

    Chris Smith Guest

    Steve Sobol <> wrote:
    > > You probably created a lot of these incredulous reactions by implying
    > > that the lack of a good visual GUI designer suggests that Eclipse is
    > > sick or dying. That is so far removed from reality, frankly, that I am
    > > guessing a lot of people assume you are merely trolling.

    >
    > There IS a good visual GUI designer available for Eclipse.


    I didn't mean to suggest that there is not such a thing. I really
    wouldn't know. I only said that the lack of such a thing would be no
    indication at all of Eclipse being sick, dying, or dead -- for the
    simple reason that 90% of Java developers probably don't care.

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 23, 2005
    #15
  16. James Kimble

    James Kimble Guest


    > You probably created a lot of these incredulous reactions


    I'm used to getting an incredulous reaction on usenet no matter what I
    post.
    There's enough people reading these groups that SOMEONE is bound to
    take SOMETHING the wrong way and get offended. Oh well....

    I am glad to here that Eclipse seems to be going strong and that there
    is
    a good GUI development tool that can be used with it (even if it must
    be
    a commercial one). I am working on an application that uses JNI to
    pass communications from a driver (LINUX) written in C to a JAVA GUI.
    We're also using lots of PERL too (gotta use PERL ya know!!). So an IDE
    that will allow us to work with all of these languages while only
    having to
    get to know the kinks of one IDE would be great.
    Thanks to everyone for the information passed on here.
    James Kimble, Jan 23, 2005
    #16
  17. James Kimble

    Guest

    I do not like Eclipse, except the very basic truth that it is free.

    For java, it is OK but far behind JBuilder. I use it at home now.

    For c++, it is a mess. For me, anything beyond a "Hello World" program
    will be a pain to develop on Eclipse. Actually, "Hello World" is the
    only program I have completed with Eclipse. Now I use it as a c++
    source code viewer. For that, Eclipse does have good features.

    The concept of Eclipse is very strange. For example, for java, (may be
    I am wrong), there is not a build function. If you want to test your
    code compiles or not, the only way is to run it. For C++, it took me
    days to figure out how to build and run my project. After I did figure
    it out, I found the same routine did not work for another project since
    some buttons were grayed out for reasons I never known. The second day,
    however, buttons were grayed out even for my first project.

    I do not think Eclipse deserves the reputation it has now. I am a lazy
    guy and do not want to ready documentation. Maybe that is the problem
    why I am not good at Eclipse. But I have used Visual Studio and
    JBuilder for many years. I learned very quickly without reading
    documentation. Good IDE follows "human logic", not "technology logic".
    Good IDE works the "normal" way, not the "expert" way.
    , Jan 23, 2005
    #17
  18. James Kimble

    Chris Smith Guest

    James Kimble <> wrote:
    > a commercial one). I am working on an application that uses JNI to
    > pass communications from a driver (LINUX) written in C to a JAVA GUI.
    > We're also using lots of PERL too (gotta use PERL ya know!!). So an IDE
    > that will allow us to work with all of these languages while only
    > having to get to know the kinks of one IDE would be great.


    I'm not aware of a very stable Perl development environment for Eclipse.
    Of course, there are the CDT and JDT for the other two languages, which
    are both part of the Eclipse project itself and are quite stable.

    EPIC appears to be the universal choice for Perl, but it currently
    advertises version 0.3.0. Because of the wide variation in versioning
    standards among open-source projects, that could mean anything from only
    20% done, to practically stable. I don't know which it is.

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 23, 2005
    #18
  19. James Kimble

    Chris Smith Guest

    <> wrote:
    > For c++, it is a mess. For me, anything beyond a "Hello World" program
    > will be a pain to develop on Eclipse. Actually, "Hello World" is the
    > only program I have completed with Eclipse.


    I don't know what to say about your C++ code problems with Eclipse. I
    have not had similar problems with modern versions. I did run into
    issues a long time ago when I tried to set up a first build of Eclipse
    with CDT. These days, I don't consider it an issue at all.

    > The concept of Eclipse is very strange. For example, for java, (may be
    > I am wrong), there is not a build function. If you want to test your
    > code compiles or not, the only way is to run it.


    You've got that backwards. There is not a build function by default
    because the incremental builder runs as you make changes. To see
    errors, just open the "Problems" view, which appears by default as a tab
    at the bottom of the Java perspective.

    If you don't like the automatic incremental build, you can turn it off.
    Then you can build the code with a button, just like in any other IDE.

    > I do not think Eclipse deserves the reputation it has now. I am a lazy
    > guy and do not want to ready documentation. Maybe that is the problem
    > why I am not good at Eclipse.


    Eclipse has the reputation that it has because it makes so many things
    so much easier. It frequently allows you to think and work at a higher
    level than other tools. All the little things -- like being able to
    highlight an expression and hit Alt-Shift-L -- mean that programming is
    less about typing than about working with the concepts of code. There
    are definitely IDEs that are easier to set up and get accustomed to
    using, but there are very few tools that do a better job at being a
    development environment.

    IMHO, of course.

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Jan 23, 2005
    #19
  20. James Kimble

    Steve Sobol Guest

    Chris Smith wrote:
    > Steve Sobol <> wrote:
    >
    >>>You probably created a lot of these incredulous reactions by implying
    >>>that the lack of a good visual GUI designer suggests that Eclipse is
    >>>sick or dying. That is so far removed from reality, frankly, that I am
    >>>guessing a lot of people assume you are merely trolling.

    >>
    >>There IS a good visual GUI designer available for Eclipse.

    >
    >
    > I didn't mean to suggest that there is not such a thing.


    I didn't mean to suggest that you were suggesting there wasn't. :)

    > I really
    > wouldn't know. I only said that the lack of such a thing would be no
    > indication at all of Eclipse being sick, dying, or dead -- for the
    > simple reason that 90% of Java developers probably don't care.


    I find the "I'll code the GUI by hand" concept somewhat amusing. Dragging and
    dropping DOES seem (to me) to be a quicker way to design a GUI. As always, YMMV.

    --
    JustThe.net - Apple Valley, CA - http://JustThe.net/ - 888.480.4NET (4638)
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

    "In case anyone was wondering, that big glowing globe above the Victor
    Valley is the sun." -Victorville _Daily Press_ on the unusually large
    amount of rain the Southland has gotten this winter (January 12th, 2005)
    Steve Sobol, Jan 23, 2005
    #20
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