The result is that many Eclipse developers have switched to NetBeans and others are beginning the migration to NetBeans by using both IDEs. Though the Java and Eclipse forums are littered with 'why is Eclipse slow', 'why does Eclipse freeze for 25 seconds' , 'crashes' and a number of like questions, increasingly it is becoming more obvious that perhaps the problem may not be just Eclipse's architecture but also that SWT is only optimized on Windows and is not the fast performer that its proponents suggest - a number of observers have mentioned this. Has it all been worth it ? SWT development has been a huge, unnecessary cost that Eclipse Foundation members have the burden of sharing. They have managed to implemented about a third of Java2D and have just discovered the merits of deferred layout. With a little push - SWT will be where AWT was 7 years ago. All of this and Eclipse is tasting a serious backlash from Eclipse users...
How is this FUD? Oh, let me count the ways. Here's a crazy idea -- most Java development is done on Windows. I could be wrong, but that's my fairly sure guess. What's more, even if it's not, it's a trivial investment to make it so. There's a reason SWT works well on Windows and not Linux, and it's not because its developers are big Linux users. (duh)
Starting with this idea that the article is one of those minority reports that irrationally devalues Windows, the bias becomes clear. Now don't get too worked up; I'm a Mac user. In my experience, Eclipse has worked *very* well on the Mac and generally much more quickly than Netbeans, though the latter is catching up. I don't like saying Windows is the clear forerunner any more than this fellow. But in any event, he is providing a minority report, of sorts, and that's the source of the FUDness.
Here goes... "many Eclipse developers"? You mean more than 10? Or 2,000? Give me stats. The forums question Eclipse's bugginess... on Linux? Is that really a big enough reason in the practical world to make Netbeans the clear winner? An unnumbered amount of people prefers Netbeans' interface? Wow!
And SWT is where AWT was seven years ago? Are you fookin' out of your mind?!! Ludicrous. Try, just try and make a good UI for a mature IDE or other app out of AWT -- and then tell me how it works xplat. At least SWT has a table, for heaven's sake! Any why, as the article says elsewhere, is it so difficult to find SWT applications? Is that really what we're talking about here? That's an easy one -- deployment. I'm not sure SWT is trying to beat Swing; I think it's just driving to help Eclipse be a great IDE. (That said, the recent articles suggesting SWT's advantages for creating apps that you distribute should not be overlooked, as I've been spouting here for some time)
I do feel there are issues with SWT, and there's a reason I don't use it in my apps (though I use it regularly to power my IDE). There are also reasons that AWT and SWT share that mean that I use AWT wherever possible. AWT is deployed everywhere (SWT's only dealbreaking stumbling block for me), and short of a form with a table or browser on it, I usually think long and hard about using AWT before coding. I just, as I've said before, wonder what's stopping Sun from getting with IBM to make a better AWT -- or at least making sure SWT interoperated with AWT well where SWT provides a useful superset of functionality.
But the real story here is that Java is fighting Java, while Microsoft is buying Sun servers. The battle's over. MS seems to have won. It's a shame to see political infighting with what should be pretty good allies. I believe, overall, in Gosling's belief that competition in the IDE 'space' is good for all developers, but moreso when it's [at least more] friendly competition.
posted by ruffin
at 3/14/2005 01:34:00 PM