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Home » Eclipse Projects » Rich Client Platform (RCP) » Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application(Looking for information to allow me to compare the value of using RCP versus SWT/JFace for a rather dynamic application)
Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application [message #506817] Sun, 10 January 2010 11:25 Go to next message
Jim Mochel is currently offline Jim Mochel
Messages: 2
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member
I am currently working on a PIM (Personal Information Manager) which displays hierarchical data in several different forms and allows the user to select which attributes of the data are displayed.

I have just finished prototyping and experimenting with Swing and QT Jambi to get a sense of how well the model will scale in terms of ease of development and maintenance.

To put it simply, QT looks like a nonstarter simply because the Java bindings are no longer supported and while Swing looks usable, the amount of work to write custom components that are dynamic and the amount of code necessary to manage updates seems excessive.

So now I'm looking at RCP and SWT/Jface for possible solutions.

I am trying to get a sense of several things asking a few open-ended questions:

1. Which framework do you think is better/easier for applications in which the attributes to be displayed can be dynamically changed by the user.

2. What are the "Decision Points" that would have you recommend doing development in RCP as opposed to SWT/JFace ?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me

- Jim Mochel
Re: Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application [message #506942 is a reply to message #506817] Mon, 11 January 2010 07:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charlie Kelly is currently offline Charlie Kelly
Messages: 274
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Jim,

The question probably shouldn't be stated as "RCP as opposed to SWT/JFace"

Within a rich client platform (RCP) application, you will probably use
SWT/JFace for your user interface (UI) components.

Additionally, if you want to expand your PIM for use within a web
browser, you can use most of the code from an RCP application in a Rich
Ajax Platform (RAP) application.

HTH

Charlie

Jim Mochel wrote:
> I am currently working on a PIM (Personal Information Manager) which
> displays hierarchical data in several different forms and allows the
> user to select which attributes of the data are displayed.
>
> I have just finished prototyping and experimenting with Swing and QT
> Jambi to get a sense of how well the model will scale in terms of ease
> of development and maintenance.
>
> To put it simply, QT looks like a nonstarter simply because the Java
> bindings are no longer supported and while Swing looks usable, the
> amount of work to write custom components that are dynamic and the
> amount of code necessary to manage updates seems excessive.
>
> So now I'm looking at RCP and SWT/Jface for possible solutions.
>
> I am trying to get a sense of several things asking a few open-ended
> questions:
>
> 1. Which framework do you think is better/easier for applications in
> which the attributes to be displayed can be dynamically changed by the
> user.
>
> 2. What are the "Decision Points" that would have you recommend doing
> development in RCP as opposed to SWT/JFace ?
>
> Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me
>
> - Jim Mochel
Re: Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application [message #507202 is a reply to message #506942] Tue, 12 January 2010 03:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jim Mochel is currently offline Jim Mochel
Messages: 2
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member
Charlie,

Thank you for your reply!

The reason I stated it as SWT versus RCP was because I can see that there are a number of applications out there that are only using the SWT and not the RCP.

I am clear about the benefits that the RCP brings to the table and have been following the developments in a general way for several years.

What I have noticed is that most of the RCP applications have a very similar paradigm and I am concerned about how "non-standard" I can make the UI.

So I guess, in hindsight, what I am asking is what are the UI constraints that I would be dealing with if I went with the RCP?

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
-Jim
Re: Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application [message #507308 is a reply to message #507202] Tue, 12 January 2010 16:30 Go to previous message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: jccanova.gmail.com

Hi Mochel,

I will just put an example on table, let me see if i understood what you
mean.
Lets say that you start a plugin project. This plugin is an OSGI
application, just try your self start the application as an OSGI
framework... you will see that the application will just start fine (as the
osgi console and put start br.com.octech.jnewsreader.JnewsApplication <==
your plugin app).
Eclipse RCP is a set OSGI bundles that augment the OSGI platform with
Eclipse Paradigm that i see basically as
the Workbench, and a MVC - Document Oriented Framework (SWT / JFaces).
So, you can have a OSGI service (equinox if im not wrong) that uses the
Eclipse RCP to enable some facilities for "rapid product development" over
the OSGI platform making ui contribuitions to a desktop.

SWT is a lighweight java component which is proposal is to be augmented by
other frameworks like for example with JFaces.
The workbench is a set of services including contributions to the UI as
perpectives and VIEW management.

The thing is when you decide to use RCP you are taking the way to use
Eclipse Platform programming model, that is OSGI + WorkBench (eclipse core)
+ SWT/JFaces (eclipse ui).
The advantages to use the eclipse core are component bussinness modelling on
OSGI platform + view/resources management.

Am i correct in my assumption ?

Regards,

Jose Carlos Canova.



"Jim Mochel" <jmochel@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:hihtsh$jb2$1@build.eclipse.org...
> Charlie,
>
> Thank you for your reply!
>
> The reason I stated it as SWT versus RCP was because I can see that there
> are a number of applications out there that are only using the SWT and not
> the RCP.
> I am clear about the benefits that the RCP brings to the table and have
> been following the developments in a general way for several years.
> What I have noticed is that most of the RCP applications have a very
> similar paradigm and I am concerned about how "non-standard" I can make
> the UI.
>
> So I guess, in hindsight, what I am asking is what are the UI constraints
> that I would be dealing with if I went with the RCP?
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> -Jim
Re: Advice Requested: RCP versus SWT/JFace for PIM Application [message #507339 is a reply to message #507202] Tue, 12 January 2010 14:22 Go to previous message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: jccanova.gmail.com

I forgot to finish my thoughts.

Continuing on example analogy.

I´m starting with a SWT/JFace to get sharp on it. I saw some problems with
view management when i want floating controls. When i put RCP on the program
the thing getting better.. using perspectives and view parts (just to
begin), and the main difference now if that there is no coupling with the
view parts since my perpective is entirely defined in the plugin xml.

Also, my buttons trigger handlers... (ActionHandler) instead to have
ActionListeners (which still works). But i increase the level of difficult
of my application since now i have to work with OSGI and the eclipse
workbench, but until now, i could handle with the things that appeared in
front of me.

I think that the developer can embrace all stuff by steps... since eclipse
has a lot of facilities to offer as a desktop application workspace (i mean
Editors , Spreadsheed, the canvas for graphic printing, persistence of data,
resource management... and a lot of things that are builtin in it and i can
reuse it as the way that im getting knowledge in the apis) and any SWT/JFace
app will run easy in eclipse rcp container ...

I suggest you take few minutes to look on lars vogel
(http://www.vogella.de/) assets on eclipse rcp.

One very nice RCP example that was suggested to me this days is
eclipsetrader.org ....


Regards,

Jose Carlos Canova.





"Jim Mochel" <jmochel@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:hihtsh$jb2$1@build.eclipse.org...
> Charlie,
>
> Thank you for your reply!
>
> The reason I stated it as SWT versus RCP was because I can see that there
> are a number of applications out there that are only using the SWT and not
> the RCP.
> I am clear about the benefits that the RCP brings to the table and have
> been following the developments in a general way for several years.
> What I have noticed is that most of the RCP applications have a very
> similar paradigm and I am concerned about how "non-standard" I can make
> the UI.
>
> So I guess, in hindsight, what I am asking is what are the UI constraints
> that I would be dealing with if I went with the RCP?
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> -Jim
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