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Re: [e4-dev] Do We Need a Book?


I'm planning to create an english e4 book. :-)

Best regards, Lars

Am 09.01.2012 17:34 schrieb "Stefan Mücke" <s.muecke@xxxxxxxxx>:
Hi Eric and Mike,

I think that before you invest resources into writing a book, you should provide good documentation (by updating and supplementing the existing documentation). Without good documentation, I would think twice before adopting Eclipse 4.

Also, there are many things that are *far* more important for Eclipse 4 than having a book. One thing is polishing, of which there is clearly still a lack in Eclipse 4.2. Another point is performance, especially start-up performance. This might not be important for the Eclipse SDK and for some huge business applications, but for ordinary RCP applications (like RSSOwl), this is very important. On my second computer, a Mac mini (Core 2 Duo T5600), Eclipse 3.6.2 takes 6.5 seconds to start, and Eclipse 4.2 M4 about 9.5+ seconds (both are warmed-up times).

The workbench still lacks features regarding DND. For example, when you drag the Package Explorer somewhere else, you cannot restore the original position, because the window's border is no longer a drag target as in 3.x.

Another thing that really bugs me about Eclipse 4 is that it constantly allocates memory in the background. When you enable the heap status, you can observe this. This is because Eclipse does some polling of certain context values in order to implement lazy plug-in activation. However, there is something inherently wrong with this approach. There should be some other mechanism that is triggered when context values have changed or might have changed.

A few days ago there was a blog post on Planet Eclipse about "Butterflyzer" where the developers ported their code from 4.x to 3.x because Eclipse 4 is just not ready, which is very sad. Quote: "... E4... and isn't quite mature enough yet".

Instead of using the E4 workbench, they adapted the old E3 one. I am planning to do the same for my RCP app.

In September 2010, I created an updated outline of what I would like to find in the documentation as an RCP developer. I hoped this could help start the documentation process, but there's still no E4-related documentation in the Eclipse SDK's online help. Here's the bug with the outline:

IMHO, writing a book about Eclipse requires something like the original "Eclipse Jumpstart" team at IBM. Ideally, the existing and excellent book "Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse" should be updated (see However, it is obvious that this would require a *huge* effort and quite a few people.

Bottom line: Please don't waste resources on writing a book before the Eclipse 4 platform is really ready for prime time.

My two cents. Best wishes and Thank you for all your efforts!

Stefan Mücke

> Mike, I had to think about this over the weekend in order to get my story
> / concerns straight...
> 1) I really do think that Eclipse 4 / EAP deserve a book and I also think
> that the eclipse community would get true value from it
> 2) I'd be quite happy to work with others on making this happen
> - but -
> We are currently focused on ensuring that Eclipse 4 Juno is all that it
> can be so any time spent on the book will have to be balanced against the
> Juno work. All indications from those I've talked to warn me that it'll
> take more time that it would appear to need at first blush.
> I have no idea how the book writing process goes as far as getting a
> publisher / editor...can you clue me in ?
> The timing is such that (for me) it would be best to get started on this
> now (content gathering, structure...) but as a background task, leaving
> the bulk of the editing work until after the Juno release (this would also
> ensure that we can cover off any late changes...).
> My 2 cents...I'd love to hear from others that may be interested in making
> this happen...
> Eric
>    From: "Mike Milinkovich" <mike.milinkovich@xxxxxxxxxxx>  To:
> <e4-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>  Date: 01/04/2012 12:25 PM  Subject: [e4-dev] Do We
> Need a Book?  Sent by: e4-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx
> All,
> With Eclipse 4 going mainstream in June, it occurs to us that there could
> very much be a need for some sort of book. I certainly defer to the much
> greater wisdom of the people here, but something along the lines of the
> following would be of great value:
>    o What is the Eclipse 4 platform? Its motivation, and its benefits. o
> Why Eclipse 4 is a better RCP o Backwards compatibility o A migration
> guide on how to move your Eclipse 3.x RCP application or plug-in to native
> Eclipse 4. 
> Is there any group of people on this list that would be interested in
> working on such a book? Calling Lars Vogel, Tom Schindl, Kai Toetder, Eric
> Moffat, Remy Suen, and I am sure many other potential co-authors!
> Mike Milinkovich
> Office: +1.613.224.9461 x228
> Mobile: +1.613.220.3223
> mike.milinkovich@xxxxxxxxxxx
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