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Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

From: <ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx> on behalf of Bruno Medeiros <>
Reply-To: Discussions about the IDE <ide-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 10:34 AM
To: Discussions about the IDE <ide-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

On 13 September 2016 at 23:31, Patrik Suzzi <psuzzi@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi All,

I just read a post entitled "The fall of Eclipse" -

I don't know about the actual usage statistics for Eclipse and IntelliJ, but I very much agree with all the points he raises in the article:

1. Eclipse 4
Yes, this was the beginning of the end.
4.0 and 4.1 series of Eclipse were buggy as hell, unusable for me even for just core Java and PDE work. I only switched from 3.x to 4.x when Eclipse 4.2 was out, and even then it was bumpy.
CSS/theming engine was a failure and massive waste of time, at least for IDE (dunno about RCP). See point 4.
Other e4 technologies were also of questionable value, IMO. Dependency injection? I've never used them in the IDEs I've development. Did it bring significant improvements to technical quality of the IDE?
There there was p2:

I think people are missing the point on this. Yes, Eclipse 4.0 and 4.1 were buggy as hell but we didn’t officially cut over until 4.2. I’m not sure how many users actually experienced those versions. And at the end of the day, the Eclipse Workbench used by the IDE is barely e4 anyway. There is a massive amount of legacy code that still works with the old APIs (see CDT, etc).

And that was a long time ago. I’d expect a blip but the trend continues. Ian Bull raised probably the best point. Eclipse 4 also co-incided with a massive drop in investment from IBM. In fact, e4 was an attempt by the fine people there at the time to grow the community to make up for that shortfall. Not sure it actually worked, but that’s how I remember it from my front row seat. I felt really bad for them actually, but we are where we are.

2. Equinox P2
Ok, this wasn't as bad as CSS/theming, it works fairly well nowadays (I think? Others might disagree). But it was still another massive investment and breaking change that cost adopters time and effort. Was it worth it in the end? Maybe, I'm not in a position to judge. But other more important aspects were forsaken in the wake of this.

It also gave birth to the Eclipse Marketplace, tycho maven builds, product aggregation, Check for Updates. Can you imagine Eclipse without an install system like this? I can’t, or we’d be complaining about the lack of one.

4. Ugly as sin
True. Since Eclipse 4, I've always configured Eclipse to look like the classic theme. Including manually have to tinker with .e4css/ files to restore traditional style tabs. Nowadays, with Eclipse Neon, I just have the theming engine completely disabled. Good riddance.

LOL, I think the people who think Eclipse 4 is ugly, think so because it’s outdated compared to other present day desktop tools. I’m not sure the Classic Theme helps with that. It just makes Eclipse look older, no?

3. Not a product
True as well, in the sense that there is no proper product director/manager and product vision. This was mentioned before in this thread, see Doug's comments on "product focused organization", etc.

Yes. After I said that, I have volunteered to help facilitate the UX group sponsored by the Architecture Council. So I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I hope everyone here who has great opinions and ideas to move the vision for Eclipse forward will come help.


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