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Re: [ide-dev] Java IDEs comparison

On 14 September 2016 at 15:54, Mickael Istria <mistria@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 09/14/2016 04:34 PM, Bruno Medeiros wrote:
1. Eclipse 4
Yes, this was the beginning of the end.
What end?
It was for sure the beginning of a difficult era for the IDE (as perceived by users), but I don't see any end on the horizon.

The end of Eclipse dominance/market-lead in the IDE sphere? Ok, maybe this is a bit hard to measure objectively/accurately, but at the very least we can see there has been a decline in Eclipse popularity, starting in Eclipse 4.
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.

Do you remember the times before p2? Basically, having a plugin working was really a miracle, taking hours, requiring to read a lot of similar story, requiring to read some Eclipse log to figure out what's wrong and imagine what could be a solution.
p2 is definitely something really helpful, for sure it wasn't a trivial change. But see where we are now: p2 delivers the promise that everything that installs runs, that you can install old content on new Eclipse and vice-versa - and still if it installs then it runs-, it has very useful (although not trivial) error messages allowing to figure out the cause of any issue, it has allowed to move build to maven, it allows the Simultaneous Release and Tycho-based builds to detect at build-time of possible conflicts, it has a remediation page that is quite helpful in most cases...
With the size of the Eclipse ecosystem, a dependency management at install-time was and is a must-have; p2 is a good solution. I don't know how IntelliJ or other platforms deal with the fact that content can come from multiple sources, maybe they require people to rebuild content or to re-test it to get to a newer release. With p2, those steps can be avoided.
Bashing p2 as it's done in the article is IMO a clear sign that the author doesn't have a sufficient knowledge of the needs nor of the solution related to the installation story to write about it.

The times before p2? Well, I don't remember having problems with installing a plugin and not it having working. Then again, I only used very simple plugins/extensions: JDT+PDE, TPTP at times, a code coverage plugin, and my own developed plugins: DDT at the time.

In any case, I'm gonna play my "Maybe, I'm not in a position to judge." card, and withdraw my criticism of p2. Like I just mentioned, I was never very involved in complex install/update scenarios, so maybe I never faced those difficulties that p2 helps solve, according to you.

I maintain my heavy criticism of Eclipse theme engine and Eclipse appearance.
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.
I like how Eclipse IDE looks on Fedora Linux. There is an important bug about UX and theming: . However, no-one really considered it as important enough for other OSs right now.

I don't know about Fedora, but I don't like the default Eclipse theme for Windows. It doesn't integrate very well with the native theme, especially Windows 8/10. The various times I've tried Eclipse in Linux , the default theme also didn't integrate well with the native theme... sometimes it was downright broken . This was on Ubuntu and Mint BTW. There probably was GTK settings that could help with this, but I didn't bother - I don't actively use Linux anyways, it was there just to test out my plugins (and yeah, I've heard of the issues with GTK3). In any case, this doesn't look as good as something that just looks good out-of-the box. IMO, that's another advantage IntelliJ has. (although maybe at the cost of slower, less responsive UI widgets? )

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