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[ide-dev] e4 debate

On 09/15/2016 05:17 PM, Eric Moffatt wrote:

The idea of e4 was to simplify the platform code to the point where we could allow contributors to 'get in the game' and to be *successful*. It's worth noting in this context that in 2015 the Platform UI project was voted the 'Most Open' having garnered many new committers from diverse sources (I'm not sure but I suspect we have more now than ever before).

As a relatively new regular contributor to Platform UI, I must say that what made the project more open to me are more the changes about releng (move to Tycho) and contribution infra (Hudson, Gerrit) than the move to e4. On the "higher level" parts of the IDE (Wizard, views, and very user-oriented things more than core, performance and so on), I currently didn't perceive any benefit of e4 and I never have the opportunity to take advantage of its features. My only attempt so far (adding a context-menu to the main toolbar) of adding some extensibility and tweaking some renderer is currently still a failure.
I do not question whether e4 was necessary or not, I'd just like to share that in my opinion, e4 still fails at provided huge value for developing the Eclipse IDE, has definitely cost a lot of resources that end-users would rather have seen placed elsewhere, and that it's not what has caused the recent boost in the contributions to Platform UI.

As for the reason for the drop off I'd point to the decision of Apple to go with Android Studio as being the turning point, followed by the current unrelenting marketing campaign from JetBrains...

s/Apple/Google, but yeah, overall I agree.
But about JetBrains, it's not about Marketing, it's really about a very good strategy in their product that has allowed them to deliver a good functional quality. They've basically implemented years ago what we're still discussing here (solid factorization of common parts - editors, commands, views...), so they can simply create nice features for new technos faster than we can do now. We're just paying the price of the Tragedy of Commons, and luckily, there are now enough motivated contributors to succeed on this challenge!
Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer for Red Hat Developers
My blog - My Tweets

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