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Is "Diversity" Eclipse's Secret Weapon?

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Eclipse is the type of platform that lends itself to diversity. You can see that in the wide array of plugins that are available to download, and the variety of languages that people use Eclipse as an IDE for.

  • Aptana's iPhone Plugin
    One article that really caught my attention was this article about developing iPhone applications with Eclipse using Aptana. No doubt Aptana will add in support for the official iPhone SDK once it becomes available.
  • Rich Ajax Platform
    While on the web stream, any unaware Ajax developers should take a good look at the RAP project. The demos can be easily run from the site, and there was a webinar just last week covering the technology - it's still available to view on the EclipseLive site.
  • Embedded Rich Client Platform
    For those that want to get a bit more embedded, the recently released version 1.1.1. Gorkem Ercan wrote about some devices that ship with eSWT, which eRCP is build on in his blog this week - a total of 4 Nokia devices. Both RAP and eRCP are growing projects, and it's great to see the Eclipse Platform extending from the desktop to other targets.
  • SQL Development Tools
    Towards the end of last week Embarcadero released their a beta of PowerSQL. This tool provides a developer focused SQL IDE, to make your interactions with databases much easier. Other more established products, such as MyEclipse, include database development plugins also.
  • Eclipse MDT
    The Model Development Tools project contains tools for UML2, XSD and other modelling languages. The MDT is a prime example of efficient usage of current Eclipse frameworks. Using GMF for visualisation and EMF as the metamodel, it provides an excellent way of visualising your UML models in the comfort of Eclipse.

Previously, we covered a lot of plugins for languages other than Java. We'll continue highlighting this diversity throughout our EclipseZone articles, showing how Eclipse can be used for different project needs. If there's any particular tool support that you're looking for in Eclipse let us know, and we'll try and find it for you.



Rainer Eschen replied on Wed, 2008/02/20 - 4:49pm

Eclipse is for sure on the way to become what Java is for the platforms. But, it get's more and more complex. Hopefully, not too complex sometime.

James Sugrue replied on Thu, 2008/02/21 - 8:06am

I think that the complexity of Eclipse is just people getting used to the technologies involved. With more documentation and tutorials, I think the learning curve will start to diminish.


Michael Hoffman replied on Thu, 2008/02/21 - 2:23pm

If they could only get Visual Editor to work in their latest release, and make it comparable to NetBeans offering, I would be completely satisfied with Eclipse.

I am a fan of Eclipse for the exact reason you mention, diversity. Unfortunately, it comes at a price... its huge footprint (presently "idling" at 700MB as we speak). But there is such a great variety of plug-ins that I have successfully used for with the product, FindBugs being the latest to get me excited.

James Sugrue replied on Fri, 2008/02/22 - 3:26pm in response to: Michael Hoffman

Thanks for your comment Michael - it's a very good point.

I've heard this from a number of developers and I hope to address these concerns in an upcoming article showing how to trim down Eclipse to what you need.


Azer Demir replied on Sun, 2008/02/24 - 12:18pm

i think the most important power of eclipse is diversity. in some ways other IDEs are better. example, i think eclipse's text editor (intellij idea's and netbeans editor seems much better to me), and preferences parts must be improved, especially i find preferences very complex. however with eclipse's this distributed structure, there is a huge community, from all over the world, and it's not just limited to plugins. aptana, zend stdio for eclipse are eclipse-based IDEs. and this eclipse plugins and eclipse-based IDEs increase everyday. People who are used to take his medicine from one hand say "why distributed structure? why distributed structure?" all the time, they also accuse linux distributions about this "complexity" and also java. but this distributed development structure is a sign of big communities, that guarentees the software's future and success.

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