6 Jan 2002 apm   » (Journeyer)

Finally got around to taking a look at Eclipse - the general purpose IDE that IBM released open source. Read a bunch of the articles on the site. There are some pretty interesting ideas. Some aspects I liked, some I didn't.

  • Although the Eclipse IDE is general purpose, it's written in Java, and to tailor it or extend it you use Java. Since I'm primarily a C++ programmer this is a bit of a negative.

  • They chose to write their own (yet another) portable gui framework (SWT). I thought Java already had a portable gui? I find their approach very reasonable though. It makes me want to work on a portable gui for Suneido along the same lines.

  • There's a good discussion of gui "resource" "disposal", i.e. how and when to free fonts, etc. and why finalization isn't a good approach.

  • Eclipse has an interesting plugin architecture. It seems relatively simple yet flexible, with attention to performance. Plugins can define new "views", add to existing menus and toolbars, and even insert material into the documentation.

It makes me feel that Suneido's IDE is somewhat limited. I think it would definitely be worthwhile to incorporate some of Eclipse's ideas.

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