Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Speed of Eclipse

I just took a new contract a couple weeks ago that has forced me to deal with WSAD. Overall, I consider it a good thing. I had thought about learning it or Eclipse for a while (I�ve been using Idea exclusively for a few years now). I was looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about.

There have been a few good things about it. I love anything open source. I like being able to dig into the database without leaving my IDE. I like the Swing designer (for the most part). And then there�s the speed�

All I�ve been hearing from people about Eclipse for the past could years, is how fast SWT is. Well, I hate to break it to you all, but an API can�t make an application fast! If you still have all the typical IDE clutter; if you still have those frustrating modes (with no good indicators); if you have to go through a six step wizard to rename a variable; then it doesn�t really matter how fast you refresh the screen. Usability is not about speed, and Eclipse is not about usability.

Being an open source project (Eclipse�s greatest strength), handicaps it in that it will never be truly useable (being partly controlled by IBM, by the way is a deterrence to usability, not an advantage). Just as Linux will never be ready for the desktop, Eclipse may never be as easy to use as its competition (Idea).

I�ve been working on my optimism, however, so I�ll end this with a positive note: If you�re coming from JBuilder, NetBeans, Caf�, or Together, then you�re probably pretty happy with Eclipse.

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