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a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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More RCPing

The Eclipse tinkering has continued, although not without its frustrations, and not just because life is a pain with dial-up and minimal Google time (no ADSL until next week, pfff). I've focused on simple views and interacting with them, and things come together, bit by bit.

As I'd said, there are two things to get one's head around: how SWT works, and the Way of the Plugin. The SWT stuff isn't bad, it's just another API to learn. How to create a table, how to create columns, what properties they have and how you interact with them. It's a bit of a change moving from the web, and the Java Way of eschewing visual editors isn't always pain-free. I'm normally far happier wading through Java than HTML or JavaScript, but I must say that the usual Java paradigm of constructing UIs by code gets a bit frustrating. I know I'm still green enough to not have a fully-informed opinion yet, though.

The plugin malarkey has been the real headache. I suppose it boils down to sacrificing some dev-time convenience for run-time architectural robustness, or something. That's what I tell myself. At present I find myself spending too much time resolving classpath and NoClassDefFoundErrors, and not enough time writing code that does stuff. I hope it gets easier once I'm more comfortable with everything, but I can't help but feel that the tools should be able to take away even more of the drudgery.

What is nice about coding up applications, is that the plugin libraries are associated with their source code, and so it's easy to step into the code, and on the higher levels at least, peek under Eclipse's hood, and actually understand what's going on.

{2007.05.03 - 21:33}

Comments:

1 Scheepers (2007.05.04 - 10:56) #

Have you tried using Netbeans' UI creation tool?

Now, Netbeans the IDE sucks a bit, but the UI creation is GREAT. So I do the UI in Netbeans, and programming in Eclipse, just copy the generated UI code over.

(SIGH unfortunately I HAVE to develop in Netbeans at work)

2 Colin (2007.05.07 - 22:46) #

Ah, I've heard good things about the Matisse editor - I know you can get it with MyEclipse Pro. I've been tempted to revert to traditional Java, but I'm gonna ride this SWT and JFace torpedo for a bit longer ;-).

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