RCP from my readers

I got two comments from my readers recently on RCP:

1. Henry wrote “Why Eclipse RCP is going to rule the world“, giving 5 reasons. I agree with his arguments that Eclipse RCP is the ideal platform for building desktop clients, especially if they need to be cross-platform. There is a lot of momentum behind it and you would be hard pressed to duplicate what it provides you on your own.

2. Kent commented that

“RCP saved me an incredible amount of time. I certainly cannot thank the Eclipse project enough. Without it I would have taken a lot longer to create the BigBlogZoo and it would not look as nice.”

Again, using RCP saves you time because it is just plain hard and time consuming to build a desktop application framework. Bonus points that it makes your desktop app look like every other app on your system, that is like a native app.

6 Replies to “RCP from my readers”

  1. RCP costs us a huge amount of time because we have to ‘code against the framework’ instead of simply using it. RCP and the whole Eclipse platform are still in an fairly early stage considering someone who wants to use it for building applications to be distributed to a customer.

    There are severely annoyances – yet.

    But: who offers more? .NET? Swing without a decent application framework after a decade of development?

    That’s why we’ll continue struggling with Eclipse RCP.


  2. Our company has moved away from browser based “intranet” apps to Eclipse RCP because of the following:
    1. The user community demands a true rich client. As talented as we’ve become with browser based technology, it still can’t match native, heavy controls.
    2. Our development group was split between Java (mostly middletier developers) and Microsoft (predominantly web/UI developers). We’ve found a great utility in developer/language homogeny. Everyone uses Eclipse. Everyone writes in Java. Everyone uses JUnit & Ant. Very nice.
    3. We are a total Windows desktop shop (500+ at this location alone), so portability was not a selling feature. But the native look and feel of SWT plus the organization and rigor that RCP has provided, has made this a winner.

    Sure we’re struggling through a rather steep learning curve and feeling a bit like pioneers on some days, but it’s absolutely the best situation. Soon I’ll have a blog as a repository for my groups findings…coming soon, so to speak.

  3. I agree with all of those five points, but one thing that I find interesting, is that Eclipse helps to level the playing field between the startups and the big boys. First of all we don’t have to retrofit java code and so the learning curve is less steep and secondly so much come good quality framework comes with it, that I don’t understand why someone would want to code against the framework.

  4. Marcus,

    Noone offers more for desktop development, especially targeting enterprise work. Cocoa is a mature desktop development framework, but the caveat is that you can only target OS X.

    Can you tell me what specific struggles you are having?

  5. Mike – looking forward to your blog! Email me when it is up and I’ll link to it.

    Kent – I have to agree; I was one of the “big boys” in the sense that I helped build and maintain an application framework for Swing, something that few people had, due to the difficulty and manpower needed. However, now everyone can leverage the hard work of a lot of developers by using the application framework provided by Eclipse RCP.

    Everyone – what struggles do everyone have with Eclipse RCP development?

  6. Struggles, specifically with Eclipse RCP development, next to none. Ok there could be more online tutorials, but that will come.

    One problem, not specific to Eclipse RCP, but to all Java applications, is prejudice, the prejudice that it is slow.

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