Monday, July 04, 2005

One, lesser known strike against Eclipse

Source: ZDNet.com
URL: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/index.php?p=1571

Article Summary:


Yesterday, as a part of our ongoing coverage of JavaOne, I opined that this year's annual Java lovefest could turn out to be the last stand for NetBeans. As I described in that blog, NetBeans is an integrated development environment (one that embodies the write once run anywhere religion of Java) that's currently losing in an important popularity war against its rival IDE Eclipse. To some, Eclipse is Java's anti-Christ. Not only doesn't it enforce the write once run anywhere promise of Java, it practically encourages developers to build operating system specific applications.

There are already some interesting responses to that blog. quietLee wrote "My guess is [that Sun] thought to include OS specific hooks into the JVM was probably viewed as burn at the stake heresy." However, there is one legitimate, pro-NetBeans point that I like — one that was raised in a conversation yesterday (after I posted that blog). It has to do with the slippery slope issue. The question is, once you step outside the write once run anywhere sanctuary — even ever so slightly — could the situation spiral out of control from there to the point that you really are no better off than writing dedicated applications? If things get messy on the deployment side of the equation, the answer could be yes.

As I said in my blog, developers may be mature enough to decide for themselves whether they're willing to bear the cost of maintaining platform specific versions of their applications, but there also could be a slight cost on the deployment/end-user side as well. Deployment of an Eclipse-developed application with OS dependencies also requires a significant amount of special care to make sure the JREs on the end-user systems will run them. Pages 25 thru 27 of an excellent Eclipse tutorial that I found do a good job of explaining the steps that developers may have to take to guarantee that end-users' systems will be able to run their Eclipse-developed applications. That this sort of prep work must take place means that Eclipse's interference with the write once run anywhere promise isn't strictly a developer-side issue.

Read complete article. . .

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