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A big JavaRanch welcome

Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
OK everyone, let's give a big JavaRanch welcome to Joe Pluta, the author of this week's giveaway, Eclipse: Step-By-Step. I have read Joe's book and it is excellent for the novice Eclipse user. Joe will tell us more about the motivation for his book and his target audience, I am sure.
On Friday, as usual, we will pick four winners from those who participate in this forum and send them a copy of Joe's book! So say "Hi!" to Joe and start posting your questions.
See the rules of the book promotion:
http://www.javaranch.com/bookpromo.jsp


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8898

Hi Joe!


Groovy
Arathi Raj
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Joined: Nov 22, 2002
Posts: 90
Hi Joe,
Tell us more about your book. What does it cover. Are there any examples. Does it cover any J2EE concepts.
Thanks
Arathi
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
That would be me!
I'm thrilled to be here, and look forward to your questions. Eclipse: Step by Step is a different kind of book; it's designed to get you productive in Eclipse in as short a time as possible. I've found over the years that, especially with Open Source projects, the hard part is getting all the necessary pieces together and getting started. Java was very intimidating when I didn't know the difference between a JDK, a JRE and a JAR. Even the FAQs sometimes assume knowledge that you just might not have when you're first learning. So with this book, I've included every step, from downloading to installing to configuring to writing a real application. No animated figures juggling beans . Just a real application that uses SWT and JDBC to access a database, with nothing taken for granted.
The book really hits four audiences: Java newbies, Eclipse newbies, SWT newbies and JDBC newbies. None of the topics are covered in depth like one of the more hefty reference manuals. Instead, if you've never written a standalone SWT application before, this book shows you all the steps required. And once you've gotten past the initial learning curve, the other books become much easier to understand.
So please, feel free to jump in and ask questions!
Joe
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Arathi, thanks for the interest! Unfortunately, no, this book does not cover J2EE concepts. Those are a little bigger than the scope of this particular project. This one focuses on all the steps it takes to create a working business application using IBM's Software Widget Toolkit (SWT) and JDBC.
The book steps you through every major panel in Eclipse and especially the Java Development Tooling perspectives. It also shows you how to install and use a really nifty (and free!) 100% Pure Java Open Source SQL database called HSQLDB.
I'd love to in a later book cover some J2EE concepts, especially servlets and JavaServer Pages. What areas of J2EE do you think need to be covered?
Joe
Mike Cunningham
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Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 128
Joe,
I was wondering if the open source community is coming up with plugins for Eclipse? I work with WebSphere Studio Application Developer (which is built off of Eclipse). There are several plugins available for that product. I was just curious about how Eclipse is evolving from that perspective?
- Mike
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
As an FYI, I've go the book, and I think it's great.
M


Java Regular Expressions
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Mike, the plug-in community for Eclipse is simply enormous. There are currently 350 projects in the "official" plug-in list, with more being added every day it seems.
Of course, this is an open source community, so a lot of those projects may never make it off the ground, or may lapse into hibernation. But there are still dozens of powerful, important projects. Two current hot picks are Lomboz (which is an open source equivalent to WSAD) and an SWT visual designer, and there are plenty more.
In fact, we're considering a book on this topic, and wondering if there would be interest.
Bill Dornbush
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 26, 2003
Posts: 10
"I'd love to in a later book cover some J2EE concepts, especially servlets and JavaServer Pages. What areas of J2EE do you think need to be covered?
Joe"
Joe, I have used Eclipse, and am now using IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer, which I have the use of during a project I am doing. It has some really nice features integrating a test server and doing most of the grunt work maintaining the XML files. I would like to know how to do similar things with Eclipse, which may be harder but should still be possible since WSAD is based on Eclipse.
My project uses JSP, Servlets, and Beans, so an application showing how to integrate these components and how to test the app would be what I am looking for.
Bill Dornbush
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Thanks, Max, I appreciate the plug! Feel free to post that information up on Amazon.com .
Joe
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Actually, if you're using WSAD, you're using Eclipse, Bill. All of the IBM development tools, including WSAD, WSSD and WSDC, are built on top of Eclipse. So, if you want to learn the "official" way to do J2EE with Eclipse, WSAD is the way to go.
If you're looking for a free version, the Lomboz plug-in is one of the community "standards", if you will, but it's really not endorsed by the Eclipse group.
A funny, little known fact: if you want to get a license to unlimited copies of IBM's Eclipse-based tooling, the best way might be to buy a cheap iSeries box. If you buy an iSeries and the corresponding tools for about US$20,000, that will include not only the iSeries itself but unlimited licenses for all the WebSphere tooling.
Not a bad deal for a small company. Not as useful for an individual, unless you need a $20,000 business expense .
Joe
vasu maj
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Joined: Jul 12, 2001
Posts: 395
Welcome on board Joe!
I read somewhere that in addition to IBM there was some IDE with UML capabilities built on top of eclipse. Do you have an idea?

And with your experience of using different IDEs, can you list out a brief comaprision? Especially between Intellij IDEA and Eclipse?
Thanks,
Vasu


What a wonderful world!
Linda Pan
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Joined: Sep 24, 2001
Posts: 96
Speaking from a newbie perpsective, how much would it cost to get an Eclipse server up and running? for example, to build a somewhat simple Java application for a small company?
[ August 19, 2003: Message edited by: Linda Pan ]
Mike Southgate
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Joined: Jul 18, 2003
Posts: 183
I've already used Eclipse for one project, but I couldn't figure out how to incoporate things like Ant and testing tools. Will this book help on the testing side?
ms


ms<br />SCJP, SCJD
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Vasu, I think you have to be VERY careful when comparing different products. It's almost like comparing languages - it can quickly become a religious debate, so I'd prefer not to make specific comparisons between Eclipse and other products. Perhaps others would like to do that in a different thread.
However, I can point out the single biggest difference between Eclipse and all the other products out there: Eclipse is an Open Source framework that was designed from the start to be extended - by people like you and me! The Eclipse designers realized that no single development team could ever meet all the needs of the entire community, so instead they designed a platform that would allow anybody with the desire to add their own features to the workbench.
Eclipse by itself actually does almost nothing. Without plug-ins, Eclipse is a very poor version of Windows Explorer. It just so happens that it ships with a really, really excellent Java plug-in, the JDT, which in most situations is every bit as powerful as VisualAge for Java (you can click here for an article I wrote last year comparing the two, but you may have to register first).
Other plug-ins are being written every day, and that's something none of the other IDEs can say. Some of the plug-ins for Eclipse are not free. IBM's various WebSphere offerings cost money, in some cases, significant money. But they also provide levels of testing that nobody else has. And that's the thing that make Eclipse so unique. If you can get by with the free offerings, there's nothing stopping you from using Eclipse without paying a cent. At the same time, if you need advanced capabilities, there are vendors willing to sell you plug-ins that take Eclipse to that next level of function.
And that's I think the biggest difference between Eclipse and all the other IDEs.
Joe
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Originally posted by Linda Pan:
Speaking from a newbie perpsective, how much would it cost to get an Eclipse server up and running? for example, to build a somewhat simple Java application for a small company?

Linda, Eclipse is an IDE which runs on the individual programmer's workstation. The IDE itself is free, and there is no server component. In order to do collaborative development, you'll probably want to use something like CVS, which is tightly integrated into Eclipse. But to get started, Eclipse costs absolutely nothing!
Joe
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Originally posted by Mike Southgate:
I've already used Eclipse for one project, but I couldn't figure out how to incoporate things like Ant and testing tools. Will this book help on the testing side?

No, Mike, Eclipse: Step by Step doesn't cover testing or team development or application deployment; none of these are part of the base Eclipse product. However, there are a number of discussions on Ant and Eclipse right here in the IDE forum, as well as elsewhere on the net.
 
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