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For the Authors: SWT

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I know that plugin development will eventually if not right off the bat take you into the unknown with SWT. I have used SWT a little bit and I have recently discovered an OpenGL binding for SWT which I am pretty excited about (another topic).
But what I am wondering is, even with the success Eclipse has had, do you know if the SWT is a viable toolkit that is going to be around for a while? How closely is SWT tied to the eclipse framework? I was also told that SWT is now provided as a seperate download from Eclipse unlike in the past. Is this a move the Eclipse team is trying to make for a reason? Or was it just because of the amount of requests for it as a seperate download. Also, does your book cover anything about SWT since you will be using SWT to extend Eclipse?
Sorry for the flood of questions in one post, but they are all related...
I do not intend on this becoming a SWT vs SWING/AWT, so non-authors, I would appreciate comments accordingly.
I had posted a question similar to this in the SWING forum a few days ago, but Nate suggested since the Authors were here this week, I might get some good answers from them.
Thanks.
[ November 11, 2003: Message edited by: Gregg Bolinger ]

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Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
I know that plugin development will eventually if not right off the bat take you into the unknown with SWT.
Only if you need a GUI for what your plugin does (many plugins need only to hook themselves into the context menus, the menubar, etc.)...
But what I am wondering is, even with the success Eclipse has had, do you know if the SWT is a viable toolkit that is going to be around for a while?
SWT is definitely viable as it boosts the user experience of Java desktop applications. I think SWT has two main risks to look out for: having up-to-date implementations available for major desktop systems (Win & Mac), and keeping the API user-friendly (I've heard people talking about the SWT API being somewhat more difficult to use/learn than Swing).
How closely is SWT tied to the eclipse framework?
Very closely, I believe. Well, actually SWT is not tied to Eclipse but Eclipse is tied to SWT.
I was also told that SWT is now provided as a seperate download from Eclipse unlike in the past. Is this a move the Eclipse team is trying to make for a reason? Or was it just because of the amount of requests for it as a seperate download.
The separate download is probably just a convenience thing for those who want to use SWT in non-Eclipse contexts.


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Erich Gamma
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Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 16
Lasse's answers above are all correct.
I just wanted to point out that the Eclipse team is also working on providing a "generic workbench". This is the Eclipse workbench without any IDE specific UI items (like Build). When building applications on top of the generic workbench you can not only leverage SWT but also the plug-in mechanism, workbench layout etc.
In fact we just went through this migration last week and a first cut is available in the 3.0 stream.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Erich Gamma:
Lasse's answers above are all correct.
I just wanted to point out that the Eclipse team is also working on providing a "generic workbench". This is the Eclipse workbench without any IDE specific UI items (like Build). When building applications on top of the generic workbench you can not only leverage SWT but also the plug-in mechanism, workbench layout etc.
In fact we just went through this migration last week and a first cut is available in the 3.0 stream.

Isn't this similar to what Netbeans has done as they provide a Netbeans platform to base other applications off of?
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Isn't this similar to what Netbeans has done as they provide a Netbeans platform to base other applications off of?
Pretty much, yes.
Erich Gamma
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 16
Actually Eclipse is architected since day one into a Platform and a separate JDT layer. So you could always use Eclipse as an application platform. What we do in 3.0 is to simplify this even further, i.e., clients don't have to disable or remove plug-ins etc.
Erich Gamma
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 16
Lasse's answers above are all correct.
I just wanted to point out that the Eclipse team is also working on providing a "generic workbench". This is the Eclipse workbench without any IDE specific UI items (like Build). When building applications on top of the generic workbench you can not only leverage SWT but also the plug-in mechanism, workbench layout etc.
In fact we just went through this migration last week and a first cut is available in the 3.0 stream.
 
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subject: For the Authors: SWT