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Eclipse 3.0 Kick Start - general question to Author

 
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I have always been somewhat put off by Eclipse because it seemed that there was such a steep learning curve just to use the thing. To be fair, I have not tried Eclipse in a long time, so this may no longer be a valid concern. Is your book primarily concerned w/ the new features in 3.0, and therefore assume a prior working knowledge of Eclipse? Or would new users be able to use it as a guide to start working with Eclipse?

Thanks,
Mike
 
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Originally posted by Michael Cleary:
I have always been somewhat put off by Eclipse because it seemed that there was such a steep learning curve just to use the thing. To be fair, I have not tried Eclipse in a long time, so this may no longer be a valid concern. Is your book primarily concerned w/ the new features in 3.0, and therefore assume a prior working knowledge of Eclipse? Or would new users be able to use it as a guide to start working with Eclipse?

Thanks,
Mike



The first section of the book goes over as many of the features of Eclipse as should be useful to someone looking for a decent Java development environment. It is not until the 2nd and 3rd sections that the book delves into things like open-source (or almost open-source) plug-ins to let you do things like J2EE development.

Carlos
 
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...it seemed that there was such a steep learning curve just to use the thing

I have been using Eclipse for about 9 months now. (JDT and PDE) I would have to say that as an IDE it is not so intuitive, but once you learn all the ins and outs it really is a nice tool. I have tried several IDEs and this one is by far my favorite. It's definitely worth getting past the learning curve.
 
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Originally posted by Michael Cleary:
I have always been somewhat put off by Eclipse because it seemed that there was such a steep learning curve just to use the thing.



I would say that, as IDE's go, the learning curve on eclipse is no worse than any other. For basic use I find it fairly intuitive. That said there are alot of tricks and shortcuts that take time to find and learn, and it's those extra 'features' that really help productivity.
 
Carlos Valcarcel
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Originally posted by Steven Bell:


I would say that, as IDE's go, the learning curve on eclipse is no worse than any other. For basic use I find it fairly intuitive. That said there are alot of tricks and shortcuts that take time to find and learn, and it's those extra 'features' that really help productivity.



I would go so far as to say that the reason I wrote the book was because I was so impressed with Eclipse's feature set that I had to go stand on a mountain somewhere and sing its praises.

Free IDEs, or editors with the ability to run processes from the main UI, have been around for a long time. NetBeans set the standard and I think Eclipse is just doing its best to show where the IT marketplace is going: cheap or free tools and paid services. The training firm I work for, Trivera Technologies, is doing a brisk business using Eclipse in our training. We have a 3-5 day course on pure Eclipse and our Java courses are all being ported to use Eclipse as their base IDE (we support a lot of IDEs, but having one like Eclipse is a great place to start).

Carlos
 
Michael Cleary
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Well, it sounds to me like I need to get off the fence and try Eclipse again! The IDE I have used the most is JCreator Pro, which of course is not free. But is is a very nice IDE and I've gotten pretty used to it. At work I had to use NetBeans for a project last fall, and I didn't really care for it that much. But again, it may have been simply because I was so used to something else.

Thanks,
 
Carlos Valcarcel
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Originally posted by Michael Cleary:
Well, it sounds to me like I need to get off the fence and try Eclipse again! The IDE I have used the most is JCreator Pro, which of course is not free. But is is a very nice IDE and I've gotten pretty used to it. At work I had to use NetBeans for a project last fall, and I didn't really care for it that much. But again, it may have been simply because I was so used to something else.

Thanks,



My advice to developers who have already paid for their IDE: keep using it. When the time comes to upgrade, take a look at Eclipse and others like it. You might still spend your money on JBuilder or IntelliJ or whatever, but then again you might not.

Tools are a matter or taste, style and politics. No matter how much you might like Eclipse if your company has standardized on another tool then that is the one you should use.

Just make sure you follow use-case driven and test-driven development.

Carlos
 
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I've been using WSAD for two years and I also have used Eclipse. I really find it a great IDE, but since I haven't used any other IDE's I can't objectively say that Eclipse is the best one. But I like it a lot.
Maybe Carlos can point two or three characteristics that make Eclipse unique and worth to learn and use it (and read his book, of course ;-).

Thanks
Jorge
 
Carlos Valcarcel
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Originally posted by Jorge Blaz:
I've been using WSAD for two years and I also have used Eclipse. I really find it a great IDE, but since I haven't used any other IDE's I can't objectively say that Eclipse is the best one. But I like it a lot.
Maybe Carlos can point two or three characteristics that make Eclipse unique and worth to learn and use it (and read his book, of course ;-).

Thanks
Jorge



I would love to say that Eclipse can do certain things that no other IDE does so that the decision to select it would be simple. Reality is never that easy.

All developers need to spend some time to figure out what tool will make them the most productive. One of the things I like about Eclipse is that it gives me views of my project that are NOT file related. I don't want to think about my work as a collection of files. I want to think of my work as a collection of class definitions that define objects that define my project. Eclipse does that.

Extending Eclipse is not difficult. In fact, with every passing release they make it easier and easier to do. I fully expect more and more applications to be built on top of the Rich Client Platform as developer find they can accomplish more by leveraging its capabilities.

A lot of folks say that IntelliJ works the way they think. I feel that way about Eclipse. Many of the plug-ins don't quite work as intuitively as I would like, but we're all kind of new at extending IDEs. I think the quality will only get better and the variety will continue to increase.

The fact that it is also free helps, but I used to pay a lot of money for VisualAge for Java. A number of concepts from VAJ have carried over into Eclipse and it only makes me like it even more.

Carlos
 
Jorge Blaz
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Thanks for the reply, Carlos :-)
I started learning Java with VisualAge. It was a great IDE.
Later when I changed to Eclipse/WSAD I thought it would be difficult to be used to it since I was very familiar with VisualAge. But I really like Eclipse, it's great the way you can customize perspectives and move views everywhere you want.
And you can always build a plugin to get features Eclipse does not support.
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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