IDC has offered to charge $500 to tell you what's commonly felt in the Valley: Java faces a potentially better future under Oracle than under Sun Microsystems. You can pay for the report here or read extracted highlights from entrepreneur and Cnet blogger Dave Rosenberg here. In short: Oracle's software business is so dependent …
Gaze into the Oracle
Good news. There was a lot of hulabaloo about Oracle killing Netbeans and client Java blah blah, as if Sun hadn't done half the job by pure incompetence. Great engineers at Sun, terrible management. SWT used to kick Swing performance wise, but once the software-emulation purists had been kicked in to touch things got better. I think Swing is a good long-term bet. I also prefer NetBeans to Eclipse, it's slower but much slicker and nicer to use. But I'm no pro, so they might have altogether different opinions.
When I wrote UI's in Java - I loved the Swing/AWT layout designer (especially for Grid Bag Layouts).
SWT - yuck.
SWT requires explicit deallocation of objects, doesn't use the MVC approach, and reflects the abomination that is the Win32 API. I'll stick to Swing thanks.
Larry gets an Invite ..... to Expand the Oracle Base into A.N.Other's Spaces.
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"Things couldn't have got any worse for Java under Sun and Oracle can certainly throw more cash, people and more efficient processes at the technology and institutions around it. So yes, Java faces a brighter future under Oracle. The question is, whether it's a future of status quo or whether there will be a change in the political landscape that shapes Java." ...... Now that political landscape change is something which a Quite Alien NIRobotIQs would welcome and whole heartedly endorse and virtually champion, with Novel Versions of a more Teutonic and HyperRadioProActive Swing with Ab Fab Palace Zwingers ...... für Vorsprung durch AITechnik.
We develop a UI component and we've been asked once for SWT support in about 3 years. I can't comment on how it weighs up against Swing, but for all practical purposes it's a sideshow.
This is a bit one sided and biased...
Okay, there are a few statements made here that are questionable...
1) IBM originally brought out Visual Age for Java to combat JBuilder, and when it was rewritten in Java it became Eclipse. The IBM Java and WebSphere products were the real fight for Java against Sun, and the GUI was not a particularly important part of the battle. NetBeans wasn't originally Sun and Oracle actually badged JBuilder and rewrote it into JDeveloper. It was at that point that the Swing decision was made by Oracle. Oracle and IBM have both been active members of all the community processes inside and outside of JCP, including collaborating on the SCA/SDO standards that are so important for ESBs. BEA were just moving away from WebLogic Workshop to Eclipse when Oracle bought them, and that is the heritage of the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. I would expect Oracle to keep around JDeveloper because of its investment in ADF and JDeveloper, and Eclipse because of the community involvement. If they also do NetBeans then that is fine, but they need to keep both the Oracle and BEA customers happy - who were a bigger user base than Sun - and poach from IBM.
2) When Eclipse was written by the Object Technology Group inside IBM, including people like Erich Gamma, etc the aim was to make it faster and less resource hungry than Swing by using what is native to the platform. SWT is portable across anything that makes sense, including Motif, OS X, Windows, Linux. Nothing about it is tied to Windows. It looks like some Windows development not because of Windows, but because Windows, Mac OS and OSF Motif were designed to be similar in functionality to aid portability.
3) Its a case of horses for courses. I liked NetBeans, but in the end I moved between Eclipse and JDeveloper now depending on what I am doing. I code plugins for Eclipse, but not for JDeveloper as it tends to appeal to a different segment of developer. However, both tools are now very alike in usage due to the Oracle involvement in the Eclipse community.
So, I think this misses the point a bit when it talks about the SWT and Swing battle being important for Java. Oracle have bigger fish to fry in replacing the Sun Glassfish technology with Oracle WebLogic Server, and some of the JVM technology with that from JRockit.
IDE != widget toolkit
You can develop Swing applications in Eclipse and SWT applications in Netbeans. Why treat Swing-Eclipse and SWT-Netbeans as a pair of synonyms?
All the nice tools get killed, except Netbeans.
At least I can be safe that they won't kill the remaining Java IDE I actually like. I've been through the following ones:
- JBuilder. It was so bad, I threw it away and switched to emacs.
- Emacs - Nice to use in the graphical system ... the shortcuts are too complicated to learn em, but at least back then emacs did have parsing, braces/paren checks and even colored the code to show reserved words.
- vim - Pretty much the same as emacs, useful when I didn't have X.
- VisualAge - Now this one was a pretty good GUI, compared to what was available back then (2000). It was also the first one I remember that allowed us to visually build the UI stuff. It did lack autocomplete, but it was pretty good for what it was.
- Weblogic Workshop - The 8.1 version was pretty damn good for the backend stuff: EJB, Web Services, and even Struts for the webby stuff. Much better than the weird Eclipse plugin that superseded it...
- NetBeans - Good for UI building, and excellent for building Enterprise Apps with EJBs. I still use this one as my main IDE.
- Eclipse. Everything's weird, it isn't even similar to VisualAge... I just don't like it. Only used when forced to. I think IBM should've stuck with VisualAge.
I haven't seen JDeveloper, but given that JBuilder sucked donkey balls I doubt it's any good.
I hope "Oracle" DIES!!
Just a matter of time, Before it does do!
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