From Eclipse Foundation:
Open source software development project dedicated to providing a robust, full-featured, commercial-quality, industry platform for the development of highly integrated tools.
The Eclipse project is composed of three subprojects, Platform, Java development tools (JDT), and Plug-in development environment (PDE). The Eclipse Platform is an open extensible IDE for anything and yet nothing in particular. It allows tool builders to independently develop tools that integrate with other people's tools so seamlessly you can't tell where one tool ends and another starts. The JDT project provides the tool plug-ins that implement a full-featured Java IDE supporting the development of any Java application, providing refactoring support, incremental compilation, smart editing etc. The JDT project allows Eclipse to be a development environment for itself. The PDE project provides the mechanisms that enable the community to build plug-ins for eclipse.
The Eclipse SDK includes the Eclipse Platform, Java development tools, and Plug-in Development Environment, including source and both user and programmer documentation.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I've been using the weekly builds of M5 for many moons, now. I'd like to say the following:
- Performance has improved in many areas.
- The memory requirements remain high - low memory systems *will* suffer
- Some leakage persists that will result in degradation of performance over time.
This, however, remains the best IDE on the planet for Java development by a very long way. It's not just the tools integration - the ability to get your Java IDE, your database tools, your bug tracker, etc., all in one box with the host of available plugins. It's the radical rate of change - both in terms of raw functionality and the availability of plugins.
The refactoring remains a godsend; the ability to do everything from modifying method signatures and everything that touches that signature, or the global "organise imports" functionality to allow you to quickly and easily move, rename, or merge whole trees of functionality and have it sort out the dependencies automatically. For any serious large-scale java work, this program is irreplacable - it has easily saved me a hundred hours in the last month alone.
And to boot, IBM has just released as open source a visual editing environment for UI that supports Swing, and will support SWT; this will someday soon be an integral part of Eclipse 3.0's capabilities (it's 2.1.2 only at the moment).
This just gets better and better. It desperately needs more mac people involved working out the SWT issues specific to our platform, but even in its current state, it reigns supreme. I maintain my five stars.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. As a long-term eclipse user, I've been carefully using selected nightly builds during the last few months.
Post-M2, things got a bit flaky; M3 regained some stability, but had some pretty frightening behavior and I even managed to lose a day's work once when it wrote empty files back.
Recent almost-M4s; three, specifically, within the last three weeks - have been not only stable, but darn good releases, and we've pretty much got reasonable behavior out of it 99.99% of the time now.
My typical workday is on a laptop - G4 400 powerbook, with 512M - and while it's sucking up an impressive amount of memory, its performance is generally OK.
There are still issues - there will likely continue to be issues - with performance of the text area and the listviews when the contents are huge - but overall, the improvements are amazing, the backgrounding of tasks out of the UI thread are working wonders, and CPU utilisation post-M3 is way, way down.
Hands down the single best Java dev environment I've had the pleasure of using in my life - having used pretty much all of them. Eclipse is a long way ahead of the pack, and this release is pretty solid.
Unless you're adventurous, wait the six months before release; but I can happily do all my day-to-day work on this release, and have been for a few weeks now.