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SWT vs. Swing comes full circle

No one can now claim that Elliotte Rusty Harold is an Eclipse Fanboy or on IBM's payroll, because he has made a very important observation that has turned the "Eclipse is better because of SWT" argument on it's ear:

The claim that SWT provides a more native looking interface than Swing is demonstrably false. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. [ Cafe au Lait ]

Just thinking about all the bytes that were expended in early 2003 still pains me. All that battle over how lousy swing was and how 1337 SWT was and how eclipse was going to destroy NetBeans in particular (the last part may be selective memory since I have been exclusively a NetBeans user since 2000, yes, nearly 7 years now!) And where are we now? NetBeans is winning awards and Eclipse isn't. There is whining about native parity on eclipse, and so many other things that are total role reversal. My how things have changed.

And really, where are we now? Parity, that's where. The whole drama lit a fire under Sun to get NetBeans in order and, especially as Sun's flagship Swing application, to get the Java Swing APIs better optimized. The project system was also revamped, and the GUI builder went under significant renovations, and the major push to get usable JavaEE integration came after that. In short, competition motivated the IDE space in Java to get better. Wether you are an Eclipse user or a NetBeans user the IDE you are using is better today because of the IDE you are not using.

Unless it's JBuilder, the jury is still out on CodeGear. And Visual Cafe got the mercy killing years ago, mostly due to funding issues at WebGain. And IntelliJ, *covers*ears* LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA. BlueJ? Good news for you, they raised the minimum wage. JDeveloper is just another tool for Oracle Sales reps to insure Lock in... and...

Oops.... we came so far and I blew it!

Comments (1)

Very well put about competition being good:

the IDE you are using is better today because of the IDE you are not using

Paul , Technology in Plain English

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