1. I unfortunately missed the talk on JSR 296 because another talk had a higher priority. My idea when reading about it is that is an interesting improvement for Swing apps, but that it is only a very rough application framework that does not provide much extra functionality especially compared to Eclipse RCP.

    It is interesting that a Swing guru should recommend Eclipse RCP. Does that mean he thinks it is better than Netbeans RCP?

    For our project we will need to make a choice for a framework that is easy to use for our end users and being able to use Swing (which has a larger tool support than SWT) would be useful.

    H.M. Vermeulen

  2. The reasons Karsten mentioned were maturity and user base, where Eclipse RCP is better documented, more examples, and more users. Where Eclipse RCP is used by major companies, Netbeans RCP is not used as much for very large applications. This is especially true in the German market where Karsten is coming from.

    Also Karsten took into account the position of Sun as a company at the time. When Sun would be bought by IBM, this would mean the end of Netbeans (IBM is a heavy user/inverster in Eclipse). Now that Sun is bought by Oracle, Oracle has three tooling stacks, and will likely need to make a cut as well.

    Info Support does both Swing and Eclipse RCP projects. Eclipse RCP has impressive tool support for the platform when building modular clients (using plug-ins), but can be a daunting platform to use because everything works using extensible abstractions. Swing is built-in into the Java runtime, and has better features for custom graphics.

    If you are looking for tool support for drag-n-drop design tooling, take a look at WindowBuilder: http://www.instantiations.com/windowbuilder/index.html

    They offer great tools for both SWT and Swing, with a much more flexible tooling strategy than the Netbeans designer uses.

    If you’d like to talk some more about this topic, feel free to drop me a note using the “Contact” option on my blog, and we can discuss this by e-mail or phone.


  3. Hmm. Whether or not IBM had bought Sun, NetBeans would continue to exist… since it is an open source project that many VERY large companies depend on!


  4. “Where Eclipse RCP is used by major companies, Netbeans RCP is not used as much for very large applications. ”

    Only an idiot could say that. http://platform.netbeans.org/


  5. Hmm, interesting to see these kind of pinpoint reactions to isolated out of context “anti Netbeans” sentences, half a year later. Also, please don’t call me (or Karsten Lentzsch) an idiot without anything more than a link to generic Netbeans propaganda. I will remove such comments in the future.

    First of all, the above comments are not meant as an attack on Netbeans RCP as a platform. I have the “Netbeans RCP” book at home, I built some examples with it, and it basically is all just a bit easier and nicer to use than Eclipse RCP. Of course, some things are better in Eclipse RCP too, overall, there is no clear winner when it comes to basic use and capabilities today.

    Sure, Netbeans is used a lot as well, and would still exist based on community effort. Without the strategic leadership and contributions by Sun, however, Netbeans will not able to stay current for long, in competition with Eclipse, .NET and other solutions. As I see it, there is no other software company that would take over strategic leadership and/or the major contributing role of Sun. If you would know which company would, please tell me. Likewise, I would think that Eclipse would have major issues if IBM would decide to step out. IBM however, based all its products on Eclipse, ranging from Websphere to Lotus to Jazz.

    I genuinely share the frustration of Lentzsch that Sun is dropping the ball on important desktop capabilities like a basic application framework and databinding. Although Karsten warned in April that JSR 296 was dead, Sun officially dropped it only weeks ago. It is evident that Sun cannot power innovation in both Swing and JavaFX at the same time, and is choosing the latter. At the same time though, Eclipse RCP is moving forward with data binding, forms support, enhanced web browser integration, provisioning and proxy/security support. Microsoft is picking up the pace with WPF and Silverlight. And Swings best option is still a one-man job performed by a crazy German that you guys call an idiot for speaking reality.


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