Common Client Rich Client Platforms


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Common Client Rich Client Platforms

  1. 1. Common Client Rich Client Platforms March 30 2009 Charlie Black Senior Software Engineer
  2. 2. Background • Rich Client Platform – With it, programmers can build their own applications on existing platforms. Instead of having to write a complete application from scratch, they can benefit from proven and tested features of the framework provided by the platform – From Wikipedia – According to Wikipedia there are three Platforms: Eclipse, NetBeans, and Spring – For our trade study we have only looked at Eclipse and NetBeans since Spring doesn’t provide the client facilities of the other 2 platforms. • Agile Client started development on Eclipse due to its use of an OSGi container. • OSGi is a open standard specification container for deploying “modules” of functionality. – It started from the embedded and network devices community • Agile Client moved off of Eclipse due to SWT bugs – SWT – Standard Widget Toolkit which is the Eclipse API for making buttons / label / and tables • In Eclipse standard Java UI programming is a second class citizen. – Why is there a SWT? • The IBM smalltalk engineers that made eclipse wanted native look and feel. • By going with NetBeans Agile Client fixed its end-user visible bugs, sacrificing our backend purity. – NetBeans uses the NetBeans Module System – basically traded one proprietary spec for another (SWT for Netbeans Module System). 2
  3. 3. Eclipse 3
  4. 4. Netbeans 4
  5. 5. Did you see the difference? • The end user sees very little difference. • For Eclipse the RSS window was written in SWT and for NetBeans it was written in Java. • The “globe” are Java components in both examples. • Both are “modular” in backend development 5
  6. 6. Pros and Cons Eclipse • Pros – OSGi module system • Growing support for OSGi modules in server side frameworks • Cons – SWT – Proprietary graphics system • Notice the picture on the left… Where is the Java based globe? • Standard Java UI are a second rate system in Eclipse which is based on SWT. • If there is an uncaught exception in the Java UI, stack trace, the window will freeze. • SWT was written by eclipse developers for eclipse in C on GTK by IBM smalltalk developers 6
  7. 7. Pros and Cons Netbeans • Pros – Its 100% Java • Cons – OSGi support is in beta. 7
  8. 8. More Decision Points • Market – Eclipse is market friendly in two ways – A lot of developers use Eclipse – Commercial companies use Eclipse Rich Client Platform to lure in the developer base • Market – NetBeans is winning more awards (Open Source / Development / Utility) than Eclipse • A Developer does not have to use the same IDE as the Platform they coding to. • From a Java World Article on Eclipse vs NetBeans out of the box experience as an IDE: • What call would I make if I had to make one again? – Netbeans – Mainly due to the Eclipse proprietary UI api for buttons / labels (SWT) 8
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