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Bill: Upcoming Eclipse 3.0 release

 
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Welcome, Bill! Though I feel strange welcoming you, since this is my first day as a registered member here. I'd like to solely credit you with my registration, but I was especially tech-motivated in general today due to hearing about Eclipse 3.0 finally being released.

(note: I'm terribly sorry for the length of this post -- feel free to pick-and-choose what you read and respond to; I won't be offended =) )

I've actually been using 2.1.3 exclusively -- I tried switching to a 3.0 stream release (M4, I believe) awhile back, but none of my Ant tasks would work because there was a bug in that Eclipse couldn't read in my property files if there was a space in their filepath, and circumstances at my work prevented me from working around that.


My questions to you, then, have to do with new Eclipse 3.0 features, since I have been a bit out of the loop. Specifically, my questions stem from http://www.idevnews.com/TipsTricks.asp?ID=115 . Until I read that article, I was ignorant of plans for "rich client application development" or "opening up Java tools."


For example, my first passes through the "rich client application" stuff got me horribly excited, as I thought this meant built-in GUI support, preferably SWT -- which I love. This appeals to me since I haven't found a decent SWT GUI plug-in that wasn't rather expensive. Hehe, I'm pretty sure now that I completely misunderstood, but the article linked above, nevertheless, stresses "general application development" with regard to this new feature, and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around the concept. Maybe I'm getting lost in the buzzwords; I'm wondering if you're familiar with this and could possibly try to summarize it


Similarly, the part on "generalized Java tools" says: "Finally, Eclipse 3.0 will provide support for debugging Java like files e.g. JSPs." Does this mean (which is the other reason I was way over-excited about the upcoming release of 3.0) that Eclipse 3.0 will have Lomboz-like functionality built-in, at least with regard to JSPs, and/or that refactoring will now extend to JSPs? Or did they mean that debugging JSPs, etc., is a possible extension of the new functionality? i.e. it's a possibility when someone writes the code for it?


It's just that I hadn't heard these plans yet and I haven't had time to scour the Eclipse site for which plans were implemented, etc. I'm assuming you've used a very recent release and could spare me a lot of research The other reason I worry is that, at a glance, the list of chapters in your book seemed like they could also very well have been the list of chapters for an Eclipse 2.1.* book. Is that because your book covers the requisite Eclipse basics, and is simply updated to the Eclipse 3.0 look-and-feel?

Bonus question: How does one approach the business of tech-book writing? Do authors approach the publishers with their ideas as with traditional books? It'd almost make more sense to me that the publishers would publish a list of books they need written. e.g. I can envision Manning recognizing that Hibernate and JavaServerFaces are growing in popularity and potential usefulness, and soliciting authors. But I have no idea -- I'm certainly interested, though.


You have my guilty gratitude if you've read even half of this At any rate, thanks for being here!

Jim
 
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Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:
Bonus question: How does one approach the business of tech-book writing? Do authors approach the publishers with their ideas as with traditional books? It'd almost make more sense to me that the publishers would publish a list of books they need written.


IANAA*, but as far as I know, the "push" model is clearly the more common way for publishers to start a project. Someone writes up a couple of chapters, a business case for the book, etc. and the publisher considers whether it's worth a shot. However, there are always some occasions where the publisher approaches an "industry figure" with a proposal to write a book about something they've figured would have traction in the market (our very own Eric Pascarello is one example!).

[IANAA = I Am Not An Author]
 
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Hi Jim,

Glad you are here and welcome!

Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

My questions to you, then, have to do with new Eclipse 3.0 features, since I have been a bit out of the loop. Specifically, my questions stem from http://www.idevnews.com/TipsTricks.asp?ID=115 . Until I read that article, I was ignorant of plans for "rich client application development" or "opening up Java tools."



As I understand it the idea is that you build your 'rich clients' (i.e. not JSP/HTML) as plugins to the Eclipse framework (as OSGi compliant 'modules') and then let Eclipse take care of manageing the interdependencies between plugins and all the other services that a rich client app needs to function properly. So as one example you might write a trading app on top of Eclipse. Since the plugin architecture allows and encourages you to write in a very modular way you can leave the specifics (precious metals for example) to plugins. Then as you need to get into additional trading areas you write another plugin for your 'app'. All of it is hosted inside of Eclipse.


Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

For example, my first passes through the "rich client application" stuff got me horribly excited, as I thought this meant built-in GUI support, preferably SWT -- which I love. This appeals to me since I haven't found a decent SWT GUI plug-in that wasn't rather expensive. Hehe, I'm pretty sure now that I completely misunderstood, but the article linked above, nevertheless, stresses "general application development" with regard to this new feature, and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around the concept. Maybe I'm getting lost in the buzzwords; I'm wondering if you're familiar with this and could possibly try to summarize it



The buzz words are plenty! But I think you've got the heart of it. BTW you might try the VE project on eclipse.org. It started life as a Swing GUI builder but the team has been working very hard to get it woking with SWT/JFace. I'm not sure where they are at but its worth checking into.


Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

Similarly, the part on "generalized Java tools" says: "Finally, Eclipse 3.0 will provide support for debugging Java like files e.g. JSPs." Does this mean (which is the other reason I was way over-excited about the upcoming release of 3.0) that Eclipse 3.0 will have Lomboz-like functionality built-in, at least with regard to JSPs, and/or that refactoring will now extend to JSPs? Or did they mean that debugging JSPs, etc., is a possible extension of the new functionality? i.e. it's a possibility when someone writes the code for it?



With the 3.0 release JDT will have a ton more extension points so that you can make your plugin feel more like the JDT because of the seameless integration. That is part of the JDT extensibility.

On the webtools front. The Eclipse board is considering launching a subproject that will make webtools and j2ee tools part of the standard free Eclipse. So out of the box you will have JSP, XML etc editors to make your J2EE development easier. This should be done by JavaOne but I've been thinking that it would be done any day now for the last two or three weeks. As I understand it Lomboz is one of the contenders to become part of the code base (i.e. through a code grant) of this new project. IBM also has a large code base that might be donated as well.

Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

It's just that I hadn't heard these plans yet and I haven't had time to scour the Eclipse site for which plans were implemented, etc. I'm assuming you've used a very recent release and could spare me a lot of research The other reason I worry is that, at a glance, the list of chapters in your book seemed like they could also very well have been the list of chapters for an Eclipse 2.1.* book. Is that because your book covers the requisite Eclipse basics, and is simply updated to the Eclipse 3.0 look-and-feel?



None of the webtools stuff is built in yet.

As for the book. Its focus is on people new to 3.0. It sounds like you have tons of expierence with 2.1.x. You will find the move to 3.0 more or less just getting used to the new look and feel. There are several new features in the Ant and CVS integrations and alot of othere stuff as well but for the most part if you could to it in 2.1.x you should be able to find the way to do it in 3.0 no problem.

Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

Bonus question: How does one approach the business of tech-book writing? Do authors approach the publishers with their ideas as with traditional books? It'd almost make more sense to me that the publishers would publish a list of books they need written. e.g. I can envision Manning recognizing that Hibernate and JavaServerFaces are growing in popularity and potential usefulness, and soliciting authors. But I have no idea -- I'm certainly interested, though.



They don't post the list, however the acquiring editors (the people that make the deals) that I know have a list of books they want written. If you are fortunate to hit on one of these in a proposal you have a much easier time. If you don't hit one of these topics you must have a very good proposal that has a really good business case for the book. The TOC and stuff they can work with but if there is a market for the book is what they are really concerned with. The proposed author's ability to write goes without saying, however if your proposal is well writen they will usually give you the chance to submit a sample chapter to further prove your writing ability. If you are thinking about it I'd say go for it. Writing is hard work but a ton of fun!

Originally posted by Jim Steinberger:

You have my guilty gratitude if you've read even half of this At any rate, thanks for being here!

Jim



Great post Jim and thanks again for you kind words!

And I hope this helps!
 
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