With the recent release of Eclipse 3.2 and the Calisto release of 10 Eclipse projects, I thought I would give Eclipse a try.
I’ve not used Eclipse in anger since the 2.x days, however I’ve used it on an off since, but never for my main development. I decided to give Eclipse 3.2 a try on Mac OS (Intel) so my view is tainted by how it works on that particular OS. My comments may or may not be valid on other OS – I don’t know.
To try out Eclipse, I decided to write a few simple web apps – nothing too complicated, simply a few JSPs and JSF backing beans. The first problem I encountered was trying to get support for Glassfish inside Eclipse. There is a plugin availble for this, but this has to be downloaded and installed separately. This isn’t difficult, but a fiddle not the less.
After installing the plugin, I found there are issues with it. It doesn’t always start the server correctly, and nearly always says that it has failed to start the server. If you want a few seconds, sometimes the server is started though. Once I did manage to get the server started from inside Eclipse though, deployment of my application worked as expected. I know this is a bit of an unfair criticism of Eclipse, but if you want to do Java EE 5 development, then Glassfish is a good server to work with. Are there any plans to have “native” support for this in the IDE without having to load a plugin?
The next problem I got with Eclipse 3.2 was the dreaded Permgen error. I’ve not changed any of the memory settings within Eclipse and am using the default values (latest Apple Java 5 VM). Maybe that was my problem. Still, for a very small web app with only a handfull of classes and JSPs I wouldn’t expect to get any Permgen errors.
The final problem I noticed was screen corruption (possibly as a result of the Permgen errors), and also a lot of dialogs have green highlighted text at the bottom of them saying “Read Me Trim (bottom)”. Is this some kind of debug message?
I know there are a lot of Eclipse users out there and I really wanted to like this new version. Maybe its the types of applications I’m writing – Java EE 5 web apps – but Eclipse just doesn’t do it for me.
Sorry Eclipse, I’m going to keep using NetBeans and IntelliJ for now. Maybe I’ll try Eclipse again at version 4.