Claudio Mezzasalma Claudio Mezzasalma - 1 year ago 118
Java Question

Eclipse RCP 4 vs NetBeans Platform 8 today: what to choose?

I'm about to start a fairly big application for my company, and since it HAS to be cross platform, we're pointing towards Java (would have loved C#, but explored the Xamarin ecosystem and the Mac part seems to be quite behind the rest package...)

Now, I'm evaluating both Netbeans 8 and Eclipse 4 as RCP. Before I continue I have to say that I've been maintaining for almost a year our previous software which was written in Netbeans Platform, but it has so many performance issues and so many bugs (some of which, it seems, tied to the platform itself -- i.e. plugins not updating with no apparen reason) that both me and my company kinda lost faith in Netbeans Platform, but on the other side I can't seem to figure out a good way to start digging in Eclipse RCP. Of course, mantaining that software means that I'm already experienced in Netbeans Platform, while I'm at "Hello World" level with Eclipse RCP.

On top of that, I guess I'm going to use JavaFX 8, which I have to learn as well, since it seems it's the new de facto standard in Java GUI.

Basically my software should handle a (local, SQLite or JavaDB or similar) database of customers, with various data to be sent via Ethernet to other devices.

So, has anyone experiences with one or the other? And, if someone's into Eclipse, could gift me with some updated tutorials for Eclipse 4 RCP before I start buying books?

Thanks anyone.

Answer Source

Depends on your choice of UI toolkit, eclipse is SWT and netbeans is pure swing, therefore pure java. I have not worked with eclipse, but I have been doing Netbeans plugins for nearly three years. Netbeans modular programming is pure pleasure like no other I know.

Which Rich Client Platform to use

JSR 296 has been postponed to Java 9 after being postponed from java 7 to Java 8. So I wouldn't wait on that. Spring RCP is dead long time ago. The author of the above post seems to have preconceived notions about Netbeans RCP's approach.

Netbeans has already implemented both JSR 296 & JSR 277 long time ago and their implementation is time tested, nearly 15 years now.

At the end of the day, it boils down to what you are trying to do. But Netbeans RCP is a great tool and is used by many customers. FedEx and US airforce are the ones that come to my mind.

Listed below is netbeans' showcase that lists all the existing users of the RCP. It may be a bit out of date IMO.


There was one more thing I wanted to write but found it hard to gather myself at the bar last night :). A while ago I tried to convert SquirrelSql to use JavaFX, but as with all my other ideas, I lost interest midway. I found it surprising that I could just use the JavaFx's sorta kinda MVC with JBoss weld CDI and I really liked programming MVC in Java Desktop UI world. I know you must have already made your decision, but this with worth taking a look at ,i am sure it might come in handy for your future endeavours as you spend your time doing desktop apps for a living. Here is the code, look into fw-fx directory.


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