These days I am playing lot with Eclipse and its features. Be it building plugins, reading tuts & experimenting or exploring new features, every time I visit one or the other site, I find so many useful & hidden features of Eclipse. The more I try to dig into Eclipse, the bigger and deeper it gets and I wonder if there is an end.
Had some time this weekend and thought of exploring Eclipse and luckily I came across an interesting feature of Eclipse – Rich AJAX Platform (RAP). Some may find that this feature is not new and it mostly resembles to what GWT already offers. I leave that discussion for may be yet another topic. 🙂 Lets just quickly check what Eclipse RAP has stored in it.
You know only Java
If you are one of those (even if you are not) who know only Java, you will feel right at the home. Eclipse RAP development uses Java as its primary language for development. You don’t have to learn any other language while writing code in RAP.
Eclipse Plug-in Developer
If you are Eclipse Plug-in developer, you are definitely at advantage. Eclipse RAP uses SWT and Eclipse Plug-in project to develop application.
Write Once, Run in Flex/AJAX/JavaFX/Silverlight etc
Yes thats true. You dont have to write code for each technology mentioned above, just write code once in Java and using the Ports you can get the application runtime converted into Flex/AJAX/JavaFX/Silverlight etc. (Note not all of the ports are currently available but Eclipse 4 already supports ActionScript, sadly it is still in incubation stage.)
If you are one of those who hate commercial licensed software and love what open source community offers, Eclipse should definitely be on top of your list. In near future version with full fledged ActionScript Port, Eclipse is going to be strong contender for Flex Development.
To my surprise, I found that there are already few organisations who are using it for their development and offering solutions using RAP. To experiment what RAP has stored in it, one does not have to necessarily download Eclipse 4 as this feature is available with Eclipse 3.6 (Helios) and Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo). To know more about Eclipse RAP, click here.
Besides RAP, it is definitely worth checking Eclipse e4 version. Though it has been long time the e4 milestone releases has started, its new architecture, UI technology (XWT) etc are interesting. One can find entire list of e4 feature here.