Python and Eclipse

Joseph A Knapka jknapka at
Tue Jun 25 12:30:02 EDT 2002

Cameron Laird wrote:
> In article <3D17FAF4.35CC9F1B at>,
> Joseph A Knapka  <jknapka at> wrote:
> >Hi folks,
> >
> >I am interested in having Python support in
> >Eclipse <URL:> - interested
> >enough to contribute code, or to tackle the
> >task myself, if need be. Of course, I'd like
> >the Python support to be at least as good as the
> >Java support, which is a pretty tall order,
> >'cause the Java support in Eclipse is awfully
> >damn good --- it nearly allows me to *enjoy*
> >writing Java code :-)
> >
> >Anyway, I know some other folks have expressed
> >interest in this as well, and I'd like to hook
> >up with them. If you're working on Python+Eclipse
> >and you've got code in any state of completion,
> >I'm willing to alpha- or beta-test, fix stuff,
> >add new stuff, etc.
>                         .
>                         .
>                         .
> Can you say a few more words about Eclipse?  It ... well, I'm
> wary.  I understand its marketing more than its technology,
> and on hostile days, I think it's *only* marketing.  Maybe you
> can make it more appealing.  "[It] nearly allows me to *enjoy*
> writing Java ..." is certainly a good start.

I don't know about the marketing angle. I've
been using Visual Age for the past few years,
and IMO, after having used Eclipse for just
a couple of weeks, it is a great deal better
than Visual Age as an IDE. True, it doesn't
do visual UI layout, but I must say that VA's
UI builder never caused me anything but
grief anyhow. Someone could add a UI builder
to Eclipse if they wanted. Eclipse does everything
else as well as or better than VA - syntax-
aware editing, including context-sensitive
completion (definitely better than VA's!),
incremental compilation, debugging, edit-
compile-and-continue in the debugger...

Eclipse feels more solid than either
Visual Age or MS Visual Studio - I have had
no crashes or anomalous behavior while
using Eclipse rather intensively over the
past couple of weeks, save for an episode
yesterday that I believe was triggered by
a low-VM condition caused by another
process. Eclipse nevertheless exited
cleanly and saved my work, which is something
I have *not* come to expect from Visual Age.

Eclipse does like to have RAM to play in -
the Eclipse JVM on my NT laptop is currently
about 60MB large. Of course, Visual
[Age|Studio] have similar RAM demands.

Eclipse is open source, so no matter what
IBM decides, interested parties could pick
it up and run if necessary. It is designed
to be a platform upon which to build various
IDEs. It seems to be quite well documented
for IDE extension developers, although I
have not actually written any such extension
yet, so the perceived documentation quality
may be illusory.

I have not tried JBuilder. All my Java
work prior to Eclipse was done either in
Visual Age or at the command line, and
I strongly prefer Eclipse over either of
those other methods. For the price, it's
hard to beat.

-- Joe
   "This is Radio Clash / using audio ammunition."
   -- The Clash, "Radio Clash"

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