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developerWorks: Extend Eclipse's Java Development Tools

Aug 11, 2003, 08:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Kehn)

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"A number of commercially available products, based on Eclipse, show the practical implications of this way of delivering integrated products. IBM WebSphere Application Developer and Rational XDE, for example, demonstrate the impact that Eclipse has already had. These products and others based on Eclipse diminish the user's learning curve because of their similar user interface. Sure, this is valuable to large software houses, but what's in it for the 'little guy?'

"That's where the extensibility story of Eclipse gets interesting. Not just integration for those who have large development organizations, but also for anyone willing to invest some time in learning a few Eclipse frameworks. 'Oh no,' you may be thinking, 'not more frameworks; I don't have the time to learn more frameworks.' Don't worry; it will be quick and fairly easy. And before that little voice in your head has time to say it, no, this article will not be a trivial 'hello world' extension of Eclipse. Rest assured, you'll see practical value and a clear demonstration of how you can enhance your productive use of Eclipse's Java development environment. You may even be a little surprised to see that it takes only a few dozen lines of code to do some fairly amazing things.

"This article will show you what is possible and where to start, and give you a firm appreciation for what's involved in getting there. Though extending Eclipse is an advanced topic, you can start with only passing knowledge of how to use Eclipse's Java development environment..."

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