The Next Great Thing: An Application Framework

Tom Schindl tom.schindl at
Fri Feb 10 14:55:48 PST 2012

In my thinking is an IDE is simply a large large RCP-Application?

In this sense like you as an die hard Eclipse users I've started
developing an RCP framework built on top if Eclipse 4 Application
Platform which provides the completely new runtime layer the Eclipse 4.x
IDE is built upon.

The key things are:
* extensibility by using OSGi
* event bus built on OSGi Event Admin
* service architectur built on OSGi
* theming via CSS
* programming model based upon JSR 330 (javax.inject)
* DOM like Application Model providing clean seperation between
  application state and rendered UI
* commands/handler framework

Kai Tödter is also doing work in this area (he also builds on the
Eclipse 4 Application Platform) and has published nice screenshots of
applications [1].

I'm currently working on a demo application which we'll demonstrate at
Eclipse Con North America in March showing how a collabrative
application can be built using the Eclipse 4 Application Platform and
JavaFX (because it's at EclipseCon we'll even mix SWT into the game but
that's a minor thing) [2].

Coming back to my above assumption that an IDE is nothing more than a
big RCP application - the RCP the framework built by us - can easily be
expanded to an IDE e.g. by mixin in other Eclipse technologies like e.g.
JDT-Core, Xtext for DSLs, ... .

I think the important thing for efx and the e(fx)clipse runtime
platforms is that they build upon hardened frameworks because other big
products (Netbeans and Eclipse) are built upon them.

This makes those 2 frameworks share resources with others (e.g.
e(fx)clipse runtime platform currently has around 20 classes and
supports all important UI paradigms starting from menus to toolbars to
tabs) while inheriting all other features from the framework developed
at Eclipse.

BTW if you are not happy with the UI-Paradigms currently defined in the
Eclipse 4 Application Platform you are able to expand and mix in your owns.

All our sources are provided under EPL [3].



Am 10.02.12 22:00, schrieb Sven Reimers:
> Seems there is more than one approach out there for getting a JavaFX RCP in
> shape. As a die hard NetBeans RCP user I started an open source
> java.netproject called efx, which tries to reuse a lot of the NetBeans
> RCP pattern
> while getting rid of the Swing UI.
> So the focus is more on RCP not on an IDE or something similiar, but with
> first class support for development of such RCP based applications..
> Sven
> Am 10.02.2012 21:35 schrieb "Richard Bair" <richard.bair at>:

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