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Eclipse Hacking Experience

Posted by Alexander Dymo on August 16, 2005

I've been working on my Google SOC KDE-Eclipse project for several weeks now and what I can tell you is that hacking on Eclipse is a cool experience :) I like that and I don't think I'll drop KDE-Eclipse after 1st of September.

Before I started I knew Eclipse is huge. In reality this doesn't hurt you IMHO just because it has good architecture and it is written in good language (yes, java is ok for me). The documentation doesn't help you much though. First, it is not sufficient and second (and importrant) you do not learn much from the documentation.

Thankfully, you have the source code and I really appreciate the source code of Eclipse is open. That's because only from source you can learn as much as necessary. And this fact leads me to think more and more that open source is not about reusing software (commercial companies do that as well) but about reusing experience which is hidden inside the source.

I have the strong belief that people who write the software are more important than the software itself and by looking to the source code you can gain at least part of experience of people who wrote it. That's the power of open source, that's reusing experience concept at work!

Speaking back about Eclipse, I noticed that it's not uncommon when you spend several hours digging into source and docs trying to figure out how things work, how things you have in mind should work and then you spend 15-30 minutes coding your stuff ;) In that respect KDevelop is much easier to hack on. Basically, if you have an idea how usual KDE comonent application works, you can hack on lot of things in KDevelop.

PS: in several days I will commit the stuff I wrote last week so everybody could at last try it in use (yes, it's usable enough now).

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