I appreciate all the comments on my last blog or two about how e4 is doing a lot of the things I am trying with GWT. I don’t dispute that. It’s even interesting that RAP is planning to build on top of GWT. That’s fine. I respect what the e4 guys are doing, it’s a huge task and they are trying to modernize Eclipse as we all agree is necessary.
But I’m just wondering if using GWT directly while using OSGi web services to hook up to the IDE things I need in Eclipse, which is essentially IResource and up, is a better architecture to get us to a web-based IDE. And right now I’m trying to keep it simple and avoid any layers on top that e4 may be providing. Maybe there’s a compromise choice. And I’ll be open to that once I fail, which will not surprise me in the least. But I need to see first hand at what’s possible in the GWT world. In the short term, that probably means I will appear to be anti-e4. But I’m used to being the bad cop by now, I guess.
So why am I doing this? OK. I admit it. While I have no contractual relationship with Google, I am a Google fan-boy. I have an Android phone which I am learning how to build apps for. The Android momentum will be unquestionable over the next few months as new handsets land like the rain in Ottawa this summer, including ones from our Eclipse friends at Motorola. Chrome is my default browser, although I’m using IE8 on my 64-bit Windows 7 laptop to check out its progress (which is actually impressive). I’ll go back to Chrome once I get the RTM build installed. I use Google Mail for my Eclipse mails and am finding it nicer to use than the Outlook I use in my day job and I can access it anytime, anywhere, especially on my Android phone.
Google Wave and Chrome OS are technologies I am very excited about, and I have no doubt they will have a dramatic impact on our industry. And it’s Google Wave that I have an eye on for this IDE work. That is my end goal. I believe following Google’s way of doing things is important in that journey. And while not all Google products use GWT, Wave does, and it was the excitement for GWT I heard in the Wave lead’s keynote at Google I/O which has driven me here.
And maybe that makes me the Google fan boy at Eclipse, so be it. You wouldn’t bet against Microsoft in the last decade or so. I don’t think you should be betting against Google now. And while the relationship is good on the tools side, I want to help make sure Eclipse isn’t on the outside looking in when it comes to these run-time technologies.