I can’t remember where I’ve read this, but I’ve heard of Eclipse being described as the modern equivalent of emacs.
I can believe this.
When it comes down to it, Eclipse is really _much_ more than an editor or a glorified IDE. The idea of being able to develop plugins that extend earlier plugins and add new plugins is inherently extremely powerful. In that way, Eclipse is very similar to what I’ve seen of emacs. There is no real conceptual limit as to what you can add to Eclipse. I’ve seen Subversion plugins, UML plugins, bug tracker plugins and even IM plugins. When you look at Emacs you can see the Pyscoanalyst, browsers and much more more…. They’re both really shells for functionality.
A little known fact is that I actually started out using Emacs. I remember the first moment I tried to use vi. Command mode, insert mode. Oh man! Emacs was my savior since it allowed me to edit normally. Then…I don’t know, I started using vim at work and never looked back. I always missed the coddled comfort of an IDE though. So of course, when Eclipse came along…
I think its a big plus that Eclipse is written in Java. For all that the Slashdot crowd likes to dump on Java, I really do like it. The fact that its written in Java draws on the massive body of Java programmers out there who are interested in extending Eclipse for their own purposes. At least its bigger than the crowd of people who know Lisp :)
Oooh…Amazon/Canada Post is prompt. Time from order to delivery. Two days. Nice.
Note: Eclipse 3.0 M5 _appears_ to have a bug in which the class path for plugins is not automatically computed from the manifest file.