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E4/RCP Future

< E4

Note that E4/Componentization is related to this.

What is the future of RCP?

Here is a (non-complete) list of RCP-related topics that could be addressed with E4. Please feel free to edit/comment theses items and add new topics that might be important for E4. This list could also be an input for the E4 discussion at the upcoming E4 Summit.

  • Can we reduce the complexity?
    • Right now, after one week of training, a RCP newbie just touched the very basic things of RCP. This is one reason why many big industry companies have problems adopting RCP.
    • A less complex application model and a UI presentation model might help here, but clean, simple and concise Java APIs all over the place are also very important.
  • Can we reduce the footprint?
    • Do bundles like ICU (4.3MB) have to be part of the RCP core?
    • Can we refactor the workbench bundle (3.7MB) and take optional things out of the RCP core?
  • Can we focus on THE best practice of doing things?
    • In the current RCP implementation there's very often more than one way how to achieve the same goal.
    • Can we integrate just the best practice into the core and provide an optional compatibility layer?
    • Example: ActionSets vs. menu contributions (+commands & handlers)
  • Can (and should) we provide a more customizable UI for the desktop?
    • The ongoing discussions about a canvas based UI core are very interesting...
    • For RCP UI customization currently we have the Presentation API, custom SWT widgets, Equinox transformations etc.. But besides that, current RCP applications look similar to the Eclipse IDE.
  • Should we integrate authentication/authorization better in the RCP core?
    • In the Equinox area there is some ongoing work to integrate these things
    • A standard user/role with UI support concept would be very helpful (see bug 201052)
  • Should we integrate provisioning better into the RCP core?
    • Currently Equinox p2 is integrated into Eclipse 3.4M6, and I like the p2 approach.
    • But as of today, it is not so easy to reuse p2 in a domain specific RCP application
    • Some of the provisional p2 UIs could be part of the public API in the RCP update story (would also be good for the 3.3 stream)