The Eclipse SDK 4.0 Early Adopter release is not intended to replace the Eclipse 3.6 SDK for most SDK end-users. Its primary focus is to allow developers of other Eclipse projects and plug-ins to prepare for a future Eclipse simultaneous release built upon it. In order to ship an SDK based on new underlying technology, we have had to defer some major features that would normally be expected to appear in an Eclipse SDK release. (See Eclipse/Eclipse SDK 4.0 FAQ for more info on the purpose/target audience of this release.)
This page summarizes the major features that we have intentionally deferred in order to ship the release, and some discussion about how these features could reappear in a future release based on the 4.x stream.
This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of missing end-user features, but rather a guide to the "big picture" items that don't appear and why. Bugzilla remains the best way to see all the open bugs. This query can produce an open bug list.
Anyone using the Eclipse SDK 4.0 extensively for development will notice some rough edges in this release. Although the release is completely functional for self-hosted development, there are some notable problems you should be aware of. These problems are listed in the Eclipse SDK 4.0 Release Notes.
Missing API/Developer functionality
As a plug-in developer, you will notice immediately some missing developer-level functionality. (Of course these omissions imply corresponding missing user functionality, but we focus on the developer view of them).
- All API is provisional. Since the purpose of the 4.0 release is to get a wider community adopting the technology, we are leaving ourselves an additional release to get the API right, based on developer feedback.
- There is no NLS support for model files. This means Eclipse SDK 4.0 cannot be fully internationalized or translated. bug 306576
- There is no updated plug-in developer documentation.
- Bidi support.
- Capabilities are not supported. bug 319865. UI will appear whether the capability is enabled or not.
- Accessibility testing has not been done.
- Extension point incompatibilities. Some aspects of the Eclipse 3.x UI extension points are not yet supported by the SDK compatibility layer. See the individual bugs in question for more detail.
Missing end user features
In some cases, end-user features that exist in 3.6 have been removed or otherwise limited in scope to allow us time to reevaluate how they should be presented in light of new e4 technology.
- Intro. The Intro (Welcome view) is not shown on the start of a fresh workspace. We will need to address the intro management differently in 4.0 than in 3.6. Since this release is targetted at current eclipse developers the expectation is that not having this functionality won't be a major issue.
- There is no updated user documentation. While most user documentation from previous releases is still valid, screenshots have not been globally updated to reflect the new look and feel of the 4.0 release.
- Key bindings UI. In SDK 4.0, the user must edit the workbench model description to add or change key bindings. This proves the viability of adding key bindings to a modeled workbench. However, the bindings are not persisted. And of course we don't expect this to be the way that end-users would add bindings.
- Customize perspective. Given the increased flexibility allowed by a modeled UI, we have not put effort in the 4.0 release into modeling the same perspective functionality as in Eclipse 3.6. There is no UI for the end-user customizing perspectives. Future releases will bring perspectives up to par, and likely surpass the capabilities and increase the flexibility of the 3.x perspective model. bug 320478
Incomplete new features
- The e4 modeled UI architecture allows far more flexibility than before in defining the layout and composition of a UI. Things that were not possible in the Eclipse 3.x stream, such as mixing views and editors in stacks, choosing to share or not share editor areas in a perspective, or ignoring the perspective model completely, are possible now on the new architecture. We believe it's an entirely new UI design problem to incorporate this flexibility in the SDK workbench, and one that should not be undertaken lightly. Rather than expose all the flexibility of the underlying model, we have largely retained the 3.x perspective model, but do allow users to mix views and editors in a single part stack. There are limitations and design issues that we haven't worked through yet, but we've chosen to expose the flexibility in order to get some feedback about how it should work. We expect RCP developers to further push the envelope here in the 4.0 time-frame, and will reevaluate the use of perspectives and other model issues in a future release.
- A new search box in the 4.0 SDK gives the user access to the "quick access" feature of Eclipse 3.6. Future releases will evolve this box to a more generic search. bug 304440.