Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spring RCP: The Answer Is Yes!

I spend a few days with Spring RCP. I was amazed, disappointed, surprised, lost and resigned... but in the end I decided to use the Spring RCP for the next generation of the MindRaider (and also my new OSS project to be released later this year) despite all the threats.

Let me start with the risks I see:
  • The project is poorly documented.
  • There is no official stable release.
  • There are (almost) no OSS applications build on top of the RCP (which I could use as samples).
  • From what I read in the discussions and mailing list, I got feeling that there is not strong lead (although there is a lead developer). I mean a though-lead having long term roadmap in his head.
  • I feel that the RCP is still in its puberty - there are too many heterogeneous and conflicting plans.
  • Positioning against Eclipse RCP and Netbeans RCP as lightweight, (not that)rich client (the exact meaning of this word) oriented platform which fits Spring.
...which is not that bad ;-) And why am I attracted by Spring RPC?
  • I love Spring Framework.
  • I'm admired by declarative, straightforward and concise way in which Spring RPC applications are built. Incomparable to Swing!
  • I appreciate integration of popular libraries (JGoodies, VLDocking, ...) for all important parts of the UI application - commands, views, docking, forms, validation, ... and precise technical design (components, localization, resource bundle support, ...).
  • The good sign is the will of both commercial and non-commercial library vendors to deliver integrated solutions e.g. JIDE, L2FProd, ...
  • There are rumors saying that several (internal) commercial projects are built on top of Spring RCP.
Looking forward to share more details, experiences and findings in the future ;-)

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