Lately I’ve been reading a book called ‘Eclipse Web Tools Platform’. I had read two books on ‘Servlets & JSP’ and ‘EJB’ from Head First and I really wanted to know more about the Eclipse plugins that make it easy to develop for the Web. The book is very good written and easy to understnad. The only thing that got me frustrated in the beginning is that you really need to download the exact versions of eclipse, WTP, Derby, Tomcat, … in order to do the examples in the book. Ok, if you are experienced with these things, there wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m not that experienced. It amazes me that the Java story is unbelievable strong with dozends of open source projects, but it’s far from being user friendly if you’ve worked for two years with Microsoft technologies. I’m a senior Flex Developer, so I know that Eclipse can drive a man crazy, but still, they should do something about that. I have the feeling that after reading the book (and trying out the examples) I will be able to develop web applications with those versions of the tools. If I will install the latest versions, I’ll have to go and look on the internet to get things started.
Ok, part of it will be me being not experienced, but for instance opening a solution file in Microsoft is so easy a little child could do it. Opening projects in Eclipse is somehting else…
Anyway, I love working with Eclipse and WTP, because in Microsoft technology a lot is done for the user without knowing it is done. As a result you often don’t know what’s under the hood. When developing with Eclipse, WTP, Java, … you get to know everything. It helps me be a better programmer in .NET. It’s like playing 10 years of guitar and then learning some piano. It’s amazing how often you suddenly understand things about the guitar that you didn’t understand before.
Next chapter in the books becomes interesting. Until now it was just a quick tour, but now we’re getting into Architecture.