Getting a clean Eclipse IDE

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I know I am not the only one in this situation: if I asked you to get me a clean Eclipse IDE, would you be able to do it? No? Well, this post is meant for you.

What’s a “clean” Eclipse IDE?

First things first, what exactly am I looking for? The Eclipse website provides a lot of useful packages. Java developers, Spring fans, C or C++ programmers, … Everybody has a package waiting for them.

However the strength of Eclipse resides not only in its integrated IDE, but also in its plugin system. The problem that occurred is that I did not want to make Eclipse heavier with plugins I had no use for, so I wanted just the core platform and fully customize my application.

Still not convinced? If you’re OK to download something you don’t use, that’s your choice. Just notice that today, the Eclipse platform is 51MB while the equivalent Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers is 212MB…

What use could it possibly be?

As I just said, Eclipse has a powerful plugin systems, widely used. However, some of them do not require a Java editor or other components from packages. Want some examples?

  • The Apache Directory Studio is a powerful plugin for LDAP browsing (among others). It is fully independent from other components and just uses the Eclipse platform as a UI. So independent that the Apache Directory Studio website makes it available pre-packaged with only the plugin.
  • Another well-known example is the jBPM plugin, in the business processing management area. I will not stop long on that one, since I have no personal experience with it, but I know of other developers who wished an Eclipse environment with only this plugin.

So, how do I get this “clean” Eclipse?

Let us suppose for one minute I convinced you. When you are on the Eclipse download page, click Project > Eclipse project.

Once you get there, you see a list of latest builds. Select the one you are interested in and a new page should display. In the left column, click Platform Runtime Binary. There you can choose your platform and go for download.

If you skipped that part above in the post, just mind that today, with version 3.7.2 of Eclipse, the Eclipse platform is 51MB while the equivalent Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers is 212MB…


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Cyrille Chopelet

Programming addict, UX philosopher, casual gamer, sci-fi enthusiast, hi-tech dilettante, ... Some people even call me a geek.

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