Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rumours of JDeveloper's svelteness have been exaggerated

A couple of years ago some of my J2EE colleagues switched from JDeveloper9i to Eclipse. They were not using ADF and they complained of feature bloat. Now there may have been a certain amount of "CV engineering" in this but they did have a point. The JDev download was then about 320MB compared to Eclipse's skinny 80MB. This was not because Eclipse had less features. It was just that Eclipse offered a bare framework and then we downloaded addins whereas JDeveloper made us download everything but we could switch off the bits we didn't want.

When I tell my friends in Oracle this they point out that JDeveloper has changed its approach now and it too offers a bloat-free framework with the option to just install what we need. Er, up to a point, Lord Copper.

I was talking to someone today about SQL Developer and how we could build addins for it, when I realised I had a really keen idea for an extension that would make my life a lot easier. It's a rather obvious idea and I'm sure people out there are already working on it. But it seemed like a good excuse for me to reinvigorate my rusting Java skills. So I thought I would download JDeveloper and have a look at building the addin for myself.

I downloaded and installed the base version, fired up the Update Centre to get the Extension SDK, and ... nothing. Turns out the ESDK has a dependency on the J2EE version of JDeveloper, which is not documented in the Feature Matrix. For reference, that version (without JRE) is 181MB compared to the base install which weighs in at a Jodie Kidd-like 52MB. I'm sure there are very good reasons why the ESDK has to use some J2EE components but bloating out JDeveloper by an additional 300% just to look at the feasibility of building a SQL Developer addin seems a bit daft.

If there is a way to install the Extension SDK without downloading all this all stuff I would glad to hear of it. Otherwise I shall just have to wait until somebody else builds the addin for me.


Yes I do realise that the Mark Twain quote I am alluding to is "Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated." But I don't think I should change the title as it will break the URL in OraBlogs.

Update #2

In some late-breaking news it turns out that the dependency on J2EE resides not in the ESDK itself but in some of the examples. Apparently a crack team of JDev ninjas is working on separating the two types of examples even as you are reading this.


Anonymous Brian Duff said...

Ah yeah... there's a rather tiresome reason for that.

The Extension SDK itself doesn't actually require the J2EE edition. However, some of the samples in the ESDK do require parts of the J2EE edition to compile (in particular, and somewhat relevant in the context of SQL Developer, the samples which involve interaction with the connection navigator).

During most of the 10.1.3 dev cycle, the ESDK only depended on the Java edition. However, in the Java edition, some of the samples in the ESDK did not compile. The easiest way to solve that in the short term (even though I was pretty unhappy about it) was to make ESDK require the J2EE edition.

Technically, you can easily modify the ESDK to make it work on Java edition, although that's obviously not recommended :) We are discussing this issue, and it may be that we will release an update for the ESDK for 10.1.3 that resolves the problem.

We do also plan a large number of improvements to ESDK for the 11.0 release of JDeveloper (which SQL Developer is actually based on). 11.0 is really the first release of JDeveloper that will use the new "Fusion Client Platform" that will form the shared core of several products, and we hope to make JDeveloper the environment of choice for building extensions for all products based on the FCP.

15 March 2006 at 20:40:00 GMT-8  
Blogger Niall said...

Since I got burned in an international context for using the phrase 'up to a point Lord Copper' I'll entirely off topic add that it comes from a character in the Evelyn Waugh novel scoop. The newspaper in that book was owned by a Lord Copper who could not help but interfere and considered all his own ideas wonderful. Thus when faced with 'suggestions' from the owner and the invitation to agree on their brilliance the editor would either agree absolutely, or if it was an entirely awful and wrong headed idea reply 'Up to a point, Lord Copper'. The phrase has passed into British English since and is deserving of wider acceptance.

15 March 2006 at 22:37:00 GMT-8  
Blogger APC said...

>> Technically, you can easily modify the ESDK to make it work on Java edition, although that's obviously not recommended

As it doesn't seem possible to get the ESDK without having the J2EE version installed I think this is a not a practical option. Besides I don't want to hack around with a product I don't know in a language in which I'm not proficient.

As it doesn't seem likely that a J2EE-less ESDK is going to be forthcoming any time soon I guess I'll have to download and install the J2EE version. Still, that's why Nature gave us megabit pipes.

16 March 2006 at 00:11:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Brian Duff said...

Yeah, I'm now 100% sure we're going to fix this issue very soon (indeed, I'm just opening a transaction to fix it today. Any delay is the usual attendant beuraucracy involved in putting things out the door).

You can actually manually download all of JDev's extensions by going to So the workaround would have been to download the ESDK bundle from their and hack it's bundle.xml and extension.xml to remove the J2EE dependency. But yes, it's probably better to wait for the official update :)

16 March 2006 at 12:29:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Brian Duff said...

A new version is now available on Check for Updates that only requires the Java edition.

25 March 2006 at 18:31:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had my first headhunt in the curikudos job fair held in 2006. And now i think its time to switch over. Can some one let me know when the job fair starts again.

20 February 2008 at 09:38:00 GMT-8  
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