Is upgrade to “Eclipse RCP, 2nd Edition” worth it?

Today I received my copy of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, 2nd (McAffer, Lemieux, Aniszczyk).

If you are interested in RCP development, this is the book to own.

But if you already own the 1st edition, is it worth buying the newer edition?  So you can decide for yourself, here are the major differences:

Software management. This chapter has been re-written to discuss software management using p2, which replaced the Update Manager

Action and Commands.  A chapter has been added to discuss the newer Commands API, as well as their differences with Actions.

Installing and Updating with P2.  More p2 information

PDE build. PDE Build is one of the more error-prone and time consuming aspects of working with Eclipse products.  (It’s also powerful and useful.  This chapter is completely reworked.  Lots of clarification as well as updated information.

Testing. A new chapter on testing an RCP application.  A great addition to the book.

A DataBinding reference chapter has been added.

One other thing I really liked was the new font– much more readable IMO.  I also like the Pointers section at the end of each chapter.  Very nice touches.


8 comments so far

  1. Jeff McAffer on

    Thanks for the kind words Scott. Perhaps you would like to write an Amazon review? 🙂

  2. Lars Vogel on

    I hope the p2 coverage is good. It is difficult to find good information about p2 IMHO.

    • Scott Kellicker on

      I agree. I’ve only done a little p2 work myself, so getting the conceptual and basic technical details is my need. I think the book meets that.

      We all hear grumblings from colleagues about p2 problems they experience. A co-worker recently converted our PDE build to use p2 and because of some obscure configuration issue, the task took forever. I don’t think the RCP book provides the details to overcome that type of practical problem (and probably shouldn’t). I think an entire book could be written on how to use p2!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ian Skerrett, EclipsePlanet. EclipsePlanet said: Scott Kellicker: Is upgrade to “Eclipse RCP, 2nd Edition” worth it? […]

  4. Chris Aniszczyk on

    Wow, thanks for the kudos Scott. It took a lot of wine and time to get the book updated. The book covers 3.5.2 which is a great update even though Eclipse 3.6 is shipping in about a month. The good thing is that the book is still relevant for 3.6, the biggest modification is p2 API. So the code examples given in the book would have to be updated for 3.6 now that p2 has official API. The cool thing is that the code would be much simpler in 3.6 because p2 now has an high-level operations API that makes working with p2 easier. In the book, we had to use lower-level p2 classes to do things such as update operations.

    We always appreciate positive reviews on 🙂

  5. Blaine Wishart on

    I think Chris hit on one of the big limitations of Eclipse books — its hard for the books to keep up with the software. Damn those regular releases!
    I think the relationship between publish books and web resources needs thought. Part of the problem is that the books are vetted, but the results of goole searches are not. We need vetted content for P2 in 3.6.
    If the contents of the eclipse series were not so good, this would not be much of a problem;-)

    • Scott Kellicker on

      I don’t buy as many books as I used to, tech or otherwise. But I still do buy some tech books even if they are soon out of date.

      I think the Eclipse series does a good job of getting key concepts across. That’s useful across releases. I still refer to the old Eclipse FAQ book every now and then, even though its all online and the book version is 3.0 I think.

      Regarding vetted material, in earlier days the Eclipse articles were a great vetted resource. I don’t go looking for them so don’t know if this is still as active as it once was. Perhaps that’s the way to get the p2 vetted material out there. (I’m scared to mention it b/c Chris will suggest I write one for p2! Chris, I know almost nothing about p2.)

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