- FAQ 1: What is Eclipse?
- FAQ 2: What is the Eclipse Platform?
- FAQ 3: Where did Eclipse come from?
- FAQ 4: What is the Eclipse Foundation?
- FAQ 5: How can my users tell where Eclipse ends and a product starts?
- FAQ 6: What are Eclipse projects and technologies?
- FAQ 7: How do I propose my own project?
- FAQ 8: Who is building commercial products based on Eclipse?
- FAQ 9: What open source projects are based on Eclipse?
- FAQ 10: What academic research projects are based on Eclipse?
- FAQ 11: Who uses Eclipse in the classroom?
- FAQ 12: What is an Eclipse Innovation Grant?
- FAQ 13: What Eclipse newsgroups are available?
- FAQ 14: How do I get access to Eclipse newsgroups?
- FAQ 15: What Eclipse mailing lists are available?
- FAQ 16: What articles on Eclipse have been written?
- FAQ 17: What books have been written on Eclipse?
- FAQ 18: How do I report a bug in Eclipse?
- FAQ 19: How can I search the existing list of bugs in Eclipse?
- FAQ 20: What do I do if my feature request is ignored?
- FAQ 21: Can I get my documentation in PDF form, please?
- FAQ 22: Where do I find documentation for a given extension point?
- FAQ 23: How is Eclipse licensed?
FAQ 2: What is the Eclipse Platform?
Those who download the generic Eclipse Platform—usually by mistake—are somewhat confounded by what they see. The platform was conceived as the generic foundation for an IDE. That is, the platform is an IDE without any particular programming language in mind. You can create generic projects, edit files in a generic text editor, and share the projects and files with a Concurrent Versions System (CVS) server. The platform is essentially a glorified version of a file-system browser.
As an end user, what you don’t see when you download and run the platform is that the architecture is designed from the ground up for extensibility. In fact, everything you see is a plug-in, and everything you see can be tweaked, replaced, or augmented using various hooks. To draw a computing analogy, it’s like the Internet Protocol (IP): exceedingly generic, not terribly interesting by itself, but a solid foundation on which very interesting applications can be built.
A carefully designed subset of the Eclipse Platform has been produced in Eclipse 3.0: the Rich Client Platform (RCP). Despite the name, this is not the version of the platform sold for fat profits to rich clients. This is the portion of the platform that is interesting for non-development-environment applications. We thought this part so interesting that we dedicated almost half the book to RCP alone.