Introducing the Eclipse RTP Project

Today's a great day. The Eclipse Foundation accepted the proposal for the RTP Project. RTP stands for Runtime Packaging.  And here's what it's all about.

Marcus Baker wrote an article called "Install Me", which was published in the book "97 things a programmer should know". On two pages he shows the reader exactly how important the first minutes are when a new user tries to get familiar with your software. He argues that it is the responsibility of  the software developer, to make it as easy as possible for the user to see that your software is what he needs.

EclipseRT Introducing the Eclipse RTP Project

Currently we don't do a good job with this at EclipseRT. There are several EclipseRT technologies out there and every one provides an individual starting point for new users. From my point of view, changing this would bring EclipseRT a big step further.

That's the inspiration behind the RTP project.  All that a user should have to do is download - install - run. The idea is to create one or more common starting points that new users can use to get familiar with EclipseRT technology.  Once we have the installation accomplished, we'll have to convince the user with good examples and documentation. Investigation shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. If the user doesn't see what he needs in his first five minutes, the software will not get a second chance. There is also the chance of course, that the annoyed user might spread the word that the software doesn't do the job right.  So, its definitely worthwhile to invest in keeping new users happy.

And this is what RTP is all about:  working with as many EclipseRT projects as possible to provide a really good out-of-the box experience for new users. If you are interested in this project please let me know. We welcome all help towards succeeding with RTP. If you want to learn more about RTP there are also two EclipseCon 2011 submissions (submission 1, submission 2) you can read.

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2 Responses to “Introducing the Eclipse RTP Project”

  1. Does this also mean packeging options like creating a setupfile like its done with programs like nsis does (there is a plugin for this in eclipse) but creating a nice installer for your Ecliptse product is also somting that would be neat.

  2. raveman says:

    Its a great idea, Eclipse is not easy IDE to start working with. I remember that when I started I had problem with running class with main method(i dont remember why, but it was harder to start than other IDEs) – plus it could finally remove “Run as Applet” and “Run on Server” from popup run dialog when you just want to run class with main.

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