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.
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.