Sunday, June 08, 2008

Optimize This

Tuesdays with Ryan

Since the recent rave by Andrew Overholt on what a life-changing experience it is to have lunch with me, my social life has picked up. In fact, I am booked solid right through Labor Day.

At least once a week though, I make time to have lunch with Ryan Smith, a fellow program manager at Embarcadero, where we discuss technology, America's Next Top Model and the meaning of life.

One time, Ryan mentioned how I am far from being the hardcore Eclipse fanatic he had expected me to be, what with me being the PDE guy and all.

That is true. Je love Eclipse. Je can't live without Eclipse. But I don't blindly believe that everything that comes from is great, and everything else is suboptimal.

DB Optimizer

For DB Optimizer (currently in beta), after evaluating our options for a charting component, I authorized the use of a lightweight, powerful and sexy Swing-based component that did not come from Does that make me a bad person? :)

Eclipse is a Great Technology, not a Religion

Incidentally, the IBM Ottawa lab has endured multiple disasters of biblical proportions (floods, power outages, etc.) over the years. No locusts yet.

So on second thought, maybe Eclipse is a religion, but I just pick and choose what is convenient :)

7 comments: said...

Hey Wassim,

what were the (main) reason not to choose Birt's chart engine [1]? We're currently evaluating it and all the input is appreciated. :)


Age said...

Which charting engine did you end up choosing ? I also had a look at the BIRT charting engine but when I tried to play around with rendering a chart in SWT I ran into all kinds of problems.

The examples from the article also don't work with any recent 3.4 milestone (runtime exceptions).

I'm currently looking into JFreechart, which has some experimental SWT rendering code. said...


while I haven't tried the examples coming from the article, the examples [1] shown during EclipseCon08 do work with Eclipse3.4. :)

Btw. what kind of rendering problem did you experience and how is the SWT rendering support in JFreeChart ready for prime time?



littlejohn said...

We also evaluated BIRT as a charting engine, but it always ended up with OOM exceptions and a lot of extra bundles in our RCP.

We are happily using the JFreeChart SWT port, with no issues.

Manuel said...

Hi there,

We also had a look on JFreeChart and the problem was about scrolling ... There is no scrolling support in JFreeChart.

We decided to implement our own ligth charting library using SWT drawing primitives.

Eugene Kuleshov said...

A lightweight SWT/JFace charting widget would be really handy indeed. Maybe someone could contribute code to the Nebula project.

Wassim Melhem said...

The footprint of BIRT, both in terms of size and the number/type of dependencies it requires, is truly astonishing.

That was the deal breaker for us.

On the other hand, JFreeChart is lightweight, has a simple API, and powerful enough to give us all the features we need. Sure, we have to deal with the SWT/AWT bridge, but it's worth the trouble. The chart is pretty slick.

I agree with Eugene that there is a need for a lightweight SWT/JFace charting widget with Nebula being a good candidate as its home.