yysun's space

Visual Studio Isloated Shell and Eclipse Rich Client Platform

Posted on: March 9, 2008

Visual Studio 2008 isolated mode shell reminds me the Eclipse rich client platform (RCP).

The most important architectural characteristics of Eclipse is the Plug-in architecture, which has concept of Plug-ins, Extensions and Extension-Points.

Plug-ins are the smallest deployable and installable software components of Eclipse. The similar concept in VS is VSPackage. After this eveything began to be very different.

Eclipse plug-ins are pure Java libraries on Java platform.
VS Packages are .NET libraries on COM based on platform through COM interop and MPF.

Eclipse plug-ins are described in XML.
VS replies on registry. VS Packages are using pkgdef and pkgundef files and code attributes.

From the Visual Studio 2008 Shell offcial definition:

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Shell provides a core integrated development environment (IDE) to help you build and ship specialized languages and development tools.

Looks like it is only targetting development tools, not general application platform.

What about DSL then? Bound DSL only to VS shell is really limitting the potentials of DSL.


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