Why SWT/Qt when you have the Lotus platform?

I just read this interesting post about a project for an SWT version based on Qt.  The project argues it is for styling purposes.  What is interesting is the Lotus platform (Lotus Expeditor) which is what Lotus Notes 8.x is based on has had SWidgets since day one.  We even tried to get SWidgets put back into the Eclipse platform but with no success.   You can play with the Lotus Expeditor platform and the toolkit for free.

If you are not familiar with Lotus Notes or Lotus Expeditor you can check out the UI – which is all based on Eclipse/SWT over at the Lotus Notes site.

Here is a screen shot of the Notes email system with styled SWT widgets:

10 thoughts on “Why SWT/Qt when you have the Lotus platform?

  1. Yes Swidgets are really very nice, but there is one big problem with them. The documentation is very weak. If IBM can provide good tutorials especially for the “Stable” and code snippets for this ui toolkit i will be happy to use them in my sidebarplugins and comp applications. And no the documentation in the Expeditor documentation is not usefull.

  2. I’m project lead of a project at eclipse named Nebula [1] which provide additional controls. If you really want to contribute back your SWidget we offer you the possibility.


  3. Maybe you can elaborate why you failed to give the SWidgets to Eclipse. There is Nebula who wants them and certainly nobody asked me 🙂 (Eclipse Riena).

    I think one of the major differences between SWidgets and SWT/Qt is that SWidgets mean that you have to write a different application using SWidgets for Text, Toolbar, Shell and so on.

    SWT/Qt allows to run even the Eclipse IDE without code changes and style it. Thats more than SWidgets can possibly ever do.

  4. It would be really great Bob if Lotus finally decided to open source some of this stuff like I wanted a couple years ago. There is no clear benefit in hoarding CSS styled SWT widgets especially when competing technologies are coming out of e4. Having two ways to style widgets is not the ideal situation here 🙂

  5. @Chris – I know what is in e4, but this stuff has been in Notes 8 since 2007. Not sure what the story was not getting this into Eclipse, I just know it never happened.

  6. I’m sure the reasons for the lack of contributions over the years have been nothing more than priorities and time constraints.

    I would love to find the time to make the code worthy of contributing to some Eclipse project.

    @Christian – I agree, SWT/Qt solves a different problem. SWidgets are just custom SWT widgets, like Nebula widgets, that can be styled with CSS.

  7. To me it looked like IBM wanted to have another reason for customers to license the Expeditor toolkit instead of using plain Eclipse development for their tools.
    There are some other nice things in Expeditor as well. For example, the browser controls offer much more features like access to the DOM tree. Would be good to have them in Eclipse, but I don’t expected that this will happen.

  8. I tired to find out what the story was with pircing for Expedidator, but it seemed that IBM is doing everything possible to note make that information available. Anyone want to hazard a guess about what the per unit cost would be for application integration?

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