Eclipse Europa… Too Many Choices…

I was happy to see that Europa was released on-time this morning. However, I was very disappointed to see the confusing download page.

Here are your Java/JEE choices:

  • Eclipse IDE for Java Developers – 79 MB
  • Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers – 123 MB
  • Eclipse Classic – 140 MB

So, I’m ok with there being a Java version and a JEE version considering all Java development isn’t in the JEE world, as some people think. But what makes me crazy is there being an Eclipse “Classic” version. WTF?!?

If Eclipse Classic wasn’t tailored to Java developers I might buy the need for it. The thing is… the Classic version IS for Java developers. So they have an Eclipse IDE for Java Developers and an Eclipse Classic which is for Java developers. How the people in the eclipse org don’t think this will confuse people is a question I’d like answered.

What’s funny is if you look at the Java IDE “info” page you will see them describe it as an IDE for Java developers, with a nice set of features for Java developers, an XML Editor, and the Mylyn plugin. Then you look at what they say about the Classic version. It’s a superior Java editing IDE as well as a platform for building RCP apps. This last point is what really makes me crazy! What I left off my list above is that there is also a pre-built version of Eclipse 3.3 for doing RCP development.

SO WHY THE FRIGGIN’ CLASSIC VERSION? I see it only confusing people and slowing the adoption of Eclipse.

Sorry for this rant. I must have had too much coffee this morning.

This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. pete

    nice. have another cup!

  2. Roman Strobl

    If there is a “classic” version, shouldn’t there be a “modern” version as well? 🙂

  3. erik


    I’ve switched to Diet Coke.

  4. erik


    Thanks for stopping by.

    The thing is, I bet the modern version would still be missing something. Or, even worse there would be a modern JEE version, and a modern RCP version.

  5. Reed

    I found your blog because I was also confused by the downloads page. I’m still trying to figure out if Classic contains everything in the Java Developers version (without having to download both to find out).

  6. Ian Skerrett


    I kind of agree that there are too many choices. However, when we re-designed the download page we got feedback that people still wanted to keep a link to the old standard download, hence Eclipse Classic.


    To answer your question, Classic does not contain Mylyn or an XML editor. If you use Eclipse as just a Java IDE, I would recommend using the Java Developer version.

  7. erik

    Howdy Ian,

    Thx for stopping by and clearing things up. One thing I find odd is that the Classic version is 140 MB and the Java version is 79 MB. The Java version has Mylyn and an XML editor and is tremendously smaller in size then the classic version. Why is the Classic version so large? Is there something there I want to add to the Java version?


  8. erik

    Howdy Reed,

    Thx for stopping by and it looks like Ian was kind enought to give us some answers.

  9. Ian Skerrett


    The Java Developer package does not contain source code or PDE.

    Here is a link to the detailed contents

    As a reminder, Classic is the same package as we had previous to Europa.

    btw, they is a bug in the Java EE package so we have pulled it down until it gets addressed. 🙂

  10. erik


    Thanks for further clarifing the differences between downloads, and for the link. The only thing missing from the link was what goes into the classic version.

    I keep hearing and seeing that it was the same as the previous versions, but I’m not sure what that means. It obviously means more then just a Java IDE.


  11. Dean Fredericks

    I completly agree

    I too found this blog, because I did not understand what I needed to download?

    I thought it was a release of 21 projects together.. so it would all be in 1 download called europa. Oh well…. so now we have 3 choices, and no clear description of what u can and cannot do with each.

    The download pages doesn’t say what is in the choices, but lists “Additional Features” can be downloaded… Each download has a different list of features that can be downloaded – So does that mean some features can be downloaded on one distro, but not another?

    Ag… ridiculous… Im gonna download eclipse classic now…. lets see whats inside…

    Common on Eclipse…

  12. Donald Smith

    Very cool, thanks for the feedback — keep it coming!

    Dean, I can’t imagine what kind of attention-deficit-disorder a programmer would have to have in order to want all 21 various projects in the Europa release train, but I’d sure like to meet him/her 🙂

    – Don

  13. Ian Skerrett


    Think Eclipse Classic = Eclipse Platform + JDT + PDE + All Source Code. I hope this helps. 🙂


    Thanks for the feedback. We will try to improve the descriptions for each package. If you do want all 21 projects, I would suggest starting with Eclipse Classic or Eclipse for RCP Developer. Then use the update manager to download what you want. Putting all 21 projects into one download would have made it just too big.

  14. erik


    Thanks a ton for clearing things up.


  15. Avery Regier

    It may be too big to have an all in one for normal downloads, but that is what BitTorrent is for.

    An all in one would greatly simplify the setup process, when all you really want is a way to get started quickly without having to be bothered with a bunch of secondary installs and updates and figuring your way through the update manager. My time is more valuable than that. Yes, the download may take a while, but again, that’s why we have BitTorrent.

    By not including Mylin and the XML editor in Classic, you just made the Classic install much less inviting and useful.

  16. erik

    Howdy Avery, Thanks for dropping by.

    I agree with you on the need for a true all-in-one. I wasted a full day downloading and building an Eclipse distro for my teams dev environment.


  17. mike

    I was previously using classic 3.1 for java development. I’m wondering if I switch to europa will it be seamless (importing existing projects) and will I be missing anything that I had in classic. Guess I will give it a go & let you know…

  18. mike

    Looks good. I was able to open my workspace from classic 3.1 no problem. And I already noticed a few nice bug fixes in 3.3. Thanks

  19. Anna

    Hi, well i got the same problem when i tried to download eclipse!!!
    that’s why i stop by this blog…. i wonder which version is the best for J2ME apps development, actually i dont know….
    i think im gonna pick the classic one…

  20. Erik Weibust

    Thanks Fran… I’m still confused why Eclipse needs an Eclipse version and a Classic version. WTH?

  21. Ray

    I used to use eclipse, back when it was first introduced. Recently, when faced with the need to write some Java applications, I decided to explore it once again. The download page was incredibly daunting. So after reading this article:
    I decided just to download netbeans from the sun website. Now, I appreciate netbeans, and will only download eclipse if I’m forced to use it (by an employer). It seems superior to eclipse (the old one that I was used to, but according to the article above, much is unchanged) in several ways and much more intuitive.

  22. Michael Schultz

    What is the difference between Java EE and Jave?

    I want to build a website with Google App Engine.

    Which download is applicable?

  23. Erik Weibust

    Howdy Michael,

    Thanks for stopping by. Your question can be answered in one sentence or with volumes of books.

    Java (SE) is the standard edition of Java. It can be used for all kinds of programming tasks. It is also the core, basis for Java EE. Java EE is the web application framework you would use to develop web applications.

    Check out Sun’s robust tutorial site.


  24. crantok

    Ha! Two and a half years after you post this and I stumble across it because I’m similarly confused. (I’ve never programmed in Java but want to give Groovy a go and it’s not supported by my favourite editor, Geany.)

    I blame the Eclipse website. It’s so visually busy that I didn’t even try to figure anything out there. I googled
    difference “eclipse classic” “eclipse ide for java developers”
    and this page is the second link. The first link is the page that confused me.

  25. Ric

    YES! I hate eclipse and the website. So confusing that’s why I got to this blog.

    Wish IntelliJ was free!!!!

  26. Adeiza

    I had to give up on eclipse because of the numerous download options and settle for my Netbeans IDE where i can get all in one. bye eclipse

  27. Cos

    @ADEIZA: So you gave up on the whole thing because you couldn’t figure out the download? Wow…

  28. Sebastijan Pistotnik

    Hahahaha…Eric, this is probably the most famous eclipse page…all roads lead to your page…Who ever put those two versions on net, should be locked hahhahaha unbelievable

  29. Dujen Wook

    I too found this page after wondering what the differences were. I went to eclipse for Android dev, and was rather put-off but the numerous choices but it seems I’d have been ok regardless. I’m going with the Java Dev edition and crossing my fingers.


  30. Patrick Mahoney

    Dujen I’m doing the same thing as you, hopefully it works fine. I just kind of assumed after reading the posts that I would be fine with either, so I chose the Java Dev edition as well.

  31. Andrew

    I agree — I think the eclipse downloads page is confusing, and I found this blog when googling “eclipse classic vs eclipse ide”.

  32. Simon

    All Road Lead to here! I Like C# but then when I put my finger on Netbean, I discovered Eclipse……Horribly Confusing download page then when googling “eclipse classic vs eclipse ide”. then Jump to Line1.
    I’m still googling

  33. teddi

    Funny how I landed here when searched for “eclipse too many versions” – LOL!

    But sadly, yes I’m on a Europa 3.3.2 and thought I should upgrade to get more performance, etc. I check out the same downloads pages and it’s just nonsense. If I install the wrong version will it still honor all my old projects. Unfortunately I think they don’t want to upset all the contributors and just let them keep adding more tentacles. It may be time to search for another IDE if at this point they still can’t get it under control. They need to just wrap it all into one. Add-ons are never ending, why keep creating a new version everytime someone farts a new over-cooked idea. They keep creating all these “tools” and still people write buggy un-manageable code, makes no difference.

    Bring back KAWA!!!!!

Leave a Reply