Eclipse 4.2 is ugly? Change the theme!

I just had an interesting Twitter conversation with my good friend Oliver Gierke about the new Eclipse 4.2 look.

Oliver did not like the new look and after changing the theme to Classic still complained about the new look. Please note that changing the theme back to “Classic” may require a restart of Eclipse. Please see Bug Report: Theme switching should warn the user that a restart is required for a potential future solution.

So if you do not like the new look, select Window -> Preferences -> General -> Appearance and select “Classic” as the theme. And restart afterwards. Afterwards Eclipse should very similar to what you are used to.

About Lars Vogel

Lars Vogel is the founder and CEO of the vogella GmbH and works as Eclipse and Android consultant, trainer and book author. He is a regular speaker at international conferences, He is the primary author of vogella.com. With more than one million visitors per month this website is one of the central sources for Java, Eclipse and Android programming information.
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17 Responses to Eclipse 4.2 is ugly? Change the theme!

  1. Jérôme says:

    Fine. But is it possible with few CSS changes to make the new UI look like the old one ?
    That is, mainly, reducing the inter-view space.

    The Classic theme looks like the old one but you cannot have traditional-styled tabs.

  2. Georg says:

    Even after changing to classic and restarting the eclipse client, it still looks disturbing. It’s the small things that make you hate the new design. Now Eclipse looks like a Swing client trying to do native look and feel but wrecking halfway half the way.

  3. Markus says:

    What’s missing though, is that you have to live with the space wasting curved tabs. At least I couldn’t find an easy way to switch back to traditional tabs.

  4. Michel Parisien says:

    I guess what is misleading is the instantaneous feedback you get when you change your theme, without even clicking on apply. But what you’re seeing is not actually the new theme, but rather new theme properties applied to the old theme.

    I thought there was a way to tweak Eclipse with CSS. Is that possible from within the very IDE you want to tweak?

  5. Haris Peco says:

    E4 is also much much slower.

  6. Gilberto says:

    UI rendering is slow…It’s ugly (classic is even worse – e.g. colours don’t match GTK theme). It looks like an unfinished product (e.g. spaces don’t match + alignment issues).
    I believe they had their reasons to release a product that looks unfinished (and I also believe that other than the UI, it’s a better product).
    But it’s still hard to look at it :(

  7. Jose Antonio says:

    Thank you. I didn’t know that I could use almost the same look as Eclipse 3.7. Sorry for Eclipse devs, I know that CSS styling gives a lot of potential but the new look forces colors, gradients and images and that makes the integration with the hundreds of GTK themes very very difficult. I thoght that one of the goals of SWT was to integrate itself in the platform so it feels native but E4 feels anything but native in GTK.

  8. diego says:

    Ugly is a compliment to him. It was too ugly (at least on Mac).

  9. Erki says:

    Eclipse 4.2 is just too slow. The laggy UI, is annoying. Also the new design is a step backwards.
    Needless to say I went back to 3.7.

  10. Eric Moffatt says:

    Thanks Lars…note that if you haven’t spent too much time tweaking your perspectives then you can simply do ‘Window -> New Window’ which will get you a correctly styled window and you can close the previous one.

  11. Sopot Cela says:

    If you install e4 tools css editor you can customize the css on the fly in the appearance settings (http://wiki.eclipse.org/Eclipse4/CSS). I set up mine in half an hour and I am pretty happy with it.

  12. Lars Vogel says:

    @Sopot: If you have made improvements to the CSS maybe you can open a bug suggestion your improvements to be included in the standard release?

  13. Laurent SALOMON says:

    I thought I was the only one thinking eclipse 4.2 was to slow… Indeed I tried to use it on a i7, 4Mo and SSD… What a flop… it’s incredibly slow, even slower than outlook !!!
    I’m now using eclipse 3.8 which is more stable than 3.7 with PDT and i’m really enjoing it !

  14. I’m using 3.8 as main platform and trying switching my eclipse RCP application to e4.
    Eclipse 4.2 UI rendering much slower!
    And I’m not sure now is it reasonable switch to e4 after testing first prototype.

  15. junoisugly says:

    i tried the classic theme but it is not the fast good old interface..
    eclipse is turning really bad.. time to look for faster IDE:’(

  16. AnotherE4user says:

    Just been looking all over the web and E4 is really slow.
    I made every single possible change to make it faster and it is considerably Slower then Eclipse 3.7.
    I compared with E4 with no theme, classic look options.
    I also increased xms and xmx, used several JDK’s and … it runs much slower then 3.7 and also requires always a tremendous amount of CPU power!
    Very bad start for Eclipse 4 to say the least, and I am an Eclipse Fanboy since day one!

  17. AnotherE4user says:

    Just tested one thing I saw when searching the Web … The Slow/Slugish problem is much worse on the J2EE Juno E4 distro.
    I tested today the Classic version added just web tools and a few other plugins and the Eclipse 4.2 Classic with just those plugins is Much faster then the Eclipse J2EE version.
    But even like that it is slow when compared with a fully “loaded” Eclipse 3.7 J2EE …
    (ONce again comparison was with no animation effects, classic view and the same Memory for xmx xms parameters.)

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