User interface improvements in the upcoming Eclipse 4.4 Luna release

I recently crossed paths with my good friend Oliver Gierke from Pivotal, the company behind the the Spring framework.

Oliver complains since a while about the Eclipse 4 IDE user interface experience. His complains could be summerized by the following picture.

Now fortunately we met at the german JAX conference and I could tell him about the numerous improvements in the UI which the platform team did. They are displayed in the next picture.

I was happy to hear from Oliver that he really likes these changes and is looking forward to Eclipse 4.

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 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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10 Responses to User interface improvements in the upcoming Eclipse 4.4 Luna release

  1. Adil says:

    The new user interface is extremely amazing, especially on Linux. Also, it feels much snappier. I feel it has helped narrow the gap between Eclipse and other ide’s like Visual Studio.

  2. Carl says:

    That’s good to hear.

    What about :
    1) the monster left click menu. A lot of poorly organized options. And every plugin make matter worse
    2) the run/debug perspective switch: hitting stop debug don’t switch to your coding perspective
    3) no solution sln/iml file: there is no way to easily open an eclipse project from your file explorer
    4) workspaces cannot be added to source control
    5) no simple way to have the installed plugin (and a way to disable/enable them): instead we have installed software/feature/plugins/configuration tabs.

    In a nutshell, Eclipse UI is not ugly: it has no agency and lags behind in terms of customizability.
    A coat of paint is not the solution: there is a real need to clean up, re arrange what exists, and fix the dated design choices (workspaces, complicated plugin management).

    According to me Visual Studio has by far the best UI for an IDE (of course, VS has also huge drawbacks: being a monster download, having an installation process that messes up with every bit of your configuration, very expensive, etc).

    I am very conscient that Eclipse is a complicated project that relies on the shoulders of contributors. And I am grateful for the current state of affair.
    But I just wish that less time is spent on rewriting the CSS and UI and more time on the UX.

  3. Lars Vogel says:

    > But I just wish that less time is spent on rewriting the CSS and UI and more time on the UX.

    Carl, looks like you are missing the point that Eclipse is an Open Source project. So you don’t have to wish that someone solves the things you think are important, you can also contribute. I will soon publish a book about “How to contribute to the Eclipse Open Source project”, which should enable you to contribute, if you really think these things are important.

  4. Prem says:

    Luna is really fast, especially in Linux.

  5. Carl says:

    Hi Lars,

    I do understand the rules of Open Source, and as I said I am grateful for what Eclipse is.
    But still, I have wishes.

    I have written a nEclipse plugin and thought about contributing to Eclipse.
    But to be fair, I didn’t feel comfortable with the codebase.

    So I moved to other personal projects.

    Good luck,

  6. Hugh says:


    When I first tried out eclipse 4 several years ago, the Juno version, I was really disappointed, largely due to the ugly UI. Now I am really happy to hear finally there will be UI improvements and really looking forward to eclipse Luna version. Thanks for the hard work!

  7. Martin H. says:

    All I wish is hidpi support for eclipse :-). Those little icons are a pain on my dell Xps 15 qhd display, have to lower the display resolution in order to work with eclipse. Scaleable vector icons would be great … like font awesome e.g.

    Best regards

  8. Aleksander K. says:

    > All I wish is hidpi support for eclipse 🙂
    Exactly. Eclipse still feels like an app made for the good old 800 x 600. This has been becoming more and more annoying over the recent years

  9. Samarjit says:

    Once I had to convince some colleagues from converting from NetBeans to eclipse and I faced major complaints. (Reason I wanted to convert them was simple I feel SVN integration and version history diffs and synchronization before commits pulls were much better in eclipse.) Their complaint was with workspaces. I too feel the same. Switching workspaces is heavy. A lot of ocnfigurations goes into workspaces like user libraries, so we cannot randomly import projects and expect it to work.

    I feel having different profiles with specific plugins instead of workspaces would be better. I don’t mind if profile changing requires restarting eclipse. However workspace switching should be faster. It should be instant like closing a project set and opening another project set.

  10. Antoine says:

    I’ve been using Eclipse 4.3 on Linux for months and was very happy with the UI. I’ve installed Eclipe 4.4 recently on the same machine (Linux Mint Olivia) and do see a difference : it was much, much more beautiful with Eclipse 4.3.

    Believe me, what I see on my machine is not a matter of personal taste. I don’t see how anyone could prefer my 4.4 version. Now it look like a dark grey interface from the nineties.

    I guess it’s a problem relative to my machine… too bad we can’t just upgrade to the new version of Eclipse transparently.

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