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Google Ends Support for Android Eclipse Tools

by Abel Avram on Jun 27, 2015 |

Google has announced the end of all Eclipse-based tooling for Android development by the end of the year.

When Android Studio reached version 1.0, Google declared it the official Android development tool, suggesting developers to switch to it. Those who have not done it so far, now have serious reasons to do it because Google has announced the termination of development and support of Android tools in Eclipse at the end of 2015. This includes the ADT plug-in, the Ant build system, DDMS, Traceview, and the rest of performance and monitoring tools.

To make the switch from Eclipse to Android Studio, it is recommended to read the migration guide to understand the new project structure and how Gradle works for building Android projects. After the prerequisites are met, Eclipse-based projects can be imported with Studio, followed by a validation (build and run) to make sure everything is all right. If there are problems, Google recommends tweaking the Eclipse ADT project and importing again.

Those still wanting to stay with Eclipse are recommended to follow and contribute to the Andmore project, an attempt to continue the presence of Android tooling in Eclipse. Andmore includes JDT, CDT, ADT, it supports Maven and Ant, it has plans for Gradle support, and is integrated with Mylyn, EGit and GitHub.

Google is known for starting many projects, announcing many bold initiatives, but then easily killing a project that turns out as being not viable, as it was the case with Reader, Wave, Buzz, Knol, Code, Dart Editor, or Chrome Dev Editor, to name a few.  Their approach is quite different from that of many software developers who tend to artificially keep alive a project that has not got traction. While Google’s flexibility seems to be woven into the company’s DNA and provides a level of agility, some in the development community are not confortable with this approach. We’ve seen numerous comments from developers reluctant to join new projects from Google being afraid these will be terminated after a while, slowing down the adoption of such projects. Should Google change their approach or developers become more flexible?

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An ironic comment by Diego Visentin

I suspect that Google has the "not invented here" disease :-|

Re: An ironic comment by David DeCesare

I'm not sure what you mean. The Android Studio IDE is based on IntelliJ IDEA (developer.android.com/tools/studio/index.html) so it's still based on someone else's product. It just happens to be IntelliJ rather than Eclipse.

Re: An ironic comment by Diego Visentin

You are right, but I suspect that the choice depends more on the possibility of ruling a small software house instead of a foundation made by major IT players. But maybe I just do not understand the real reason for the choice.
PS: I'm an Eclipse user from before it was called Eclipse, so I'm not totally objective ;-)

Re: An ironic comment by Abel Avram

Google is very pragmatic. They go for the tools and processes they believe have the greatest benefit. In this case they settled for IntelliJ-based IDEs, not just for Android development, but for other technologies as well, such as Dart. They have not said exactly why, and they did not criticize Eclipse, but we can suppose it is because of IntelliJ's license, the community edition allowing them to develop tools on top of it at their own speed without having to wait on anyone. They did the same with WebKit. Since Apple was not flexible or fast enough, Google forked it as Blink and now goes ahead at full speed.

Flexibility by Mauro Molinari

"We’ve seen numerous comments from developers reluctant to join new projects from Google being afraid these will be terminated after a while"

Maybe I'm one of them, after seeing how they have driven the GWT development...

"Should Google change their approach or developers become more flexible"

The problem is that probably not all developers have time and resources to be "flexible", in the sense of being *constantly* ready to change tools and learn new technologies. "Sometimes" you just have to do your work while learning how to do it well, and invest on something which should last for at least some years... Not all companies are like Google, which can afford this attitude. Just my opinion.

Who cares by Ivan Gavryliuj

Google made Android development too hard, their api don't make sense and require just too much of development time wasted. For that reason many switch to Cordova or Xamarin anyway (you should consider it at some point if you want the company to be profitable and apps not awfully fragmented). I think raw java for Android only only needed by framework developers, they can cope!

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