While developing Eclipse’s plugins on my Linux RHEL3 (computers are administrated by the company’s IT service) work station I encountered SWT/JFace performances problem. More accurately, I had problems with Table Viewers / Table with a lot of entries. Google quickly told me that in some cases SWT’s performances problems come from the underneath layer : GTK.
Since the GTK version installed on RHEL3 systems is quite old I tried my plugins on a RHEL4 workstation and my performances problem went ago. Nice but I want to solve these problems on MY workstation.
Before asking for a new RHEL4 I decided to have a try on setting up a new GTK version on my workstation. After a long fight and a lot of ./configure – make – make install I successfully installed the last GTK release on my workstation. I am now able to launch Eclipse with this GTK version. I can also easily switch back to the old version just by changing my LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
Moreover, a lot of GTK widget have significant usability improvements … for example I can now browse hidden file when using File -> Open dialog instead of having to open a shell outside Eclipse to get the file path and to copy it in the file browser widget ;o)