Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Summarizing EclipseCon 2008

Well, my attempt at blogging at least sem-regularly during EclipseCon didn't exactly work out. Fortunately that was largely cause by my own laziness, not by the lack of interesting topics. But now that I'm back in warm and sunny Sweden (NOT!) and have slept off most of my jetlag, I'll try to do a short summary.

EclipseCon is a really big conference (well, maybe not in parity with JavaOne or OOPSLA) with over 300 talks of varying length and (wildly) varying topics. Here's what I enjoyed the most (in no particular order):
  • Eclipse, Open Source, Wall Street and Competition: Big Drama, Big Money. Brent Williams talked about how big business view Eclipse/FOSS.
  • Dan Lyons keynote.
  • Adopting and Commercializing Eclipse: Wind River's Strategy. Tomas Evenson (CTO at Wind River) covered Wind River's history behind their Eclipse adoption, and how they view their collaboration with the Eclipse community. Especially interesting, since Wind River in practice controls most of the C/C++ development efforts (CDT and DSDP).
  • Debugging Java and JNI together. A short talk presenting a way to seamlessly debug Java and JNI (Java Native Interface) code together, i.e. being able to step from Java code into JNI code (moving from JDT to CDT). Impressingly enough they pulled of a working demo as well (the short talks were only 10 minutes). Having come across JNI at more or less every place I've worked at, I've been wanting this for the last ten years. Unfortunately it is currently limited to gdb and required a specially patch version of Apache's JVM, but it is a step in the right direction for those of use who don't have the luxury of living in the padded room of the JVM.
  • The Next Wave of IDE Innovation: Eclipse and Visual Studio in 2010. Kevin McGuire and Tim Wagner talked about what new innovations we can expect in the coming years in the area of IDE-development (not necessary Eclipse) -- new input devices, multi-monitors, multi-core support. My first impression of this talk was that it was too much wild speculation and brainstorm, but I suppose that all innovation has to start that way.
I'm looking forward to EclipseCon 2009 already.

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