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Friday, June 19, 2009

Notes & Thoughts from Portland Eclipse DemoCamp Galileo 2009

What do Test Code Generation UI, ECF 3.0, RAP, Android and Code Smells all have in common?
These topics were the focus of demos at the Portland Eclipse DemoCamp sponsored by Instantiations. Here are my notes from Wednesday night with my commentary at the end. Get in touch with the presenters and check out the links to learn more.

ECF First up was Scott Lewis (EclipseSource) and a demo from the Eclipse communication framework.
Some 3.0 highlights:
Working on distributed OSGI EE RFC 119: discovery and remote services
Your distributed services code lives above ECF and can make use of the ECF providers or you can roll your own.
Scott demoed client/server OSGi discovery and remoted services and Toast Vehicle Management Portal: p2 magic for install and uninstall at runtime.

Next up was John Roberts (Mind Warm): Using Android with Eclipse
John threw out that Android could overtake the iPhone by 2011?!
Demo of the Eclipse Android tooling.
Seemed very quick to try out and develop with an emulator
Challenges that remain with the toolset: tough to design UI with base set within Eclipse.
One recommendation was DroidDraw - recommended as WYSIWYG

Android app site is
It would seem that searching for apps on a phone could be clunky?

Jaime Wren (Instantiations) presented Test Code Generation UI

The CodePro AnalytiX JUnit Test generator needed a new UI. Challenged with making a modern UI using only the SWT features from Eclipse 2.1 (wow!!)
Nice review of the choices and reasoning behind the decisions. But hey...please don't start your demo with "This is not very exciting". May not have been exciting but it was interesting. Let your audience decide ;-)

RAP Elias Volanakis (EclipseSource) Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) and the New Eclipse download wizard
RAP: Eclipse for the web
Eclipse dynamic download web page: check it out here.

Why bother with RAP?: "know how" reuse and use of familiar tooling.
Closer to "holy grail" of having single source for web and client.
New for RAP 1.2:
  • new widgets - scale, dateTime expandBar, slider, colordialog CCombo
  • Cell editors
  • intro/welcome support
  • more SWT+ JFace APIS
Basic steps to create RAP App:
Tune in on July 9th for more:

Emerson Murphy-Hill
Finding code smells within Eclipse.
Presented a smell detector - lovingly called the Stench Blossom. Non-intrusive indicator of smells existing with the code currently being browsed. Inform without overwhelming.
Built based on the Seven habits of a highly successful smell detectors .

My commentary: I have been to many, many democamps. I have been doing Eclipse development since the dawn of time.
What hit me several times last night was the diverse nature of what was being done within and with Eclipse. AND how a large majority of the demos were on OLDER versions of Eclipse. This would have never happened several years ago. Eclipse has reached the maturity level that cool new products can be developed on versions of Eclipse that are 2 or 3 years old. 3.5 and the latest and greatest is really cool (see Ian Bull's countdown and all the Galileo blog reviews) but at the same time older versions are cool as well.
Take my day job. We just shipped the Jazz Foundation 1.0 which is based on Eclipse 3.4.

Is this bad? I really don't think so.
Bleeding edge, pushing the envelope work can continue at Eclipse as it always has while the community can adopt and adapt only as much or as little as they deem necessary for their success. This keeps everyone happy and winning.
I propose Eclipse has fully become the framework it was intended to be. Eclipse can now respectfully step back out of the spot light and allow the applications that have been built and will be built on its impressive shoulders their time to shine. Just like every proud parent should do...
(These are of course my thoughts alone and may or may not reflect the position of anyone else).

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