Sunday, April 7, 2013

Another Great EclipseCon

Well it's already been a week since I got back from Boston and I'd better get this out before the memories fade into the background. First off it was really nice for me to finally be able to meet Lars, Wim and \Sopot who've been so great at extending both e4's capabilities and exposure.After our excellent conversation on Sunday I'm sure that there will be more shared beers to come...;-). Unfortunately (for me) Brian De Alwis couldn't be there due to his wife being...well...due (congrats Brian !).

OK, on to the conference...this year I had more time to attend talks because I was only giving one myself. For those that have been asking the slides are here. All the ones I attended were interesting and quite informative. Wim and Lars'"Shake that FUD" talk on mixing e4 and IDE was great, demonstrating the advantages of e4's architecture and ability but presented in a hilarious Laurel and Hardy style. There was also an excellent talk on the real-world issues encountered while porting a large application to e4. This was a great indication that there is true enterprise adoption of Eclipse 4.

Tom Schindl's talk "Modern UIs with JavaFX" showing off his JavaFX work with cool animations was made even more interesting by his demonstration showing the adoption of parts of the Eclipse JDK, allowing his simple JavaFX IDE to provide code assisst...  This was a great example of the direction we want to go; moving code away from being tightly bound to the IDE in order to allow it to be re-used much more freely.

For me though the absolute tops was the talk from l33tlabs , "Bling: The GPU powered Game IDE" demo'd a re-write of SWT using OpenGL. These guys come from a gaming background so everything about the presentation was unique (like their business card). Slides ? Who needs 'em ? Their presentation was a room around which a camera roamed, zooming in on each 'slide' (a note on a wall...). To them using the static (dare I say 'uncool') Eclipise UI just wouldn't cut it artistically so they decided to do something about it...;-). The results were stunning, seeing stacks in a running Eclipse IDE jiggle, fade, zoom as 'simple' effects has given me hope that we can make the Eclipse UI palatable to today's tablet using crowd. Early days yet but stay tuned...

Finally, away from the presentation rooms I've got to give a shout out to Marcel Bruch from CodeTrails, the folks who've given us Code Recommders. They had a really fun and effective way to demonstrate what they're all about. The idea was a 'Family Feud' game where you'd have to come up with the most common uses for a new object of some type (such as the SaveFileDialog, System...). I finally understand what they are all about ( think), it's a case of 'big data' meets code assist. Marcel and I had a great talk after my (winning!) run at the game (sort of unfair since I've written a lot of code using 'vi'...;-). We're trying to see what can be done to provide some form of code assist for injection annotations; something that would really help mitigate a real issue for folks wanting to adopt DI (as everyone should...;-).

OK, back to getting Kepler together. It's always a pleasure for me to attend EclipseCon and see the energy in the community. Hope to see you all again soon.

Stay tuned !! I'll be blogging here much more regularly with examples on using the newly available API from within the Eclipse IDE.