Single Sourcing, Agility and OSGi

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Single Sourcing, Agility and OSGi

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It’s not a typical article title, but from day one of Eclipse Summit Europe these are the three main points I’ve taken away. I haven’t been to ESE before, but I must say it has really blown me away. I really enjoyed today – I got to meet a lot of people in the Eclipse community that I haven’t seen in person, and they are as helpful as possible. I really believe after today that Eclipse will become the definitive Java community. So, let me address these points one by one.

Single Sourcing
This is a term that I was totally unfamiliar with until now, and I’ve heard it so many times today that I thought it would be worth highlighting. The first place I heard it was in the Eclipse Project Update talk. My main interest in this was where it came to talk about e4. The concept behind Single Sourcing is that you can develop your RCP application and have it ready for RAP (web target) deployment at the same time. I’d like to underline a point made during this talk – e4 is not simply Eclipse for the Web. It takes the web into account, but keeps a focus on the fact that IDEs will always belong on the desktop.

While on the e4 topic, Tom Schindl did a fantastic presentation about the project, discussing the process in getting e4 to happen and the fundamental changes required. From what I’ve seen in the demo, it’s worth it. If you can, please try to help out in this project – I firmly believe it will shape the desktop applications of the future.

Another talk I attended on RAP was focussed on how to single source at the moment. It seems there are a few tricks required, which I will cover in an upcoming EclipseZone article. After asking a question I was assured it will be easier in e4.

An interesting point about e4 is that, no matter how drastic the changes might be, the 3.X customers will not be forgotten. Estimates at the moment place the Eclipse 4.0 release at June 2010, but there will be an Eclipse 3.6 release in parallel. In face the 3 series will continue in parallel to e4 as long as the customers need it. You’ll find out more in an upcoming post on EclipseZone.

The keynote speech by Dave Thomas, a respected name in software development circles, was interesting to say the least. It was focused on embedded software – “The Imperative Is Agility”. I agree with the principal – in the current economic climate we need to think along the lines of business agility over our common “development agility” train of thought. The upshot of the talk was that JavaScript and a decent VM can give us what we need to develop quality embedded software. It certainly made me think about the complexity we add to software development and whether it really is necessary. After all, you can probably write a truly portable embedded application based on JavaScript a lot faster than any Java-based technology. A line that I’m sure readers will appreciate is “Real Embedded Men Don’t Use HTML”. I’m sure I’ll come back to this topic.

It surely is the buzzword behind Eclipse. The Equinox implementation has really given Eclipse some real strength in the industry. I’ve heard it across so many talks that there cannot be any doubt that it is at the core. Jeff McAffer gave a fantastic talk along with Paul VandeLei from Band XI about Best Practices for Equinox and OSGi. There’s a book on the way which makes me very excited. OSGi has been around for a while, but we haven’t been using it efficiently. This book will be the most important book of 2009!

Other Happenings
There’s so much going on that I can’t cover it in this newsletter. Code9 and Innoopract have started up a new level of collaboration under the name EclipseSource. I finally got to meet up with Scott Lewis from the ECF project at their BOF and got to see a pretty cool demo. It really seems to me that ECF is becoming a very important part of the Eclipse community.
Be sure to tune into EclipseZone on Friday where I’ll give a full rundown of everything that I’ve seen here this week. I’m anticipating a full crowd for Ed Merks talk on “The Unbearable Stupidity of Modelling” – I know I’ll be there.


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