Eclipse for DCC, Take 2

Taking a look at where the CDT is being successfully deployed, we see that the CDT has a huge base in Embedded as seen at the Embedded Systems Conference. I am also getting a hint that the CDT is being adopted well for Linux development from our download count and the interest we’ve seen from both Red Hat and Novell/SUSE. As well, thanks to the Parallel Tools guys, we are seeing the CDT being used for High Performance Computing (HPC).

But, as I’ve said in the past, the one area that I’d love to see more contribution to the CDT, and Eclipse in general, is in Digital Content Creation (DCC) and game development. The CDT is natural for writing the C/C++ code required for these applications and I do have a few notes from people who are doing just that. But there are a lot of “assets” that go into game and visual effects development and I think Eclipse has the capability to do so much more for these developers.

Recently I’ve been poking around at the current efforts at JSR’ing Java for OpenGL and OpenGL ES for embedded. I also ran across an old workspace where I had implemented one of the snippets from the SWT OpenGL page to run in an editor window. I had forgotten how cool that spinning torus was running inside Eclipse. But it did give me a hint that it should be possible to build a 3D modeler and even a 2D texture editor in Eclipse. And with tools for writing scripts in languages such as Python or Lau, and you’ve almost got the complete package.

Given the size, at least in revenue, of the gaming and visual affects industries, I think there is room for Eclipse in this picture from the Collada DCC tool interchange standards effort. The major DCC tool vendors have quite a strangle hold there at the moment. But with the ability of Eclipse to bring such a wide variety of tools together in one platform and to build communities that work together for the benefit of all, I think it is quite a compelling story.