/ eclipse

EclipseCon 2015, the Ship Tacks

I’ve been to all 12 EclipseCon North Americas. I especially love coming to this year’s venue, the Burlingame Hyatt, because it hosted the second one in 2005 which has been one of my favourites. It was a very different EclipseCon back then. There were probably more product and marketing managers than developers and the buzz was incredible. We had two of the greats in the modelling industry going head to head, IBM Rational and Borland, and it was a fun spectacle to watch from our CDT viewing rooms on the periphery. I’ll never forget it and I always take a pause when I get there to soak it all in again.

In recent years, EclipseCon has become a developer’s conference, and frankly we developers prefer it that way. You don’t get the same numbers or the same marketing buzz, but we build some very important relationships that carry us throughout the year and we wouldn’t survive without it. I’ll never forget our last time in Santa Clara and Kai Toedter still working away at the e4 challenge as we closed the bar at 2 in the morning. We developers know how to have our own fun.

It’s been a hard few years for Eclipse though, at least for the IDE. It’s been kind of sad, but we spent a lot of time complaining and worrying as more and more of our friends from the Platform started working on Jazz and Orion and not on the Eclipse platform. Having been there, I know the business decisions behind such things and it’s pretty easy to understand the need. But it didn’t make us happy, and we were somewhat counterproductive fussing about it.

This year, though, was totally different. We talked very little about that past. It was replaced by discussions and demos of the cool things we are working on now to revitalize the Eclipse IDE that we all know and love. My feeling of worry in the last few years has been replaced with feelings of hope and energy to continue on the fight to save it. And we have new leaders in the community driving it: Lars, Mickael, Sergey on the Platform, Max on Web development, Eike providing us some Oomph, Greg and myself on revitalizing target management with a new look at the Terminal and my new LaunchBar, plus all the great stuff still happening in the DSL and modeling space. Even the Orion guys seem open to working with the JSDT guys to bring the two technologies together and provide a great JavaScript experience in the IDE.

I’ll be writing about the things I’m working on over the next few weeks, including some new energy we got out of the CDT Summit and an interesting chance meeting that will bring some interesting tooling for Arduino fans. We have a lot of work ahead and it’s important we communicate and work with the community to make it right.

Eclipse solved a problem we had 15 years ago over the need for an industry standard and open platform where we could install all our tools and have them interact with each other to make a greater whole. 15 years later, we still need that. And as Eclipse jumps back to life, I’m excited for great things again and am working with a great group of developers who are all intent on making it happen. EclipseCon gives us that much needed face-to-face and the opportunity to show the community what we’re doing and invite them to join in on the fun. I can’t wait until the next one.