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Macs, Modularity and More

EclipseCon Thursday

2011, conference, eclipse, eclipsecon

“It's a four day conference” was the refrain at the beginning of the conference, and Thursday is that fourth day. Do make sure you stick around until the closing community panel session; it's just not EclipseCon without finding how many tons of coffee were drunk throughout the week ...

Yesterday's confirmation that Java 7's release date is still July 28th 2011 dovetails nicely in with Eclipse Indigo's general availability a month beforehand, but it's good to see that IBM is working on Eclipse JDT for Java 7, so it should be ready to go. The elephant in the room remains modularity; the modularity will be an important part of Java 8 but IBM is working with Oracle to define “works well” in the context of that modularity solution. We shall see what the state is at next year's EclipseCon ...

The final keynote is on Apache Hadoop, a mechanism to provide scalable distributed computing. Much as the transition to multi core is opening up the possibilities for parallelising tasks on a single machine, parallelising tasks across a farm of machines is becoming necessary to handle the gigabytes and terabytes of data that are being accumulated in run time systems. If you haven't thought outside the (beige) box, then you should certainly find out about Hadoop.

The remainder of the morning is occupied with tutorials; for OSGi fans, there's Gemini and Virgo which show you how to build database-backed OSGi applications; but there's also DSL design with Xtext and friends, which is an increasingly important technology.

It wouldn't be an EclipseCon with some NASA content, so NASA Ames brings the RCP back to life with remote robots. Following on with the space theme, there's Modularity Wars: Episode IV, a New Hope – although it's not clear who the evil empire is in this episode.

Other miscellaneous topics which pique my interest include OSGi friendly bytecode weaving and a couple of concurrency presentations (though fortunately, not at the same time...) on deadlocks and concurrency in Eclipse; if you're more interested in finding out about the state of Orion, there's a couple of presentations on Orion components and services as well as the Orion workspace and server. You have signed up for an Orion Hub account, right?

This year's EclipseCon has felt more compact than previous years, hosted as it is in the ballroom and a few of the rooms upstairs. But the mix of tutorials and presentations has given greater access to those wanting to learn about technologies than in previous years, as well as not feeling that you're missing out with too many concurrent presentations to choose from. I'm also glad to see that many of the presenters are uploading slides for their talks, which always gives a good feeling about the openness of the Eclipse community.

To those organising (and attending) EclipseCon 2011, thanks for all the hard work, including the preparation for the presentations as well as the tweets of those events that I couldn't make it to. Hope to see you there next year! And if a year is too long to wait, then the recently rebranded EclipseCon Europe is just over seven months away.