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EclipseCon 2012 Day 3

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The last day of EclipseCon 2012 is upon us! The new venue has worked out really well by all accounts, and the timezone overlap has meant it is easier for those of us who can’t be there in person to follow the #eclipsecon hashtag.

Today’s keynote is on the Future of ALM, a look at how the recent advances in application lifecycle management tools have enabled much tighter integration between developers and the IDEs themselves. Should be an interesting view as to where these tools are going over the next few years.

Today’s OSGi experience kicks off with a modular and extensible OSGi shell, which is a look at the new Gogo shell from Apache Felix. This shell will become the default one for Eclipse Juno, and is already available in the existing milestone builds. Gogo is a powerful shell and can do a much wider range of things than the old Equinox one, but takes a bit of retraining the muscle memories when it comes to controlling it (for example, lb instead of ss to list bundles instead of show status). There’s also a couple of presentations on Virgo Experience and a Path to Modularity with Eclipse Virgo, both of which provide a managed OSGi runtime environment (with web admin tools) and can be used as a replacement for existing Apache Tomcat engines thanks to the integration with the Tomcat web bundle.

Another must-see presentation is the one on Eclipse Xtend. This is a language, built upon the runtime tools of Xtext, which ‘compiles’ down to Java source code, and thus fits in with existing Java build tools. Although it’s possible to commit in the Java code (and just use a headless Java compiler) it is also possible to commit the Xtend source files and use the Maven plugin to compile the code as part of the build. The upcoming 2.3 release provides a way of debugging from source (rather than the generated Java code) as well as some refactoring support. Unlike other languages, since Xtend doesn’t have its own compiler it has less bugs and faster build times than more complex languages. And, it’s backwardly compatible across JVMs and releases, something which can’t be said for some popular JVM based languages. There’s a follow up on Xtext best practices later in the day as well.

There’s a talk on News from Git in Java Land which is by a couple of the core EGit/JGit developers, whose only problem is that it overlaps with the talk above. Still, if you’re into Git then this will be a good state of the union; there’s also a talk on automatic remote project synchronisation using Git later as well.

My final pick for the day is on the time travelling debugger, which won the best tool at this year’s award winners. If you’ve never seen this in action before, then this talk is going to open your eyes as to how much data it’s possible to derive from a runtime system.

As this year’s EclipseCon comes to a close later on today, I’d like to once again echo my thanks for the community award. Hopefully I’ll be able to be back one day for EclipseCon!