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EclipseCon 2016 Day 2

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Today’s keynote at EclipseCon kicks off with the future of the IDE talk from CodEnvy’s Tyler Jewell. CodEnvy is a web-based developer tool that provides on-demand developer workspaces through the browser and can be used to provide a distributed development environment. The core of CodEnvy was open-sourced as part of the Eclipse Che project.

Not everyone can use a web-based IDE; for example, those debugging directly connected device hardware may not be able to use a web-based IDE. However, that doesn’t mean the two are incompatible; the BBC Microbit is programmed through a web based IDE that can be used to download an executable program, and is uploaded to the device by it masquarading as a USB mass storage device. Installing a program is a case of drag-and-dropping the file downloaded from the browser; I’ve seen Android devices be able to be used for programming and downloading programs to the device. Of course this is a one-way transfer, but it wouldn’t be impossible to imagine a device debugging protocol that uses virtual files, in the same way that Linux’s /proc filesystem works, for debugging – though it’s difficult to see how that might be driven from the browser.

One thing to observe from today’s presentations at EclipseCon – there is a much more varied content from prior EclipseCon’s. There are sessions on Jigsaw and Java 9, Node.JS in Java, Docker and Vagrant, science and Arduinos. You’d be hard pushed to find things that are ‘traditional’ EclipseCon presentations in the mix; Eclipse application development and Eclipse platform news are there, but definitely less prominent than previously.

Of course, today has the Internet of Things summit, including Open Source IoT, Using MQTT, building IoT gateways, low-power wireless networks, service discovery and IoT connections with Vorto. Lots of stuff to get your hands on and making tangible things in the real world.

There’s also quite a lot of Docker content; it’s not only gaining in popularity outside, but inside Eclipse as well. There’s a collection of tooling being put together by RedHat on Docker and Vagrant in Eclipse, as well as being able to bootstrap Che (the keynote content) in a Docker container as well as integration with Kubernetes. Being able to integrate with, and drive, cloud based technology from within an Eclipse IDE or Rich Client Platform is a real boon in managing content.

So once again, the remaining problem is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Hopefully some of the presentation material will be made avaialble by speakers; also, InfoQ is recording some of the presentations so they’ll be available on-line at InfoQ in the next few months.