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Monday's EclipseCon Highlights

Eclipsecon Conference 2010 Eclipse

I’m a bit grumpy that I can’t attend EclipseCon this year; it looks like the programme is excellent. Today’s programme contain a smörgåsbord of sessions that really makes you wish you could clone yourself to attend multiple.

If you’re in early enough, there’s the E4 Mars Rover Challenge at 08:15, which fires the starting pistol towards the E4 Rover Mars Challenge. Not only do you get to play with Lego™ virtually, you also get the chance to win to go to NASA’s robotic’s lab in Los Angeles. Sadly, you must be a registered attendee of EclipseCon to compete, so I can’t take part remotely :-/

Xtext meets E4 will likely be a great tutorial; these are both up-and-coming technologies for the Eclipse of the future. For those that don’t know, Xtext (not XText or xText, as Sven will point out frequently) is a tool for building custom DSLs. Combine this with E4, and you have a great way of building an editor. Those looking to get used to OSGi will find Working with OSGi: Stuff you need to know a great starting point for the conference.

After lunch, there’s more Enterprise OSGi goodness in the form of Apache Aries, Eclipse Gemini and Eclipse Virgo. If you’re not interested in OSGi (why not?) then there’s some good talks on Modelling and even Blackberry development.

You really should go to the afternoon’s session on OSGi with Tycho, Nexus and Hudson, though. Tycho is the Maven builder that can work from PDE’s Manifest-first development model (though it can also work with POM-first) that is slowly taking over from the archaic PDE build. If you’re looking after an OSGi project, and have had issues with PDE build, then join the projects using Tycho and build with confidence.

Finally, if you’re thinking of entering the Mars rover competition, there’s a lightning talk on Lego Mindstorms programming followed by a top ten things learned working on Eclipse which should be a great summary of life in an open-source project.

Lastly, there’s also many birds of a feather meetups (aka BoFs) where like-minded individuals go to talk about topics that are on their minds. Sonatype (developers of Maven and Tycho) are sponsoring the OSGi DevCon BoF, though this overshadow’s the Eclipse Virgo community launch which is a shame. If neither of these appeal, there are several others - or you could participate in your very own Unconference by putting your name/subject up on a post-it note at 5:45 on the Unconference board at the mezzanine level.