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EclipseCon 2014 Day 3

2014 Eclipsecon Conference Eclipse

What a day yesterday was. The future is truly packaged in small pieces, and the small machines are certainly out in force. It’s a pity the keynote was interrupted by the power glitch, but stranger things have happened.

It’s also surprising that the IoT project has grown so quickly; only last year at EclipseCon I was interviewing Benjamin Cabe on the state of the M2M projects when there were only three of them, and they have grown to 13 projects. Benjamin has published his slides on what’s new in this space, which is certainly a lot. Not only that, but securing the internet of things is also on the radar (and I suspect will become increasingly important). Oh, and if you miss today’s flying sharks (yes, really) I have a video (from EclipseCon Europe) which one day I’ll get around to making available on Vimeo …

Still, if you managed to get out of the bar and to bed before Pi o’clock, you’ll probably enjoy this morning’s keynote. It’s difficult to comprehend the pace of change in the past few years, but given that the web has recently celebrated its 25th birthday it’s sobering to think that young children growing up will not understand that phones didn’t always use to have touchscreen or that pausing TV didn’t used to be possible (and they’d probably laugh at black-and-white film). The keynote will look ahead and discuss what may happen in the next decade, and asks whether or not technology is enabling us to be creative or enslaving us. Will 1984 be more like 1984 or 2014?

Polarsys have camped out in Grand Peninsula B today, and have a number of interesting topics; being able to trace the inside of the application (after lunch) looks interesting. There’s also something on Papyrus, the UML editor for Eclipse – hopefully advances in that modelling tool will give Eclipse an editor to be proud of (for those that still model using UML …)

If you don’t know anything about Xtend, you really owe it to yourself to go along to Sven’s “Code generation with Xtend” talk. Xtend is really powerful at generating clean Java source code, which gets compiled on the fly using the native compiler resulting in clean bytecode that is backwardly compatible (unlike other toy languages, which treat backwards compatibility as an afterthought if at all). You can also use Xtend to write lambda code in either Java 8 or Java 7; even though the new Java APIs are not available there are a number of extension methods which are actually more powerful than Java’s extension methods. I also spoke with Sven on xtend and xtext last year.

There’s a couple of OSGi related tracks today; “What’s cool in OSGi” is worth going to if you’ve not been following OSGi for a couple of years, because there’s some interesting things coming up with R6, and there’s a lot of interest in OSGi and the Cloud (with Thomas Watson giving a talk after lunch).

JavaScript turns up a few times today for those that are building more client side; how to integrate HTML inside Eclipse, how Orion works, how Node-RED first together; and in the afternoon, the VJET JavaScript editor and modular JavaScript talks are showing how Eclipse is growing in that space.

Finally, a shout-out to CDT, my favourite non-Java project at Eclipse. Doug Schaefer will be talking about how Eclipse CDT and JSDT can use Qt. (Doug has also been working a lot with Thomas Schindl on an SWT port of JavaFX) There’s also a couple of talks on debugging, from printf to TCF.

The day concludes with some really cool things; there’s a demonstration of using Eclipse as an Arduino programming platform for kids after lunch. I’ve experienced first hand (through Code Club) what it’s like to teach kids and they really love playing with this stuff. Go along and listen to Melanie talk about about how to program an Arduino and how kids can find out what’s new. Then there’s “flying sharks and m2m” – I loved this presentation at EclipseCon Europe and it’s worthwhile being there just to see how far you can take a crazy idea.

I hope that everyone enjoyed this year’s EclipseCon conference, and hope to meet some of you again in future years.