EclipseRT Day Austin 2009

EclipseRT Day Austin 2009

A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at EclipseRT Day in sunny Austin, Texas. The day started off with Jeff McAffer speaking about building component based applications using OSGi and EclipseRT.

EclipseRT Day Austin

From my point of view, the audience took a liking to the Toast example that Jeff used to describe EclipseRT. There’s something to be said about a consistent example that people can grab the source and build upon themselves.

Toast EclipseRT

The next talk I attended was by Austin Riddle and Cole Markham from the Texas Center for Applied Technology.

EclipseRT Day Austin

I was blown away by what these folks were doing with EclipseRT technology. From bio-surveillance tracking, preventing and managing the spread of animal disease to monitoring coastal waters off the United States. On top of that, they created a platform for building simulation and information dashboards using the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP). Their story of Eclipse technology usage was oh so familiar. At first, they started as humble Eclipse IDE users. Then they started to create some useful applications on top of Eclipse RCP. Then they started to use other technologies from the Eclipse stack. Then they noticed that they could build a platform for their domain using Eclipse technologies.

Afterward, I had the opportunity to talk about the Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) and the topic of single-sourcing. It seems people were very receptive about the idea to develop rich and web clients from a single code base. It’s an attractive proposition when you can reuse your existing set of skills and tools to build applications for different runtime environments. There were some concerns about scalability, but the RAP team is actively working on improving performance issues and making performance results available.

Brett Hackleman from Band XI presented about how they were leveraging EclipseRT and OSGi in the embedded device world over the course of a dozen projects in the defense, heavy equipment, industrial automation and automotive domains. It’s cool to see OSGi used in the embedded space along with the custom SWT widgets they came up with for their domain.

Custom SWT Widgets

Mike Masterson from IBM spoke about how Lotus had to reinvest in their portfolio, including the 20-year young Notes platform. Lotus decided to use EclipseRT as the base of their Notes platform which unified their client strategy and allows them to foster a rich partner ecosystem through the extensibility that EclipseRT provides. Lotus users can easily extend their Notes experience via widgets that developers can write using EclipseRT technology.

Notes Widgets

On the whole, I thought the event was fantastic. The talks were great and having the opportunity to meet new people that are building on Eclipse technologies is always fun. I can only hope the Eclipse Foundation puts on more events like this in the future. The more opportunity we have for everyone to interact with each other in person within the Eclipse community is a great thing.