EclipseCon 2007: Day 3

Torsten Uhlmann

Thu, 08 Mar 2007

Photo by Torsten Uhlmann

Now that the 3rd day at EclipseCon is over, lets reflect a little bit over it. It was the first time I tried the “Continental Breakfast” at the EclipseCon. Well, the sessions and talks where better. Seems this kind of breakfast is not my taste. Never mind. From 9:00 to 10:00 Robert M. Lefkowitz was holding a keynote talk about the anomalies of Open Source software. Very entertaining. After that was my second try to get into an Equinox session, which failed miserably because either the room was too small or the people where too many. Or both. So since I didn’t really get my hand on another talk I found some time to stray around, visit the exhibiters booth and just relax.


Next was ”Charting with BIRT”. After Jason kindled my interest in the BIRT reporting framework and awakened the hope that I actually can use it and improve my own software with it, I wanted to hear more about it and so, I went there. The session showed the charting capabilities of BIRT. They showed the different types of available charts, which include line, bar, gantt, pie, bubble diagrams in 2d or 3d. Really impressive and with a very flexible Report Editor that actually keeps you from editing source files. It though might be too complex for end users to use it and build their own reports. After lunch I finally cought an Equinox talk which I actually used to recover from my post lunch coma. It was not the presenters fault, though… Another interesting thing was the RadRails speech. RadRails is a Ruby on Rails IDE. RadRails build upon the Ruby Development Tools (RDT) and Eclipse (either as a bunch of plugins or as an standalone RCP application) to provide Rails developers with an IDE that is supposed to make Rails development even easier. Heck where should this lead to? I mean, writing a Rails application is already sooooo easy and cool :) Kyle Shanks, one of the RadRails developers mentioned, they had 100.000 users by now which seems pretty imressive to me. After that there was a panel on the Data Tools Platform which I used to freshly install Ruby, Rails and mySQL on my MacBook Pro. RadRails comes next… At the end of the day I had another interesting talk about the dynamics of BIRT. The presenterscame up with a lot of examples to show how easy it is to script your report or to even script the parameter dialog that is presented to the user. In the end they showed a dynamic report which held a table of addresses. When clicking on of the addresses that position was loaded into Google Maps and presented on top of the table within the dialog. Bad thing is you can only do this as long as you did not print the dialog… All in all it was again a very exciting day. Tomorrow will be the last day (of EclipseCon) and I’m mighty looking forward to getting home to my family!