EclipseCon 2007: Day 4

Torsten Uhlmann

Fri, 09 Mar 2007

Photo by Torsten Uhlmann

Well, today was the last day of this conference. It was a very exciting event. Since it was my first EclipseCon I can’t compare it to the previous ones. But there was some kind of special spirit there- people, yet from different backgrounds and following different goals still had some common ground- Eclipse. The day started with a gorgeous keynote by Dr. Herbert Thomson. He talked about software security. Well actually, he didn’t just talk, rather passionately convincing the audience about the matter. He was speaking about fuzzy testing- injecting random bytes of characters into an application. And within a few minutes he showed (live) how the Macromedia FlashPlayer 6 could be compromised by finding possible stack overflows through fuzzy testing. Pretty amazing… There was another talk about security in Eclipse applications . Neil Bartlett pointed to a project called Eclipse-JAAS which he started to address security in RCP client server applications. After lunch two ladies from the Eclipse team intruduced the Eclipse test framework (org.eclipse.test) which they use to automatically unit test and performance test the Eclipse SDK. Finally, Mike Milinkovich and a row of project leads held a panel at the theater to talk about the future of Eclipse and answer questions. According to the board there where 1353 attendees which drank 665 gallons of coffee.


What I especially liked, apart from the talks, is the idea of table topics. Every lunch table had a sign on declaring the topic of the table. This was something like “BIRT”, “Eclipse on Linux”, “Building a business upon Eclipse”, “SWT”, you name it. This idea basically makes it very easy to come in touch with the people at the table. You already have a topic. So what happened when I sat down at the table was that people asked me (supposed I joined the BIRT club): “Hey, welcome. Are you using BIRT? Tell us about your experience.” Pretty cool. Whenever you need some kind of ice breaker think about it. Now, the idea is pretty simple and straight forward. Yet I cannot remember that I ever came across a place in whatever context who used this idea… Today I sat at the “Eclipse as a business model” table where I met two very friendly japanese guys from NEC® who introduced there open source application JALCEDO to me. JALCEDO is supposed to make development of client server Eclipse RCP applications easier. According to my table peers one can describe JALCEDO als “Ruby on Rails” for the Eclipse Java world. I’ll check it out… The conference was very well organized. There was an army of waiters just serving whatever was needed. The talks where militarily timed and always started on time and ended on time. It was rather amazing to see all the bits flow together like puzzle pieces. It was a pleasure to be there!