I had originally envisioned the title of this posting including the word “anymore” at the end. However, that would be grossly inaccurate since Eclipse has not been just for Java for some time.
I attended a couple of the morning sessions for the CDT Contributor Summit, hosted by QNX, here in beautiful Ottawa. Curiously, you have to make your way down streets named after local bajillionaires (Michael Copeland Drive and Terence Matthews Drive) to get to the QNX office. But I digress.
I arrived in my usual form: late. The room was packed (standing room only) with people from all around the world. There were several folks from Scandinavia, Europe and North America. I’m sure that there were other geographies represented, but I didn’t have the opportunity to pry. In short, there were a lot of people, many of whom came a long way, who have an interest in enabling Eclipse to develop their C/C++ applications.
In the opening session, our illustrious leader Mike Milinkovich delivered a riveting talk welcoming the attendees. I learned a few things during the talk. I was a little surprised to learn that CDT has been around for a while. Mike described it as a pending “overnight sensation” that’s been three years in the making.
That’s right, CDT has been around for a long time. Almost as long as Eclipse itself; it’s one of the oldest Eclipse projects and has a very vibrant community built up around it. I know that I’ve been aware of its existence for a while, but since I’ve never actually used it, I guess that it kind of snuck up on me. Being firmly entrenched in the Java world, I’ve never used C/C++ for anything more than the occasional native code.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the entire conference. I did sit through a couple of talks on the work being done on debugging and some the challenges facing the team. It was clear to me that I was woefully out of my comfort zone, but it was equally clear that the folks in the room were not. I have a good feeling that some great stuff will be coming from this team. A social event is planned for tomorrow evening, so I’m planning to drop in and meet a few of the folks involved.
Anyway, it’s pretty clear that Eclipse has extended its reach beyond the Java language. The list is getting pretty long: Java, C/C++, Fortran, PHP, Ruby, ObjectAda, … As Ed says,”are there any languages that aren’t supported by Eclipse?” The list is getting shorter.
Now, if somebody would just build Smalltalk integration…