Updating to GTK3 has been a bit of a challenge. While researching this problem earlier this year, I ran across countless blog posts, and forum comments from all sorts of open source project teams that were frustrated with their own efforts to update to GTK. Some had starting making plans to just abandon it, but that’s just not a realistic option for the Eclipse Platform.
Getting our GTK3 binding running well was selected by the Eclipse Architecture Council as the highest priority work item for the Friends-Enabled Eclipse IDE/Platform Enhancements Program (FEEP): we allocated some development funds for it last year, but finding the right combination of skills and experience to complete the work has been challenging. That is, until the team from Red Hat stepped up.
Red Hat developers (along with others from IBM and Ericsson) have been steadily improving the implementation for a couple of years, but the bulk of the work has been done in the last year with the majority of the commits coming from third-year Computer Science undergraduate student, Eric Williams.
Eric is working at Red Hat in a sixteen month co-op (intern) programme as part of the University of Toronto’s Professional Experience Year (PEY). He returns to school in September 2016 to finish his last year. Eric credits his managers Alexander Kurtakov and Martha Benitez, and mentor Leo Ufimtsev (Alexander and Leo are Eclipse SWT committers) for getting him set up to make real contributions to a thriving open source project and providing what he calls a “fantastic experience”.
In recognition of his efforts, Eric was asked by the SWT project team to join them as a committer; happily, he’s accepted the nomination. In appreciation for his Great Fix contributions, we’re sending Eric a Samsung Galaxy S6.
The Great Fixes Candidates page shows a list of the commits attributed to Eric, along with those of the other Great Fix candidates.