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Arthur Ryman's Eclipse Blog: Sun at EclipseCon 2006; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Unlike last year's event, there was no keynote speaker from Sun

Sun at EclipseCon 2006: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Unlike last year's event, there was no keynote speaker from Sun. Nevertheless, Sun's presence was noticed last week at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I'd like to mention a few high and low points here.

First The Good. Undoubtedly the high point for me was finally meeting Ludo Champenois who is leading the GlassFish project at java.net. GlassFish was contributed to open source by Sun as a reference implementation of J2EE, and is currently being upgraded to support Java EE 5. I came into contact with Ludo last year when he expressed an interest in creating a GlassFish server adapter for WTP. This work is going well and is an example of the kind of rational behavior I'd like to see more of. Ludo's mission is to promote GlassFish so it makes perfect sense for him to integrate GlassFish well will any IDE that has a significant developer following. Check out the GlassFish Plugin page for more details.

Another high point was the announcement by Genuitec that they have integrated the NetBeans Matisse Swing GUI builder into myEclipse. See Matisse4MyEclipse for more details. Matisse looks very cool. Kudos to the NetBeans development team and to Genuitec for solving the integration problems. And since myEclipse uses components from WTP, users who want to combine Swing client GUIs with Java EE 5 server-side components will be able to use the GlassFish plug-in kindly provided by Ludo.

Now the Bad. Although the myEclipse/Matisse presentation was mostly Good, there was a little Bad sprinkled in. When asked if Matisse would ever support SWT development, one of the Sun presenters made it clear that this was not going to happen, with the clear implication that SWT was a rogue technology. IMHO, I doubt that Sun neglect or denial of SWT will drive it into extinction. It would be a smart move if Sun acknowledged the growing community of Java developers who think that Eclipse RCP is a good idea and would like to create SWT GUIs for it. Sun could demonstrate that it was listening to developers by adding SWT support to Matisse.

Finally the Ugly. EclipseCon attendees were cheerfully presented with bottles of NetBeans water as they entered the conference. I guess this is not so much Ugly as Pathetic. It would have at least been Funny if the bottles contained Kool-Aid. This kind of stunt is not even original. Several years ago IBM ran a series of TV ads featuring astronauts. That year I attended a WebSphere conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco where I was greeted by BEA hirlings dressed as astronauts who were handing out invitations to a WebLogic presentation down the street. Well BEA is now leading the WTP PMC, has contributed some neat new features, and is about to release a revamped WebLogic IDE based on WTP. Now that I think of it, maybe the Netbeans water bottle stunt was not such an Ugly thing afterall.

posted Monday, 27 March 2006


More Stories By Arthur Ryman

Arthur Ryman is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Development Manager at the IBM Toronto Lab. He is currently the lead of the Web Standard Tools subproject of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project. His previous development projects include Rational Application Developer, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, and VisualAge for Java. He is a member of the W3C Web Services Description Working Group and is an editor of the Web Services Description Language 2.0 specification. He is a co-author of the book, "Java Web Services Unleashed".

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