So the cat is out of the bag today, people are finally talking about an Eclipse 4.0 again. Some people are worried that Eclipse 4.0 won’t be as transparent or diverse as it needs to be, but I think that point is somewhat moot. In the end, people will either put up some commitment if they really care or shut-up. Let me rant a bit though.
For those who don’t know, a discussion actually happened last year at EclipseCon 2007 but didn’t really go anywhere… all I remember is Kevin McGuire talking about Mac OS UI and shiny objects. My personal feelings why things didn’t go anywhere was because there was no prototyped code kicking around… I mean… most of us are engineers… we like toying with code… we don’t like to talk about Mac OS UI and shiny objects (sorry Kevin!) most of the time. This time around, there’s some prototyped code kicking around. We can gather around the code and share our thoughts… it’s not like IBM and other participant’s of e4 are dumping code and saying this will be Eclipse 4.0… I simply view this more as an opportunity for people who are willing to step up and participate in the future of Eclipse.
Now that my rant is over with… what are one of my thoughts of what should be in an Eclipse 4.0? I’d give my first-born for something like a Firebug in Eclipse. If you ever worked with HTML, CSS or web development in general… Firebug makes this painful style of development a bit more enjoyable 🙂 I tried implementing part of my dream with Plug-in Spy in the 3.4 version of Eclipse, but that’s just a small piece of the puzzle. There are many limitations in the current platform that make it hard to introspect and edit things. So my contribution to the e4 enigma will be making sure that this style of introspection will be possible in the new platform. Hopefully I’ll become a committer. I’ll leave e4 tooling out of the discussion for now, but I plan to have an impact there too when the time comes.
So there you go. In the end, it will all be about teamwork and the willingness to work in an open-source environment:
So let’s start contributing once some code is available and newsgroups/mailing lists are established 🙂