One of the interesting things I noticed at EclipseCon 2005 was that developers want to see more programming languages supported in Eclipse. Currently, the JDT which lets users develop Java code, is bundled with the base Eclipse. This is the plug-in which all other plug-ins are measured by and it has been one of the main drivers of Eclipse. Also, there is the relatively mature CDT (“Better than JDT or go home”) which lets you develop in C/C++ on a variety of platforms (and you can have a different target platform than the one you are writing on.) There’s a variety of other plug-ins that are in different states for such varied languages as Python, Ruby, Perl, COBOL, and C#, just to name a few.
There were two BOFs at EclipseCon that addressed this: Language Toolkits and Dynamic Languages that got good attendance. There were also a few sessions. BEA is spearheading an effort to create a new subproject in the Technology Project named the Language Development Toolkit (LDT) project based on its Javelin compiler framework. That framework was used to support Java-related languages like JSP.
Chris Laffra of the Eclipse FAQ has posted two good write-ups of the BOFs to the newsgroup for the LDT. Check them out.
If you’re interested in more language support in Eclipse, I would suggest posting to the news://news.eclipse.org/eclipse.technology.ldt. You can also read the Language Development Toolkit proposal. The project is in a very early stage and they are looking for feedback and input from the community.