EclipseCon 2006 – Day 1 – Tutorial Day

EclipseCon 2006 has now started! Today is tutorial day and I’m sitting in Tutorial 32 The Eclipse Debug Framework.

I got into Santa Clara late last night on a packed United flight. They had actually assigned my seat to another guy so there was a synchronization problem. ;)

Registration this morning was killer. Until someone told us that A through E was in a very short line (and my last name starts with D). F through L and M through P had to wait in a VERY long line. Not sure if this is because EclipseCon 2006 is much larger (it seems so) or if it is just the design of the room. In any case, try to get your badge the night before the first day.

If you’re here at EclipseCon, stay in touch via IRC. There’s a few of us over in the IRC channel named #eclipse-con on I recommend Colloquy for the Mac, otherwise try the Chatzilla client.

Win in Halo and get an Eclipse feature

While planning my EclipseCon 2006 schedule, I ran across the Halo Feature Challenge which is during lunch on Tuesday. I thought this was some sort of thing where you go around and put rings on people’s heads because you love their code or something. But actually it is the good ol’ Halo where you go around shooting people. If you win 2 out of 3, you get to tell the Platform/UI team some small feature you want to implement.

I’m a decent Halo player though I’m probably the only guy with an Xbox who actually doesn’t own Halo. But I have played it with other people after work, linked with 4 against 4 which is a blast.

So anyone want to team up with me? I don’t have any specific feature in mind. I’m just in it for the fun of it and to hang out with some of the Platform/UI team.

Going to EclipseCon 2006

I’m going to EclipseCon 2006 next week. I’m pretty excited. It will be my 4th in a row. There are only three EclipseCons you say? I offer up a classic blog posting: A brief history of EclipseCon.

Anyways, if you’d like to meet up, send me email at comment at

And I still owe Bjorn a Recommended Track. I’ll try to post one soon. Here’s a start: I’m going to both Debugging tutorials on Monday.

Oh and I’ll try to liveblog the event like last year. That was fun and I think it helped me absorb what I was learning better.

Going to EclipseCon 2006

I’m going to EclipseCon again this year. It is again over in Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara, CA from March 20th to the 23rd.

Its been a great conference these past four years. Well only two were official – but here’s a brief history of EclipseCon that might explain it better. I’ve been to the past three and I liked them all.

If you’re implementing plug-ins and building extensions to Eclipse, creating RCP apps, or just using Eclipse and want to know more, I highly recommend going. Its a great chance to learn about what is coming up in the future versions of Eclipse, how to leverage the massive amount that is already there, and meet the folks behind Eclipse as well as fellow Eclipse programmers.

If you’re going, drop me a line so we can grab a drink! I’m sure we’ll also have another Eclipse on Mac Birds of a Feather session.

Eclipse tip: How to build features that require Java 5

So you’re trying to create an Update Site and you hit the Build or Build All button. This is depending on a feature which includes plug-ins that require Java 5. The build fails and it tells you that there are errors in You unzip this and find this error:

Compliance level ‘1.4’ is incompatible with source level ‘1.5’. A compliance level ‘1.5’ or better is required

You double-check your settings and find that you have indeed set the compliance level to 1.5 on your workspace and none of your plug-in projects override this. Everything looks good (no red “x”es). What’s going on?

It turns out that features do not respect the Java compiler setting. Instead, they turn to whatever JVM you are running Eclipse with. Digging deeper, I think this is the PDE Build code that has this behavior, because it is used as well on the command line to automate the building of Eclipse features and plug-ins.

The solution? Run Eclipse with Java 5. This goes against the recommended practice of running on Java 1.4, but this is the only workaround that is available for this problem.

Further references: Bug 104960 – Compliance level error when building plugin. Thanks to Fabio of PyDev for intially reporting it.

Sneak peek of SWT and Swing in Vista

Here’s a screenshot of Eclipse (using SWT) on Vista, courtesy of Carolyn MacLeod and Ed Burnette.

And here’s NetBeans (using Swing) on Vista, courtesy of Chet Haase.

Looks like Java UIs have a good future in Vista. I believe they’re ahead of schedule compared to where they were when XP was coming out. I think with SWT being native and getting a good reception from the development community, that a big focus in Java 6 (Mustang) is pixel-perfect fidelity in Swing:

Chet Haase: We hear you. Native look & feel fidelity is a big thing for us in Mustang.

Gotta love competition!

EclipseWorld was a success

Looks like EclipseWorld was a success. I didn’t get a chance to go, even though it is on the same coast I am. Why do I say so? Well, from the most recent EclipseSource, the lead article was titled “Exuberance and Umbrage…” by Edward J. Correria. I’ll only be dealing with the Exuberance part here.

It said that there were 550+ attendees, which I think is good for a 1.0 conference. (In comparison EclipseCon 2004 had 600+ and EclipseCon 2005 had 1000+.)

Even more interesting, Dwight Duego asked attendees of his “Getting Started with Eclipse on Windows” tutorial about their experience with Eclipse:

Only about a third of those in the class had ever installed Eclipse, and only two or three of those were using it for Java development–yet they were there. To me, that’s a huge potential for further growth of Eclipse.

RCP from my readers

I got two comments from my readers recently on RCP:

1. Henry wrote “Why Eclipse RCP is going to rule the world“, giving 5 reasons. I agree with his arguments that Eclipse RCP is the ideal platform for building desktop clients, especially if they need to be cross-platform. There is a lot of momentum behind it and you would be hard pressed to duplicate what it provides you on your own.

2. Kent commented that

“RCP saved me an incredible amount of time. I certainly cannot thank the Eclipse project enough. Without it I would have taken a lot longer to create the BigBlogZoo and it would not look as nice.”

Again, using RCP saves you time because it is just plain hard and time consuming to build a desktop application framework. Bonus points that it makes your desktop app look like every other app on your system, that is like a native app.

Eclipse Mac: over 500 programmers served

The Eclipse Mac user group is humming along. Just a few months ago, we were at 200 members and now we’re at 523! This is great. And I didn’t even promote it at the Eclipse session at WWDC (although I probably should have.)

Also we’ve got some exclusive content from programmers like Dan who got Eclipse 3.1 running on one of the Intel-based Macs (he calls it an IntelliMac; I prefer MacIntel.)

We’ve also got some folks who are using Eclipse to do C / C++ Development on Mac using the CDT.

Plus: How to run Eclipse 3.1 on Java 5 on Mac.

So if you see any of your friends who are doing Eclipse on Mac or you’re starting to do yourself, check out the group.

Eclipse 3.1 released!

Hear ye, hear ye, Eclipse 3.1 has been released!

It was officially released today June 28th, 2005 at 12:01PM EST.

Get it at the Eclipse download page. As always, it takes a little while to propogate to the mirrors, so if you really want it now, you may have to go to the Main Download Site.

The New and Noteworthy page has a big listing of all that is good and new in Eclipse that has changed since 3.0, which was released roughly a year ago.

Congratulations to everyone!

As an added incentive for downloading, there is a Million Download Challenge where people will donate time and/or money for every day it takes to get to a million downloads. As of now, 6/28/2005 12:50PM EST, there have been 1,659 downloads.

Update: 2:15PM – 8,166 downloads

Update: 4:01PM – 17,033 downloads
Sorry, Mike… I just had good timing. :)

Update: 6:00PM – 27,163 downloads

Update: 8:17PM – 38,331 downloads

Update: 10:16PM – 48,805 downloads

Update: 1:00AM 6/29/2005 – 63,142 downloads