Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

I will be in Ottawa, our nation's capital, for some 3.3 planning on June 25-27. Being in Ottawa is always an interesting sociological experiment as I get to observe the Platform team in their natural habitat.

Accompanying me on the road trip will be Janek Lasocki-Biczysko; so by definition, it will be a fun ride. Although I'm not sure it's such a good idea to spend four hours in a car with someone who knows all the lyrics to the Black Eyed Peas' My Humps.

We have some free time on Sunday afternoon (June 25th), so if you're a PDE enthusiast in the Ottawa region and want to meet and talk plug-ins, drop me a line.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Over the past few days, traffic to my blog has more than doubled. What could be the cause of this sudden interest?

a. good word of mouth

b. better PR campaign: mentioning my blog in the Eclipse planning meeting notes

c. posting an entry referencing Leonardo DiCaprio

I just hope it's not c.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Underdog

About a month ago, I solicited feedback on a list of potential PDE plan items for Eclipse 3.3. It was a good exercise, and I appreciate all the feedback that I received both in the form of blog comments and e-mail.

The votes were surprisingly evenly spread out. Each suggested plan item had its own fan base, which is a sign that our planning is hitting the right note and we are giving our users what they are looking for.

Before I published the list, I suspected that the User Assistance (UA) tooling item would be the underdog in this race. Not quite. Many respondents seemed very passionate about this item.

The User Assistance team has done a lot of cool work in the 3.2 cycle, so 3.3 seems like the right time for UA tooling.

I opened a User Assistance tooling feature request capturing the key areas where tooling is needed. Feel free to add your input if we missed something.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3

After 3 years, the "PDE Does Plug-ins" article is in need of a major rewrite; so I volunteered to write a PDE trilogy over the summer. More accurately, "co-write"; I will bribe Mike Pawlowski tomorrow into co-authoring.

Titles are yet to be determined, but here are the suggested topics:
  1. Extending Eclipse: A full plug-in development lifecycle, including coverage of fragments and internalization.
  2. Creating Extension Points
  3. Creating an Eclipse product

If the articles ever get made into a movie trilogy, I want to be played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Chris Aniszczyk will play himself, in a cameo, as the hyperactive blogger.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Poland 4 - Ecuador 0

Poland may have suffered a devastating 0-2 loss to Ecuador today, but this score is reversed and doubled when it comes to new Eclipse 3.3 features.

In the inaugural 3.3 integration build scheduled for next week, Team Poland (Chris Aniszczyk, Janek Lasocki-Biczysko and Mike Pawlowski) will contribute 4 new features, all under the Ease of Use theme:

1. Hyperlinking
2. Field assists

3. Code folding
4. Source formatting

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Moment of Zen

Last March, I presented a full-day hands-on tutorial at SDWest 2006 in Santa Clara, CA. The tutorial showed how to use the Plug-in Development Environment to create a rich client application.

The attendees, who were new to Eclipse for the most part, got to develop a simple, yet cool, application. Some of the things they learned included menus, commands/keybindings, system tray integration and, of course, stupid view tricks. We ended by using the Eclipse Product Export wizard to create a branded RCP product.

There was so much joy in the room the moment the attendees saw that their exported product had a custom native launcher with a custom image and name. It had just dawned on them that what they worked on all day is not a plug-in that sits on top of the Eclipse workbench. It was their own standalone custom product.

If you want to try this at home, PDE now provides a cheatsheet that guides you through the process of creating, defining, testing and exporting a fully-branded rich client application. Custom launcher images included.

You can access the cheatsheet via Help > Cheatsheets... from the top level menu of the Eclipse workbench.