The Sound of the Universe @ EclipseCon Europe 2016

At EclipseCon this year I heard the sound of the universe. And it was awesome and breathtaking. To be precise, it was the sound of two black holes colliding over a billion years ago,  part of the enthralling final keynote from Dr Benno Wilke on detecting gravitational waves. It was a fitting way to end a conference that had kicked off with another amazing keynote:  Stephen Carver delivering a powerful and emotional story of the people and tech behind the space shuttle disasters, framed in profound lessons on real communication and avoiding silo thinking.

For the very first time at EclipseCon Europe we held a CDT summit. Over 10 years ago I had the honour of being the first developer from Europe involved in CDT, so to bring the summit to Europe was a particularly special moment for me, especially with our renowned project co-lead Doug Schaefer in attendance. The summit was a success, particularly welcoming contributors from the wider community into the fold, and will definitely something we will be doing again next year.

As this year’s focus there was also a big community focus on diversity and raising awareness on this topic. The activity included my talk on ‘7 Habits of Highly Diverse Communities‘, addressing the board on the topic and a diversity BOF session. The discussions were great, lots of good energy, practical suggestions and I am so proud to see the community work together to ensure we can be as open and inclusive as possible.

The Science Working Group had good reason to celebrate at the conference: we have just completed our very first simultaneous release of five projects. A significant milestone for this nascent group, and was terrific to talk about the projects to the rest of the community.

There was an incredible amount on at the conference this year, the best way to get a quick taste was hearing what people enjoyed: language servers, Xtext, Sirius, scripting, IoT & testing were topics that kept coming up. On a personal level, it was my most intense EclipseCon yet with three talks, a BOF and a summit to organize. On the whole it was the busiest conference yet with a record attendance of 619. The most important thing is always the people: lots of new and old friends to talk to and exchange energy. At EclipseCon this year I heard the sound of the Eclipse universe. And it was awesome and breathtaking.

(A version of this article was first published on

Suspicious Semicolon: CDT at EclipseCon France 2016


The CDT project was well represented in Toulouse this year.

CDT Latest & Greatest

Jonah Graham gave a CDT overview with CDT: Latest & Greatest Tooling for C/C++. Mostly hands-on, Jonah used the C-implementation of the Python interpreter to demonstrate how to set-up, build and debug a substantial sized project with CDT.


This included showing some of the new features in Neon like suppressing Codan warnings and the enhanced memory view. Jonah also talked about the upcoming features including the new GDB console and improved multicore breakpoint support. Continue reading “Suspicious Semicolon: CDT at EclipseCon France 2016”

Join us at EclipseCon France 2016


Kichwa Coders are looking forward to EclipseCon France this June in lovely Toulouse.

We’ve teamed up with Christian Pontesegger to deliver the first ever EASE Python Scripting workshop. We’re looking forward to helping folks use scripting to really make the most out of their IDE. There are  also lots of other great workshops at the conference: Tracy Miranda, as part of the program committee,  has written a summary of them here.

Jonah Graham will be speaking at the conference on “CDT: Latest & Greatest Tooling for C/C++“. Join us to keep up to date about all things CDT.

And finally, we’ll be sticking around for the Unconference (on the 10th) with the Science Working Group. We’re currently making plans for a code sprint (or two). Everybody’s welcome to join!

Eclipse: Open Technology for Everything and Nothing in Particular

Eclipse is so much, much more than an IDE these days. For starters, there are many exciting technologies being developed by the Internet of Things, Science and LocationTech groups. We really need to showcase these to the wider world. This was the excuse to have an event in London bringing together these different technologies and communities for a night of tech and merriment.

The event Eclipse Converge: blending LocationTech, IoT & Science was very generously hosted by Geovation, the Innovation Hub from the Ordnance Survey. We were very grateful for all the team there for help with organising and ensuring this event went off without a hitch. They have a terrific space and laid out quite a spread of food and drink, which set the scene well for our six speakers. Here is the story of the evening, partly-told by the lovely tweets from the community. Continue reading “Eclipse: Open Technology for Everything and Nothing in Particular”

Modularity in Java? Don’t Wait For Java 9/Jigsaw

Before 2016 all I really knew about Java 9 was that it would have project Jigsaw for modularity and that it would be late. A London Java Community meetup gave me an excellent excuse to pay more attention to Java 9 and think more on the whole concept of modularity in general.

The evening featured two excellent and complementary talks, Alex Blewitt on ‘Modularity in Java With OSGi‘ and Simon Ritter on ‘Modularization With Project Jigsaw in JDK 9‘. With those, some follow on insightful pub-talk & more discoveries on the web, below are the key things I take away from it all.

  1. Java 9 will be modular, hooray! And there will be a new linker tool jlink  to allow you build a streamlined custom image of the JDK. Using this to run Eclipse on a custom Java 9 image resulted in a 40% size reduction.  And that still included Swing & AWT, so the full benefits may be yet to come as application developers can start to take advantage of this new underlying modularity.
  2. OSGi & Jigsaw are both frameworks that facilitate modularity in Java, so have plenty in common, but some major differences. The most significant are basically features that OSGi has that Jigsaw lacks, namely versioning, dynamic modules and a service registry. By all appearances, Jigsaw is going for appearance of simplicity at the cost of functionality and complexity down the line. With no compelling reasons to switch, I will happily stick with OSGi and bet on the fact there are enough folks out there who will figure out how to get them working together.
  3. Jigsaw doesn’t make code more modular, developers make code more modular.  As Alex points out in his slides, modularity is hard. Frameworks like Jigsaw and OSGi make it easier, but there is still alot to be done on our own codebases. I know from experience, even OSGi users may sometimes have delusions of modularity – lots & lots of bundles which still, in practice, amount to a monolithic application. A notable amount of work we do is just that: understanding the essence of what each bundle should be then distilling it down by reworking it and removing bad dependencies so code can be reused in multiple forms with minimal dependencies.

So don’t wait for promises of Jigsaw to make your code more modular. Start now. Use OSGi. And don’t see it as a one-off thing. Actively developed code doesn’t stay modular for long. Review often. Modularity in Java is not a framework, it’s a habit to cultivate.