February 5, 2004

Walking the floor at EclipseCon

Author: Joe Barr

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- EclipseCon is not a Linux show. This is a Windows crowd, and it includes Microsoft employees here to check out the competition for dot Net. As I've walked the floor and eaten lunch with conference attendees, I've often felt like the odd man out. I have to keep reminding myself that this is an open source platform and an open source event. The difference between EclipseCon and other open source events I've attended is that the EclipseCon community -- especially the community of Eclipse platform developers -- is that this community is made up primarily of corporate or business entities instead of individuals. But even in this Windows-oriented crowd, it's hard to deny the influence of Tux.

Most of the developers I've met have been from IBM. They have come from Austin, Toronto, Rochester, Dallas, and elsewhere. At lunch they talk about what they are doing with Eclipse in their particular group, and if they aren't contributing to Eclipse they talk about how they are using it.

The embedded world is big on Eclipse. The firms attending the show include Wind River, QNX, Monta Vista, and others. Linux is growing in importance in that space, and it's having a significant impact on firms like Wind River.

At issue in the embedded space is the issue of whether a propriety platform will continue to dominate or if Linux and open source will effect a regime change.

The Eclipse community actually appears to actually be three different communities. There is a community of users who are taking advantage of the opportunity to use free software in their own work. There is also a community of plug-in and tool developers.

This is a mixed crowd of proprietary and free software entities. Sometimes the same entity does both, offering a proprietary plug-in or tool while sponsoring an open source project in another area. And finally, there is the community developing the Eclipse platform itself. This is the one that is made up almost entirely of IBM developers.

Now, the first batch of photos ...

EclipseCon attendees registered and picked up conference materials here.

Representatives of firms belonging to the Eclipse Foundation line the stage prior to State of the union keynote address.

The audience for the opening keynote

Eric Gamma chats with attendees near the Internet Cafe

More on page 2 ...

Naturally, Big Blue had a booth at the show.

Slick Edit is a popular choice among those not familiar with vi.

The SAP booth.

The Monta Vista booth

The HP booth


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