Since Tuesday I've been attending a 3-day in-house
Eclipse training. For two years now
our company has been developing Eclipse plugins and just as we do some
Cocoon training, we now also have an Eclipse training offering.
This in-house session was initially set up for intern students, but a number of other people with webapp/Cocoon background jumped in, as we saw a growing separation between people having webapp skills and those with Eclipse skills which obviously wasn't good.
So we went through SWT, JFace, views, perspectives, actions, extension points,
GEF, etc. The hands-on was about progressively building a filesystem explorer, starting with a very simple standalone application, up to a new Eclipse perspective, allowing extensions with third-party actions on files.
Eclipse is a very well thought-out platform, and the
PDE provides an amazing amount of guidance and samples for your plugin infrastructure to be setup quickly, allowing you to concentrate on the real meat of your work. Being an old-time user of IoC frameworks makes this new API quickly familiar.
The RCP is of great interest also, and I discovered that it has a headless mode which allows to build non-client applications based on its
OSGi/plugin architecture and its automatic update system.
I'm wondering if the headless RCP could be used for Cocoon blocks, as it provides classloader isolation and hot reload and deployment.
This training allows me to get up to speed on Eclipse which is a growing part of our business. And it allows me also to better work on our Eclipse plugins for Cocoon. A major announcement will be done about these plugins in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!