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Speakers' Corner - Lars Vogel and Wim Jongman

Lars Vogel and Wim Jongman - Shake that FUD; How to migrate your Eclipse 3 legacy code to Eclipse 4

1. Your talk is about migrating to Eclipse 4. What are you doing today with Eclipse 4?
Lars: Currently we are very busy in educating companies about Eclipse 4. There are lots of companies starting new Eclipse 4 projects and also lots of existing Eclipse 3.x projects which are updating. So we are busy on both sides, helping customers with training and also with consulting and development support during the migration.

Wim: I am helping Eclipse 3 users to get a grasp on the new programming paradigm of Eclipse 4 by training them. In addition to this, we are converting our own commercial application to Eclipse 4 and I am a committer for the e4 tools project. The latter forces me to dive into the gory details to produce better tools for everyone and more knowledge for me ;-)

2. What FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) have you encountered for Eclipse 4.
Lars: It feels to me that especially the existing Eclipse 3.x exports show resistance to move to Eclipse 4 and use all possibles reasons to “proof” that Eclipse 4 is bad. For example someone may say that the default Eclipse 4 style is very ugly and if you point them to a different and beautiful style they refuse to install that one. But I think it is very natural for people and companies to stick to their experience and I expect that to get better.
The real problem Eclipse 4 had was the slow performance in the Eclipse IDE. Most of the performance issue has been addressed with Eclipse 4.2.2 and I hope that Eclipse 4.2 will get a better reputation.

Wim: It basically boils down to the fact that people fear that all their past work needs a major overhaul to be able to run in Eclipse 4. This is in fact not true. The developers of Eclipse 4 have made sure that “legacy” code is still supported. This offers a transition path to the new programming paradigm.

3. What do you like about Eclipse 4?
Lars: Eclipse 4 has great defaults but let you exchange everything, from the user interface components to the model structure to the supported annotations.

Wim: Do you have a minute …? Seriously: Interprocess Communication, Dependency Injection, Independent Rendering Engines, a Modeled Application ... Eclipse 4 comes with such a wealth of new and exciting technology that this question is very hard to answer briefly. I have written a blog-post about what I like about Eclipse 4: http://tinyurl.com/why-eclipse4

4. What advice do you have for those of us who haven’t thought about migrating to Eclipse 4 yet?
Lars: Eclipse 3.x will not continued so in 2013 there is only Eclipse 4.3. Have a look at the new programming model as this allows you to create much easier Eclipse 4 components.

Wim: It depends on the state of your application. If your application is reaching EOL then maybe it is fine to leave it as it is. Not everything needs to be converted. If you expect your application to be around for a longer period of time then you need to define a transition path. Don’t panic but don’t lean back either.
1. Get training
2. Define a subset of you application that is small with a clear boundary and convert that.
3. Do new development with the new Application Model.

5. What are you looking forward to for this year’s EclipseCon?
Lars: To meet my Eclipse committer friends.

Wim: I have attended EclipseCon Europe for a number of times but this is my first EclipseCon in the USA. I hope to talk to my long distance friends in longer than 140 character sentences and I am excited about the program.

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