Eclipse: New life for a mature language
The Eclipse Platform is an ideal starting point to create an IDE for scripting languages, because of it's frameworks that allow developers to quickly set up a new development environment. But the implementation of a full featured custom IDE integration is still troublesome and a lot of work. The presentation will demonstrate by using a real world example what problems can arise and how to tackle them.
The Barracuda project  was created to modernize the runtime and development platform for a legacy scripting language called JPL originating back to the late 80's. Panther is a business-oriented 4 th generation scripting language with rich database access and GUI support. When planning to modernize a legacy language, the IDE plays an important role because it is the most visible component for the developers and has a huge impact on the productivity.
Many huge ERP-style applications (with more than 4 mio. lines of code) that have been implemented with Panther  are now running on top of the Barracuda platform.
Beside the runtime Barracuda contains a full fledged IDE that supports:
- a syntax high-lighting and -checking editor
- an integrated debugger with a various specialized views (like a database statement history view) and breakpoints.
- a WYSIWYG screen designer build on top of GEF supporting custom look-and-feels
- fast execution environment with an integrated JIT-compiler allowing rapid development cycle
- easy to use build-in tools like converts, profiling, code coverage etc.
Listening to the presentation gives you an idea about the pitfalls and benefits that are offered by the Eclipse platform when implementing a custom IDE for your language.
Andreas Voigt is a software developer and architect at MicroDoc Computersystems GmbH. He holds a german Diplom degree in Computer Science from the TU Munich and a Masters degree in System Engineering.