Eclipse is a natural choice of a base platform for such development environments and tools. Eclipse has a proven track-record as an IDE for desktop applications in Java, C/C++ and various other programing languages. By using Eclipse's powerful and flexible plug-in and extension point mechanism for extensibility, one can leverage those existing capabilities for embedded software development.
Development environments and tools for development of native embedded systems applications have additional requirements, such as the need to straightforwardly manage multiple toolchains and device-specific libraries for cross compilation. In addition, mobile devices often require the simulation of a end-to-end system including a communication infrastructure (e.g. a SMS backend, or a peer-to-peer infrastructure).
Existing Eclipse projects such as CDT, DSDP and TPTP already address (or plan to address) some such characteristics. The proposed project named "Tools for mobile Linux" (TmL) seeks to address the gaps, like toolchain management.
The most significant contribution of TmL will be a mobile device emulation (a embedded Linux Sandbox) and simulation of end-to-end enterprise environments for testing of enterprise applications (Backend and communication simulation).
Device emulation is important because hardware prototypes are often not yet available when developers start creating the applications for a new mobile device. Simulation of end-to-end enterprise environments is important because such environments in reality may involve several devices and more expensive equipment such as servers. Device emulation and simulation of end-to-end enterprise environments were thus chosen to be the initial focus of the TmL project.
This long talk shall:
Christian Kurzke is the lead Architect in the Motorola Developer Services and Platform group. In his current role, he is responsible for the creation of the next generation 3rd party development tools for Motorola devices.
In the past, when working at SUN Microsystems's Consumer Embedded group, Christian was a contributing founding member of the OSGi Standard, and has been a long time Open Source proponent and contributer to several projects. Overall, he has been active in various Unix, Java and Internet Protocol standards projects for over 15 years.
Mauren Brenner has been working for the last three years on desktop applications for customization of graphical user interfaces and development of software for Motorola mobile phones. In the past, she worked with telephone exchange software, geographic information systems, artificial intelligence and digital image processing.