Yesterday, I attended the Holland Open conference in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I could only attend the first day of the three-day conference. Nonetheless, a very interesting day!
The highlight, for me, was the presentation of Eclipse WTP, the Web Tools Platform, by Naci Dai, lead dev of the J2EE Standard Tools subproject. Currently, Eclipse itself is already an extremely powerful and mature IDE for building generic Java applications. However, the commercial development platforms still have an edge when it comes to such typical “Enterprise” subjects as Web services and J2EE applications.
Well, with WTP, it looks as if that is going to change. The project scope is ambitious indeed: according to Mr. Dai, they basically intend to become the standard toolset for developing Web applications, not just the basis for commercial development platforms such as IBM Websphere and BEA WebLogic, but good enough that there won’t be a lot of missing functionality left to add on top of it. The words “world domination” were uttered. Twice.
Of course, those commercial IDE’s tend to be based on Eclipse today anyway, so they don’t seem to mind too much. In fact, the demo consisted largely of an enhanced version of IBM’s Web Service explorer and test tool, which we know from Websphere and which IBM has donated to the WTP project.
The core WTP tools are going into feature freeze right around now, and should see their 1.0 release together with Eclipse 3.1. Personally, I can hardly wait!
Other interesting presentations involved MMBase, the Dutch Content Management System, which had quite a presence at the conference. MMBase was originally developed for the VPRO (one of our public TV broadcasters), and today is an example not only of a succesful open-source application but of a succesful open-source business model as well, as there are quite a few companies making money with it.
The formal part of the day ended with a “debate” session on innovation and open-source software, which was quite interesting even though there wasn’t a lot of debating going on as the panel members mostly seemed to agree with each other.