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Re: [ecf-dev] new feature request

Hi Carl,

Carl Cook wrote:

Hi All,
Attempting to build a shared editor, whether or not synchronous modifications are supported, will really put ECF on the map in my opinion. I think this is quite a critical point in the project.
Scott: one quick question: is the goal of ECF to provide general collaboration support within eclipse, or is it tailored specifically towards software engineering?

We are hoping that ECF can develop into a framework that is useful for building plugins for the following app/tool contexts:

a) communications/collab support into Eclipse (the IDE)
b) communications/collab support into tools added onto IDE (e.g. commercial and non-commercial modelling tools, sw proj mgmt tools, e.g. BIRT, WTP, EMF, GEF, etc)
c) communications/collab support for any RCP apps that need/want it

I'm a little confused because of the focus on chat facilities and the shared graph editor? Has development focused on this because these are fairly easy applications to start with?

Yes. We are trying to strike the right balance between providing an extensible framework/APIs AND applications (and exemplary tools) that use these APIs and demonstrate (to users and developers) their utility. We *don't* expect/desire that we will be the only ones building applications and exemplary tools...in fact, I would be most happy (speaking for myself) if 'a thousand flowers were to bloom' WRT the applications and exemplary tools...whether commercial or not. If ECF APIs eventually 'disappear' into the platform and all existing apps/tools were replaced I think it would give us an opportunity to add further technical value (as there is much work remaining WRT authentication/authorization and integration with trust establishment systems (e.g. Higgins) and OSGI layer, distributed components, higher-level communications/collaboration application composition, etc.)

Before much development work is done towards shared editors, some of you might be interested in taking a look at SubEtha Edit (http://www.codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit <http://www.codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit>). This is one of the most popular multi-user editors, and it is designed primarily for source code editing. By taking a look at the screenshots, it might give the ECF developers a few ideas of what they want to support now, and what might be in the pipeline in later releases.

Thanks...I agree subethaedit is very interesting. I just wish it existed for something in addition to macs (as I don't have a mac right now). I know that a combination of ECF (with additional providers/protocol implementations) and the Eclipse editing/marker/EMF and GEF APIs can/could do some pretty useful and cool things though. Hopefully some of you folks out there with commercial intentions in this area will consider this an opportunity. It may even be possible to have an ECF provider that allowed interoperability between subethaedit and Eclipse...although I don't know how much of the subethaedit app-level messages are open/specified.

Incidentally, should my occasional ravings/comments be posted here, or to the newsgroup?

Ravings to the newgroup would probably be best :). I wouild like to try to use the ecf-dev mailing list more for discussions among the committers (which Carl, if interested you might consider joining us...)