This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process document) and is written to declare the intent and scope of a proposed project called the Embedded Rich Client Platform, or eRCP. In addition, this proposal is written to solicit additional participation and inputs from the Eclipse community. You are invited to comment on and/or join the project. Please send all feedback to the http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal/thread.php?group=eclipse.technology.ercp newsgroup.
The Embedded Rich Client Platform Subproject is a proposed open source project under the Eclipse Technology Project . This document describes the Background, Scope and Goals and Organization of the proposed project. The eRCP project is managed by Project Leads under the Technology PMC. For more information read the Technology Project Charter and the eRCP Project Charter. A proposed project plan is also available here.Background
The Eclipse Project has become one of the most successful open-source
projects in the world, establishing preeminence in the tooling/IDE arena.
In addition, there has been a recent launch of the Rich Client Platform
(RCP) that extends the domain of the Eclipse platform into non-IDE arenas.
Up until this point, the Eclipse Platform has been aimed at desktop computers; however, we believe that many of the same principles and design goals of the Platform are applicable to the embedded space. This project proposal outlines the organization, scope, and work items needed to investigate the suitability of RCP for embedded clients.
Since the term "embedded" means many things in the industry, we define the (minimum) characteristics of our targeted embedded devices as follows:
Note: this section is not meant to be normative or prescriptive. It is meant to provide a simple definition of "embedded" for this document.
Note: in order to gain embedded perspectives and maintain the Platform's
integrity, we envision that the eRCP subproject would be staffed with
a mixture of existing Eclipse committers (to leverage their expertise
in current Eclipse architecture) and new committers from the embedded
As currently envisioned, the eRCP project would focus on adapting the following Eclipse components for the embedded space:
Much like the desktop RCP, wherever possible, each of these components
should be useable independently of the other components. More specifically,
eSWT should have no dependencies on the other components of eRCP that
would preclude its (eSWT's) usage in non-eRCP use cases.
Each of these components and their associated goals are discussed below.
Create a "fit-for-purpose," embedded version of SWT with the following characteristics:
For more details, see the following documents:
Extension Point Framework
Utilize the Extension Point Framework as the basis of creating embedded client platforms. Possible work items include the following:
Utilize JFace as a means for providing model, view, controller paradigm widgets (i.e. DataGrid, DataTree). Possible work items are as follows
We believe concept of the "workbench" from the RCP effort is applicable to the embedded market; however, there are some significant differences too-the embedded workbench is likely to be device or industry specific. For example, it is unlikely that a PDA "workbench" would be the same as the workbench of a mobile phone.
The scope of this project will concentrate on the following areas:
One of the strengths of the RCP is that is can be updated "in the field." This subproject would look at using the "Update component" of the RCP and extend its use for embedded devices.
Given the differences between embedded devices and desktop computers,
we propose that this project be undertaken as a Technology Subproject
rather than part of the Eclipse Platform Project. Being a Technology subproject
gives the project room to experiment with the technology without disruption
to the mainline Eclipse developers and users. In addition, we feel that
it is vitally important to involve developers from the embedded market
so we create a truly "fit-for-purpose" embedded client platform.
With that said, it is also important to retain as much continuity as possible with the existing Eclipse Platform; therefore, we propose that existing committers from the Eclipse Platform also be part of this project.
Finally, since Technology Sub-projects are not meant to be ongoing, there are three possible evolutionary paths for the eRCP subproject:
These three paths are not mutually exclusive. Some combination of some or all of these paths may be the result of the work done in this sub-project.
Suggested Project Leads and Committers
This section captures the list of companies that have expressed interest in the project and/or its components, and as such will be updated periodically to reflect the growing interest in this project.
Rather than canvas the Eclipse community at large, the submitters of this proposal welcome interested parties to post to the eclipse.technology.ercp newsgroup and ask to be added to the list as interested parties or to suggest changes to this document.
|Jim Robbins, IBM
robbinsj at us.ibm.com
|Mark VandenBrink, IBM
vmark at us.ibm.com
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