Microsoft remains one of the few major holdouts to membership in the Eclipse Foundation for open source tooling. On Thursday at the EclipseCon 2009 conference, the company will participate in a joint presentation with Eclipse founder IBM about trends for IDEs, the latest move by Microsoft in working with the foundation. So does this signal that Microsoft finally will climb aboard as a member of Eclipse?
Don't bet on it.
"[Membership] is not on our immediate horizon," said Tim Wagner, development manager for Visual Studio at Microsoft, in an interview at the conference in Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday morning. He will be Microsoft's presenter at the event on Thursday.
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"[Rather than joining Eclipse], we've been focused on partnering with companies like Soyatec, who are working in the Eclipse community," Wagner said. Soyatec has developed a mechanism for buildng Microsoft Silverlight rich media applications via the Eclipse IDE.
Wagner's appearance before the EclipseCon crowd will not even be the first presentation by the company at the event. Last year, Sam Ramji, Microsoft director of platform strategy, detailed for the audience efforts Microsoft has made in open source.
Still, Microsoft will not be joining the list of Eclipse members, Wagner said. Microsoft, he said, has issues around intellectual property, including "making sure that, for example, we don't be cannibalize our own tooling experiences in Visual Studio. Obviously, we have a deep investment in that."
Nonetheless, Wagner will take the stage with Kevin McGuire, IBM senior software developer for user interfaces and Eclipse, to talk about IDEs and trends that could affect them, such as cloud computing, systems with multiple CPUs, and monitor space.
"First of all, we’re going to look back at the history of Eclipse and the types of technologies that have changed, the shifts in the landscape, and looking at where we've met up with them and where we haven't," McGuire said on Wednesday.
"We're using the metaphor of evolution to get people to think forward about the kinds of things that Eclipse could be doing but isn't today, sort of break out of the box of current thinking," said McGuire.
"We give some specific ideas of where we think Eclipse could go, one of which is to the cloud, of course," he said.
"Our goal is to provide a mental shift for people a new future for Eclipse," McGuire said.