Chris Laffra, IBM Ottawa Labs, Canada

Visualization and Performance Monitoring of Eclipse

Eclipse is a component-oriented platform that can be used to produce complex integrated development environments, such as IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD). Due to the use of a plug-in manifest described in XML, and the corresponding Java code being contained in a separate JAR, applications can be scaled to hundreds, even thousands of plug-ins. Profiling such a complex Java program using off-the-shelf profilers quickly becomes a daunting task, simply because of the immensely overwhelming amount of data passing by.

In this session, two visualization techniques will be shown that present the execution of Eclipse in a more appropriate fashion. One is based on bytecode instrumentation, and presents a comprehensive picture of the execution. The second approach is based on JVMPI, and discards much more data, while focusing on summarizing the relevant data into more usable information. Demos will be given of both tools with WSAD as a (un)willing subject. A Web service will be built using WSAD and we will demonstrate what happens under the covers. Both visualization approaches have their pros and cons, and experiences from these experiments will extend to other domains, such as distributed programming, or Web services.

The Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP): Using Eclipse for Developing Stand-alone Applications

Prior to the introduction of the rich client platform (RCP), most of the Eclipse community was focused on developing plug-ins for a particular Eclipse application called the Workbench. However, Eclipse has always supported the ability to create your own stand-alone application based on the Eclipse plug-in architecture. Eclipse applications can range from simple "headless" programs with no user interface, to full-blown integrated development environments. In Eclipse 3.0, the platform began a shift toward affording greater power and flexibility to these applications built on the Eclipse infrastructure. This presentation will guide you through the process of building your very own Eclipse application, and explore some of the new APIs in Eclipse 3.0 that are available only to applications.

Picture of Chris Laffra

Chris Laffra obtained his PhD at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in 1992. At both IBM Research and Morgan-Stanley he worked on tools for user interfaces, component infrastructures, program analysis, debugging, visualization, compression, and optimization. He led the OTI Amsterdam lab for 3.5 years, working on WebSphere Studio Device Developer, and now works at IBM Canada’s lab in Ottawa on the border between Java runtimes and Eclipse. He calls himself an expert on Eclipse performance. Chris is co-author, with John Arthorne, of The Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs, published by Addison-Wesley. The Eclipse FAQ is maintained by both authors at


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