Nov 6, 2007

What does GPhone and Eclipse eRCP have in common

I was reading the overview of the Google's recently announced Android (a.k.a Google Phone). The information is very scarce at the moment to comment about any technical details but I am under the impression that Android shares some of the properties and goals of the eRCP project.

First the most obvious, it is "open", for real. It is licensed under Apache license. A license that is equally friendly to manufacturers and operators just like Eclipse's EPL. One of the reasons why eRCP is one of the rare cases of an open source technology being adopted by the mobile industry.

It aims to "allow developers to build rich mobile applications". This is what eRCP is bringing to mobile world especially with eSWT and that is why eSWT is one of the most improved part of the eRCP on every release.

Another subheading in the overview is "All applications are created equal". I guess this sounds very familiar to Eclipse plug-in developers. Isn't "all plug-ins are equal" the second most repeated sentence by Jeff McAffer, after "plug-ins equals bundles" for the last few years.

"Fast & easy application development". eRCP tries to achieve this by providing a desktop version of the eRCP runtime and utilizing the Eclipse PDE and JDT. At the same time the single implementation with collaboration ensures that eRCP works same across platforms. It will be interesting to see the tooling story on Android.

Without any infromation other than the overview of Android and the fact that it includes a java solution, I will not be surprised if Android includes an OSGi based middleware(or something very close to OSGi) like eRCP to achieve above.