>Wayne’s post about the Eclipse IDE for Education reminded me that I needed to fill out my google summer of code midterm evaluation. Here are some thoughts in general as they relate to eclipse and google summer of code.
1. Overall we need better documentation on how to get students going. The Eclipse IDE for Education is a step in the right direction. However, there are still lots of barriers that need to be jumped through to get a person going.
2. Eclipse Projects as a whole need to do a better job of making sure their APIs are clearly documented. I’ve blogged about this before, and it is driven home even more when trying to help get somebody familiar with the way a framework works. Many of the issues can be solved by making sure all methods both internal and public API have some java docs to go along with it. Many cases students or adopters still need to go to internal API to fix issues. It’s much easier to fix if this has some documentation to go along with it.
3. Refactoring. Certain frameworks need refactoring. Overly long complicated methods with loads of if then else statements are just too confusing to understand.
4. Eclipse should seriously look at using EPF Composer to document it’s processes and requirements. Bjorn’s IP in a cartoons is a good start, but there is so much more information spread all over the place. EPF Composer is designed to handle and consolidate this information into one place. It would be nice if the Eclipse Foundation leveraged more of it’s own projects for it’s implementations instead of creating things from scratch itself.
Overall though, the summer of code experience has been good. If things still proceed on schedule, and Buddhika is willing, we may try to migrate his XQuery plugin project as an official incubating project under Web Tools. It would help round out the XML Tooling portions that eclipse has.