2011-06-15

Erich Gamma (Eclipse) joins Microsoft to work on JavaScript tools

If you have ever read the “Gang of Four” book on design patterns [1] or worked with the Eclipse Java IDE (and platform) then you are probably familiar with the name Erich Gamma who was deeply involved in both. Recent news was that Gamma had left IBM and stopped working on Eclipse [4]. Now Microsoft announces that he will join them [source: Heise via Ludwig Adam]. Quote:
[Erich Gamma] was one of the key technical leads of the Eclipse project and he has lead the Eclipse Java Development tools. [...]

Erich will continue to live and work out of Zurich, Switzerland where we will be opening a small Visual Studio development lab with Erich as the lead.

Now the big question is: what language will those tools be implemented in and what language will they be implemented for? Quoting from one of the job descriptions:
  • The Visual Studio Zurich Lab [...] will be focused on [...] next generation tools and experiences for developers focused on cloud and browser applications.
  • This is a great job for someone who is eager to apply the latest web development technologies to create a new generation of development tools.
  • Key Responsibilities: [...] Support to grow a user community around the new set of tools.
  • Job Requirements include: [...] Familiarity with JavaScript and web client programming preferred.
This all suggests that the tools will be both programmed in, and apply to, JavaScript. With Visual Studio, one would expect extensions to be written in C++ and based on COM. But apparently that won’t be the case. However, JScript running on the CLR would not contradict the quotes above.

Things really have changed at Microsoft, starting with them shifting their focus on the web from Silverlight to HTML5 [2], continuing with new Windows 8 apps being written in JavaScript [3] (though other ways may follow).

Related reading:

  1. Design Patterns” [amazon.com] by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides.
  2. Microsoft: Our strategy with Silverlight has shifted
  3. Windows 8: Microsoft restarts its operating system efforts (an analysis)
  4. Dr. Erich Gamma muss seinen Vortrag leider absagen « Architecture Day

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