First, let me get straight to the point. I have left BlackBerry/QNX and will be starting a new job in Ottawa next week. It’s a great opportunity to work on something new for a great company with a bunch of former colleagues I admire. As much as I’m looking forward to that much needed change, it sadly will take me away from the Eclipse community. This message is a goodbye and thank you.
Thinking back all the way to the beginning, I’m quickly overwhelmed by how many great people I have had the opportunity to work with thanks to the Eclipse CDT project. At the very beginning was Sky Matthews and John Prokopenko who let me weasel my way on as Rational’s technical lead on the project just as it was starting out in 2002 also at a time when I needed a change. Of course, I had a great team of developers at Rational with me that made it fun and easy. Not to mention the original team at QNX who were welcoming and made it easy to get involved. I have a special mention for Sebastien Marineau, CDT’s first project lead, who let me take a leadership role on the project and eventually hired me on at QNX to take over.
Then there was the early years on the CDT where we made our mark. Those early CDT Summits were so fun and really helped built up a team atmosphere. We had about a dozen companies sending contributors, a few of them competitors in the spirit of co-opetition, and we made it work. Then over the years we started getting independent contributors who just did it for the passion of building great C++ tooling they wanted to use themselves. It’s been a great mix and I am so lucky and proud to have been a part of it.
And of course, it was all topped off with our yearly EclipseCons. I am proud to have attended every one of the EclipseCon North America ones and was able to attend quite a few of the EclipseCon Europes in Germany. I have to thank Anne and Mike and Ralph and Wayne and Sharon and Perri and Donald and Ian and Lynn and all the Eclipse Foundation staff past and present for making me feel a part of the family. I always looked forward to the EclipseCon Express flights out of and return to Ottawa with many of them.
My fellow attendees at these conferences were amazing, from the first one at Disneyland where we had an overflow crowd at the CDT BOF and where I gave my first of many CDT talks, to all the friends I met at the bar or ran into at sessions, many of whom had nothing to do with CDT but made me feel so much a part of the bigger community. I will never forget the late nights in the bars chatting with friends like Michael Scharf and Ian Bull and Eric Cloninger and Gilles and Adrian and Jonah and Tom and so many others. As it turns out, last year in Ludwigsburg was a perfect finale where we had such a great time at the Nestor on Wednesday night. I will never forget you all.
I’m incredibly proud of what we built for the CDT. It still has the best indexer in the business, thanks to the parser we built back at Rational and the database I built at QNX and then with so many hands continually making it better and adjusting to the now ever changing C++ language spec. The Launch Bar achieved what I wanted by simplifying the Eclipse launch experience. CDT’s new Core Build fits naturally with the Launch Bar and makes it much simpler to integrate external build systems like CMake. And we have just started a GDB debug adapter using the debug adapter protocol which will pave the way to simplify integrating debuggers with the CDT.
The current set of active committers on the CDT have lately been pulling almost all the weight evolving it and getting releases out the door. Their great work has made my transition easier and will keep the CDT rolling along for years to come. And hopefully vendors will come back too and help provide funding for all this activity. We have an action plan to transition the project lead role. Follow the cdt-dev mailing list to find out more.
It’s sad to leave and the memories and friendships will be forever. I will keep my cdtdoug personal gmail account as a reminder of where I came from. But my new role will give me some much needed energy to keep things going for the next decade. I once questioned why you hardly see any retired engineers helping with open source projects or sharing their passion with the next generation. I promise you this, you will see me again.
Take care, and thank you.