Every programmer knows that the Eclipse Rich Client Platform has been designed to build the popular Java IDE that can be enhanced for many more programming languages and is often used internally in business software to manage customers and products. So it boils down to just integrated development environments and enterprise resource planning. Scientists all over the world discovered: that may not be so true after all!
Scientists use RCP based applications more often than one might think. Most of the time without knowing it, as not everyone is a passionate programmer or recognizes the framework which visually blends in pretty well on all major operating systems. Here is an incomplete list:
- BioClipse helps cheminformatics to manage and analyse new compounds found in nature always on the search for substances to improve our everyday life. In bioinformatics it is used to work with genetic data like comparing and study sequences with applications everywhere from finding criminals to making plants grow stronger. In pharmacology it is a vital tool for drug discovery to help medicate old and new illnesses.
- OpenChrom is a software created by heavy duty users of mass spectrometry who were frustrated by the limitations of the expensive proprietary vendor supplied software so they started to write their own. Labs that measure chemicals from herbicide levels in food to medication in blood samples can adapt the Open Source software to their needs. A better workflow in the lab helps protecting consumers more efficiently and gets doctors the test results for their patients faster.
- Eclipse STEM can be used to help epidemiologist create models of emerging infectious diseases. These can aid in understanding outbreaks and help prevent pests from spreading. A problem that becomes more urgent in today’s globalized world and needs to be resolved quickly to prevent deaths and widespread panic.
- TextGrid is a project funded by the German government to help humanistic scholars during the whole process of research, especially in the entire work flow of producing digital editions so they can share their knowledge with the rest of the world without worrying too much about the technical difficulties of typography.
- uDig lets geologists map the world and combine data with it to make global and regional connections or problems easier to comprehend. Geographic information systems are used to navigate people’s cars, but also keep sailors safe on their route through the rough sea.
Matthias Mailänder is a junior microbiologist at the LADR food labs. During his university studies he worked sideline as a technical editor at vogella GmbH. Since then he has not lost his passion for Open Source. Especially since the software that manages the laboratory at his new workplace is of course… an Eclipse RCP application.