Oz researchers win global IBM grants

Oz researchers win global IBM grants

Two Australian researchers are among 49 worldwide recipients sharing a $US1.2 million pot available through the IBM Eclipse Innovation Awards for 2003.

Eclipse is an open source Java project designed to create a platform for tool integration that offers developers a multi-language, multi-platform and multi-vendor supported environment.

IBM is splashing the cash in bundles of up to $US30,000 to actively promote the growth of Eclipse user communities.

Professor David Abramson, of Monash University in Victoria, has been awarded $US25,000 to adapt a prototype version of Guard, a debug and test tool previously developed at the university.

“This [relative debugging] can run two versions of a program side by side and compare them,” Abramson said.

“If one version works and the other is broken, I can fix one from the other. This is particularly relevant where code has been modified or ported from one machine to the other. There are all sorts of variables.”

A number of versions of Guard exist, including a Unix implementation using the GNU project debugger (GDB) as the underlying service and a prototype Microsoft Visual Studio deployment using the .Net framework.

Abramson has a team of students working on the Guard project and will draft in two new recruits to look after the Eclipse development. Keith Duddy is a senior research scientist with the not-for-profit Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC), a joint venture of more than 20 organisations supported by the Federal Government’s Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) program.

DSTC conducts research and develops software as well as providing training and professional consulting services. Its work is aimed at supporting government online services, health, defence, education, finance and telecommunications groups.

The head of the DSTC Pagamento project, Duddy, has been awarded $US27,000 to continue development of the Eclipse Modelling Framework (EMF) as the next generation of meta-modelling and object repository technology.

“To win a global award like this is very exciting,” Duddy said. “We are well underway with the work and expect to present our results at the Eclipse workshop to be held in the US during October.”

Abramson, who also conducts research for the DSTC, said he did not expect major changes in the new version of Guard but would unveil his team’s findings at the same gathering.

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