Last week my colleague Miro and I were at Devoxx in Antwerp, joined by our trusty XRobots. This was the second conference that we brought our new game to and it was great fun again. Attendees could program their own robots and let them fight each other in a sumo-wrestling contest. The goal was to push the other one out of the arena or throw him off his feet. Some people spent their whole evening coming together for a robot hackathon at the Eclipse booth.
The robots are programmed with an Xtext based DSL. It uses the Xbase expression language and links against a Java API. It is then interpreted on the game server. The server sends movement commands to the LEGO Mindstorm robots and returns the robot position and orientation back to the user. Amazingly, you don't even need an IDE for that. The editor with syntax highlighting, validation and auto completion is available online, in your browser. You can give it a try at xrobots.itemis.de.
If you want a real fight, the robots will be back to Belgium for EHACKB in early december. Miro will also give a talk on all the nitty-gritty implementation details. The next stop of our robot's world domination tour will be EclipseCon 2015 in San Francisco.
Web based editing is one of our main focuses for the future. We want to bring DSLs to end users without making them install heavyweight developer tools. There were already lots of interesting use cases that people told us about at the conference. We will be thrilled to enable them and making it all free and open source! Stay tuned for news on our website or contact us directly if you can't wait to get your web editing started.
I'd like to thank the organizers for their great work, everything went so smoothly. Also I want to give a shout-out to Jelena Alter for taking such good care of us. And most importantly thanks to you, the attendees who talked to us about Xtext and Xtend, for all the great feedback you provided. It was a pleasure and I hope to see you again next year!