Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

DAT: ACM Distinguished Engineer

This is rather cool. As noted by Nat Torkington, Dave Thomas has just been recognized by the ACM as a Distinguished Engineer.

Dave was the founder of OTI, which after it was acquired by IBM eventually became the core development team for Eclipse. Other than my family, he’s probably had more influence on my life than anyone: professor, matchmaker with my wife (long story) and kick-ass boss (both figuratively and literally) for ten very formative years. It’s great to see him recognized in this way.

And for those who remember the really early days of OO programming, there is certainly some irony in having Dave Thomas’ and Dave Ungar’s names beside each other in the list. Watching those guys spar at the early OOPSLAs was really good sport.

Also, as Nat pointed out, Robert Lefkowitz (aka r0ml) was awarded the same honor. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because r0ml is one of our keynote speakers at our upcoming EclipseCon. I saw him speak in three different sessions at OSCON 2006, and I am really looking forward to his talk. He is one of the best speakers I have ever seen.

And along the lines of continuing Denis’ education, I would like to point out that I immediately noticed a number of names on the list as Old Dudes Who Know Smalltalk. It’s nice to see that the ACM recognize those who “get it”.

  1. Dave Thomas
  2. Robert Lefkowitz
  3. Laura Hill
  4. Larry Constantine
  5. Dave Ungar (ok, he invented Self, but he definitely knew Smalltalk)

I would be willing to bet that there are a couple of other Smalltalk dudes on the list whose name I just didn’t recognize. Feel free to comment on who I missed.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 14, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Foundation

3 Responses

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  1. Good to see Dave recognized!DAT fan-boys should take note that he frequently contributes columns to the Journal of Object Technology, at

    Patrick Mueller

    January 15, 2007 at 8:34 am

  2. Good for Dave Thomas! He is definitely a giant in the OO community and it’s great the ACM has recognized his contributions.Oh, and Dave Ungar definitely knew/knows Smalltalk. Before moving onto Self he contributed Generation Scavenging garbage collection in Smalltalk to the world. His later work on Self help pave the way for the incremental code optimization we see in the Java HotSpot VM. Impressive contributions to the field.

    Shaun Smith

    January 15, 2007 at 12:36 pm

  3. I have been to several Dave’s speeches on OCRI meetings. He is very approachable and respectable, extremely nice to young people. I am glad that he got recognized!


    January 16, 2007 at 4:51 pm

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