Mountain View, Calif. – At the third annual “Eclipse Day at Googleplex,” held here yesterday at Google’s bayside campus, speakers talked about open-source tools for building applications for the Android open-source mobile platform. While the entire day’s agenda wasn’t focused purely on Android (there were talks given on other topics relevant to both Eclipse and Google), there was no doubt that Android was the biggest topic on the program.

About 150 people attended the program, which was described as the best-attended Eclipse Day at Googleplex by Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation, who served as master of ceremonies.

Why the focus on Android? Chris DiBona, open-source and public sector programs manager for Google, put it directly: “Eclipse is the single best way to program Android.”

Indeed, Google is offering Android Development Tools, a free plug-in for the Eclipse Java IDE. ADT is described as extending the capabilities of the Eclipse Java IDE to let developers quickly set up new Android projects, create an application UI, add components based on the Android Framework API, using the Android SDK tools to debug applications, and export application packages.

The program was kicked off by a talk from Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK Tech Lead at Google, who provided a technical demonstration of ADT (including the most recent version, 0.9.7, which now supports the use of library projects during development, a capability that lets developers store shared Android application code and resources in a separate development project).
If developers aren’t using Eclipse, they can get a similar functionality using Google’s Android SDK Tools r6 and the Apache Ant build system. Both SDK Tools r6 and ADT 0.9.7 were released in May.

Android isn’t the only mobile platform targeted by Eclipse tools. Within the Helios release train, the Eclipse Foundation shipped Sequoyah 1.0, a new tool that includes a device framework, an SDK discovery system, an automation test framework, a release engineering package, and a remote terminal system that uses VNC.

Other talks at Googleplex covered the Apache Maven project management system; the Instantiations Eclipse tools that were recently purchased by Google; the use of the Git version control system; interactive reporting with the Business Integration and Reporting Project; task management with Eclipse Mylyn; and using Eclipse to build application for Symbian-based mobile devices.