Donnerstag, 20. November 2008

Eclipse Summit Europe 2008

Right now Eclipse Summit Europe just happens in Ludwigsburg and many many people from all different kinds of projects are here to explain what they are doing, how their tools can be used or simply to chat with other experts about their experiences.

As part of this conference there has been an STP face to face meeting. Since we are closely collaborating with these guys in several other projects, the JWT guys had been there too. And actually it was the first opportunity for the project leads of JWT to meet each other in person. After we now discussed all kind of matters via mailing list or on the telephone for the last two years, it was a pleasure to meet the other one in person for the first time. This was the picture that Anne Jacko (Eclipse EMO) has taken from us when we met for the first time.


During this meeting we also learned to know other people that are part of STP or met people again that we already knew since EclipseCon 2008 or Eclipse Summit Europe 2007.
It was quite interesting for us that also top-level projects that already exist a lot longer than we do, still cope with problems such as "How to organize the website", "How to make builds", etc.
Specific topics of this meeting were about existing components (SCA modeler, the Policy editor, etc.), but also about the collaboration between STP and JWT. There are a lot of touchpoints between the two projects and we hope that in the future we can work much more closely together than we already did in the last month.

But not only this discussion was quite interesting. Much more the different talks were fabulous. Thanks to Oisin (STP PMC Lead) we got a few minutes in the SOA Tools - New and Noteworthy talk which Marc used to explain the basics about JWT. Unfortunately, the keynote in the morning took much longer, so Oisin was supposed to start later which had a direct effect on the time that Marc had open to introduce JWT. During his talk many people left the audience to go to other talks that had just started, but also others came in who were not interested in STP or workflow details at all probably. Nevertheless it gave us a good opportunity to tell people what we are currently working on.

Another thing that was quite interesting was the Google Summer of Code which Eclipse joins every year now. Each student can apply with a specific topic to that program and from the 30 proposal 20-something have been accepted last year. Each student does get a fund of $4,500 from Google for his/her work, and the mentor needs probably something between 1 and 5 hours a week to work with the student together. Thereby it doesn't matter if the student already worked before on the project or is somehow related to the mentor. Therefore, this would be a good opportunity for our students at the University of Augsburg to get some funding for their work. We will consider that and ask our current students to apply in March.

We also learned to know some other projects such as Eclipse Babel or Buckminster that could be very helpful for us. Actually, the usage of Babel will also be mandatory for all Eclipse projects that would like to join the next Eclipse release (3.5, codename Galileo), so we will definitely have a closer look and integrate it with JWT. Buckminster on the other side allows projects to build an RCP-product or Eclipse application using code from different repositories. Thereby it doesn't matter whether these repositories are SVN, CVS, Maven or something else. So especially for the build of AgilPro or other projects that rely on JWT this will be very interesting to use.

There had also been many improvements on the Eclipse plattform or Plugin Development Environment (PDE) which will make work in the future much more easier. These improvements had either already been included in Ganymede (Eclipse 3.4) or are part of the milestones of Galileo.

What was also quite interesting to hear was that after Galileo, there will be two releases in 2010. One for Eclipse 3.6 (codename not known right now) and another one for Eclipse 4.0 (currently work starts in the e4 project). The workbench of Eclipse will be mostly re-written. Therefore, I heard a talk from somebody who said that it should be based on EMF. This is surely a good idea, but the strange thing was that the person who submitted the first version of this EMF-model did not use EMF for more than one year. So at the first moment, I thought, this is probably not good to build a new workbench on the proposal of somebody who didn't completely knew the technology. But afterwards he said that he works closely together with Ed Merks and other EMF committers and project leads, so I guess the EMF model has been reworked quite well.

As you can see on the following picture, the conference was quite crowded. But nevertheless, it's fun, too :-)

After lunch we attended the talk by Janet Campbell about IP for Eclipse Committers. Since we struggled several times with how this process works for our last release, it was great to hear the process explained in more detail and to get all our questions answered. So, hopefully, the work for the next release will be a lot easier.

Alas, after this talk and after lunch we needed to leave the conference already, since we had some other appointments the same day back at the office. So we missed interesting talks such as Modeling Amalgam as a DSL Toolkit or Eclipse Swordfish (and many others of course). Maybe somebody else listened to them and will write a short summary about them, too. If interested, you can find some more pictures from the conference here.

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