Thursday, 6 November 2008

Models are Everywhere

It's officially Indian summer with temperatures reaching almost 20C around here and that puts me in a really good mood to reflect on models; one of my favorite pastimes. Everywhere I look, I see models. For example, I watched some videos about Oslo, Microsoft's foray into the modeling space, and, out in the yard, I even have a model of the moon wrapped around the earth which I photographed "eclipsing" the sun.

Microsoft's modeling effort is particularly encouraging because they appear to be focused on exactly the same types of things we're doing at Eclipse. Specifically Xtext is very much like their grammar language and they have a simplified Ecore-like schema language as well. It is interesting that this language is based on structural subtyping rather than inheritance. That sure brings back memories of Acer; what's old is new. I think Eclipse has at least one big advantage: its large, well-established, diverse community of participants who are collectively driving the technology. Microsoft mostly has spectators watching their sparkly show.

When I look in the Eclipse employment postings, I see models there too, e.g., a posting for an "EMF Business Modeler" position. Looking in the e4 mailing list, I see lots of talk about models, e.g., a thread on declarative UIs. That reminds me, don't forget to register on the new e4-dev list if you want to continue to follow all the latest developments. I strikes me that there are an awful lot of modeling zealots in this crowd. I would never be like that. Then again, I've been accused of having a distorted view of reality. To them I say: who decides what's reality and what's a distorted view?

It goes without saying that at Eclipse Summit Europe there will be modeling everywhere; I'll take that opportunity to point out why modeling apparently sucks. After a week of excitement in Ludswigburg, I'm off to Paris for MD Day where I'll get yet another chance to explain why modeling apparently sucks. Guess what the "M" stands for? There's even a plethora of modeling content at the NYC Eclipse Banking Day. I love these trips because they give me a chance to interact face-to-face with all kinds of interesting people doing all kinds of interesting things; my home office is a bit isolated, thought the flowers are pretty, even in November.

One place where I don't see nearly enough models yet is in the EclipseCon 2009 submissions. I wonder what would be cool for a mainstage modeling presentation? Ideas anyone? In any case, the deadline is very rapidly approaching so you'd be best not to wait until the last minute. Whatever you do, do not let this opportunity dry up and blow away!

Naturally the modeling package is now very easy to find on the downloads page, thanks to Nathan's creative talent; 87,000+ modeling packages downloaded since the 3.4.1 release. I've even spotted a new Modeling category page, brought to us again by Nathan's creativity; we need to help get the content pimped up. And finally, way out on the horizon, there's even a MODELS'09 conference! A guy or gal could grow dizzy just looking around!

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