Friday, March 23, 2007

It pays to talk to people at EclipseCon!

This is an update on my previous post: JDK Bugs: To fix or not to fix?

But first a completely gratuitous photo from my collection. Here's one bug you don't want to find in your code!

As I mentioned previously, Joe Darcy from Sun brought up some helpful advice during the talk Marcelo and I did about our experience with Java 5.0 and generics. He approached us afterwards to continue the discussion and since then we have exchanged notes about the String.offsetByCodePoints bug. He pointed out that the code I showed is not the most efficient way to iterate over code points and that his blog shows a better way. It certainly does and I just love to learn better ways!

Another cool development is that he helped to convince the folks at Sun in charge of maintaining the JDKs to fix the String.offsetByCodePoints bug in the 5.0 JDK. What a nice guy! My faith that the right things always get done in the end is restored! So the moral is, it pays to go to EclipseCon and most importantly it pays to talk to anyone and everyone while you are there. The nice helpful people are everywhere in our community.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring is in the air?

Is that spring I see glinting off the melting ice? I think it is!

Apparently the moss is always greener when it's been protected by three feet of snow all winter; I'm sure the dandelion seed will be lovely when it sprouts later in the season.

Clearly I digress, but consider that these two pictures are worth well over 2,000 words, so I've saved you a lot of reading!

Having read all the blogs, I think pretty much everyone agrees that this year's EclipseCon was the best one ever and that they've been getting better every year. Doug Gaff has a new higher bar to clear for next year thanks to Rich Gronback's bar setting performance this year. (My short side trip to Vancouver after EclipseCon to visit family was very nice, though it rained for three days straight. I forgot about that part of Vancouver.)

As most people already know, I love newsgroups, they really get you close to the pulse of what's going on in the community, so I'm obviously very happy that the new committer rep newsgroup has been created and is open for business:
Be the first to post a question or raise an issue! Demonstrate that committer apathy is a myth and that it reflects only the lack of a vehicle for expressing our views. We committer reps can't help you if you don't let us know what issues are near and dear to your heart. We have a new committer rep blog as well, just waiting for an introductory post from our official ambassador:

I also wanted to draw people's attention to 175200. Let's replace that hideous space alien that's required to appear on the web page for every incubating project with something tasteful in keeping with all the other wonderful Eclipse graphics. After installing a most awesome screen background ModelingBackground contributed by Gen Nishimura, I am spoiled and expect all Eclipse graphics to be awesome. Gen is helping, i.e., doing all the work, to create a new logo for the EMF project. This is our favorite so far!

Who says open source software has no value because it's free? We all know that the best things in life don't have a price tag!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Last Day of EclipseCon

Today was the last day for EclipseCon. It took a few ibuprofens to eliminate the effects of last night's awesome party. We found out during Mike's closing remarks at the end of the day that we'd spent roughly $2867.32 at the bar. Slightly short of our $3,000 spending limit. I hope this sets a precedent for future years that awards winners will have an open party for the community rather than an exclusive party for their buddies.

Marcelo and I missed the keynote, which apparently was the best one of the three from what I heard. We were preparing for our 10:00 talk about our experience porting to Java 5.0. Darn!

Marcelo has the pictures that Dave took at our talk but he, Dave, and Nick had to go home before I would fetch them from his camera. Our talk went okay, but I babbled far too much doing the intro slides, which cut into Marcelo's more interesting air time. I'll bet next time he'll not be so keen to let me talk! Afterwards Joseph Darcy from Sun introduced himself and gave us some very helpful advice. I was really impressed that he was so helpful. He might even help find out about fixing that bug in String.offsetByCodepoints in the Sun 5.0 JDK. Too cool!

I found out that it pays to blog, because the TOPCASED guys told me they read my blog about chatting with Boris about EMF data binding support. Apparently they have a prototype they are willing to contribute, so that's just too cool. They're a great bunch of guys and I'm really looking forward to working more with them.

I went to Ian's Europa marketing meeting to find out how we can help. It would be really cool to have quantitative measurements to back up the assertion that Europa will be the biggest coordinated simultaneous software release ever. We had to leave early to attend Martin's talk.

The audience was waiting in anticipation.

He did an excellent job presenting the material. It's very impressive what he has done and I heard a number of people expression that sentiment. He, Shaun, and Stefan are planning to pool their effort and Martin wants to add Stefan as a committer to Teneo so I will try to help make that happen.

I was on the closing PMC panel discussion which was a lot of fun. This EclipseCon was the best one yet. I suppose each year will always just get better and better. There was just so much interest in modeling this year. It's great to see more and more familiar faces as the community continues to multiply rapidly. I'm already looking forward to Eclipse Summit Europe...

Given that we have to head back to where it's -25 degrees Celsius we decided to sit out on the patio. Something we won't do back home for quite a few months.

Steve Northover, SWT god, came out and I got a big f*** you from him. This guy really has such an eloquent way to express his terms of endearment. He's a brilliant guy too. He's figured out how to make money directly from open source: pan handling at the conference...

I asked Stefan and Shaun to pose in front of the fountain, and he said, oh my goodness, this is the second time you are photographing us together. People might think we're an item. Hehehe!

Bernd invited us to the Eclipse Summit Europe dinner. The food was excellent.

Ralph stopped by to chat, and he paid for the drinks. Thanks Ralph! I'll bet you'll help organize an awesome event in Germany again this year.

Everyone really enjoyed the dinner.

After this, I said goodbye to most of the people and had a nice swim down in the pool. What a great time I've had. Tomorrow I present the same talk I did on Tuesday at IBM's Almaden research lab; it's open to the public, so it will be cool to see who shows up. After that I head up to Vancouver to visit my family before heading home to Vancouver on Tuesday.

I hope folks have enjoyed the blogs.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wednesday was yet another fun filled day. Robert Lefkowitz left us with the message that because it's free, open source software is clearly worthless, otherwise we'd charge money for it. Then I attended the Bernd and Arno's interesting talk about model transformation. After that I had a chat with the TOPCASED guys about their concerns that EMF generated code might be considered EPL, which would be bad news for IBM because there's an awful lot of EMF generated code there. I followed up with Janet on that issue at the reception in the evening, but that still left me with questions. In my opinion, the intellectual property is the model itself; the generated code is just a manifestation of that.

"The modeling meet the experts" session turned out to be more of a "the modeling experts talk with each other" session. It was nice to see Joel again! He and Paul are the JET guys. I couldn't edit my templates without Joel's editor

Boris dropped by to talk about how EMF might be integrated with the data binding framework. That would sure be a good thing. Perhaps something to do in my "spare time."

I attended John and Eric's talk about Jazz, and then Shaun and Stefan's talk about JPA persistence support for EMF. That was too cool! Later Ward, Bjorn, and Mike met with all the committer reps to talk about where we'd like to see things go. It's good I didn't blog about the board meeting, because that would have been a no-no, as I found out; I still need to learn the rules of engagement. The committer reps agreed that we will have to try harder to be good representative and especially to be more visible and more accessible. Voter apathy (10% voted) is rather sad, but it's not surprising when the representatives are kind of invisible. I'd really like to see Bjorn be able to attend board meetings, because the community depends a great deal on his and Ward's guidance.

After that we attended the Jazz BoF, which was really cool stuff! Here's picture of all the EMF committers after that event.

This was followed by the much anticipated party where the three community award winners, Chris, Kim, and I, pooled our party money to have a community party at the bar in the Hyatt.

Kim, one of the people that make the platform's build happen, enjoyed herself.

So did Kenn, Nick, and our latest EMF convert.

In fact, when the drinks are free, who wouldn't have a good time?

Wassim is looking dapper as ever, until someone spilled a drink on him.

Joe and company had a good time as well.

And of course Michael, the official trouble maker, did too.

And certainly I had a great time!

Perhaps too good a time. I mean two drinks at once. Please! (But they were free!!)

I think Pascal and Wassim were getting just a bit too friendly. Wassim doesn't even have heavy drinking as an excuse.

This was followed by a debate about the fact that bundle rock but plugins suck. I'm still not quite convinced that Pascal's proposal for bundle groups isn't just a different name for the same sucky thing, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

It was an awful lot of fun to spend our money on an open party for the community. Many of us stayed up a little too late, but it was well worth it. It was the pizzas that kept us going. Really it was.... And who said blogging and alcohol don't mix?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

EclipseCon Tuesday

I've just recovered from a near death experience after my computer refused to connect to the internet since last night. Hence the late blog. But thanks to some help from Dave and his magical incantation, i.e., "netsh int ip reset reset.log", I'm back online! I promised to nag less about progress on the EMF book as compensation.

I got a nice picture of Rich, the man who's helped make EclipseCon great this year, and is my partner in crime leading the Modeling project. Great job Rich!!

Here we are waiting eagerly for Scott Adams to speak. Scott was great!

I attended the Java 7.0 talk but was disappointed that they didn't show us anything concrete. Marcelo and my "Modeling Generics with Ecore" talk went okay, but we were a little rushed to finish. I hope folks got something useful out of it.

Lunch was very good; Wassim clearly enjoyed it. Note that he's shaved, so no touch ups were necessary. Is that a new shirt Wassim? It's very nice.

In the afternoon, I attended the talk that TOPCASED folks gave. They are doing lots of cool things! After that was our modeling comparison panel. Here's Cedric from Obeo.

And Anoine from Intalio.

They are starting a new EMFT component for a model-based compare framework, so they'll soon be the latest additions to the EMF/EMFT team. Community participation is great. Jean-Michael was interested in our use of the Eclipse compare framework.

The reception at the exhibition was fun and the food was excellent. Check out the chocolate fountain in the background!

Bernd and company were relaxing on the floor. I expect the oAW guys will be working on a workflow component in EMFT soon.

I also spotted Fred. He used to work for IBM but is working for QNX now, but I spoke to him anyway.

I also spotted Harm and John, who seem almost a little bit too friendly!

Ward did an excellent job hosting the Eclipse Blue Sky BoF, aka, the BS BoF. One of my main conclusions was the bundles rock but features suck.

This was followed by our Modeling BoF. Here's a picture of the PMC members who were present, i.e., Kenn, me, Rich, and Jean.

We had lots of lively discussion.

And of course the conclusion was that we just don't have enough documentation. Please help us write some. Contribute articles, you'll get nice Eclipse wear. In the next picture, the TOPCASED guys are in the right hand corner. I'm hopeful that they soon will become committers working on graphical editing support for Ecore and UML. Woo hoo!

And finally the day ended with a night cap at the bar.

It was a great day, that was marred only by my loss of internet connectivity before I could complete my blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

EclipseCon Monday

Today I shirked my responsibilities for helping with the EMF tutorial in favor of attending as an observer at the Eclipse board meeting. The term for the new elected committer representatives doesn't start until the next meeting, but this gives us a chance to meet face to face. It was very interesting to see how the board functions, but I won't go into detail since detailed minutes are eventually published for those who are interested.

Janet is the lady who makes sure the legal wheels at the foundation run smoothly.

Mike runs a very tight ship.

After the meeting, I tracked down Shaun and Stefan who showed me the cool things they are doing to support persistence of EMF instances with TopLink.

The tutorial was running smoothly in my absence, with ever helpful Dave being ever so helpful.

Christian was covering advanced topics.

This was followed by the community awards, which involved quite a bit of audience humiliation in the mock game shows. Chris and I eagerly await the results. We both won a trophy, a Nokia phone, and a nice Eclipse logo jacket. Woo hoo! Thanks community voters for your recognition!! Helping is its own reward but it's especially nice when it's not the only reward.

Later I ran into Martin Taal, the EMFT committer on the Teneo project, so it was time for a group photo before we tracked down the free food.

We found Kenn, Anthony, and Christian already chowing down when we got there. We were actually looking for the PDE BOF, but we couldn't pass up free food and free drinks!

When we found a table, I was surprised to find Dan Ford. He's arranging for me to speak at Almaden research on Friday, so I needed to find him at some point anyway. It's a small world.

All in all it was another fun day! Tomorrow Marcelo and I need to present our talk, so I hope that goes well.

Monday, March 5, 2007

As I prepared for what promises to be fun filled trip to EclipseCon, Amber and Ruby were certainly less than thrilled to see my bag ready to go so shortly after my earlier trip last week.

The trip to the airport was uneventful and Marcelo, Nick, and Dave all made it with plenty of time to spare; there was lots of it because the plane left an hour late.

We got the the Hyatt late on Saturday, just late enough for the restaurant to be closed. But they serve food in the lobby, so we didn't go hungry.

Today it was time to hang out in the lobby. Of course Marcelo is never far from his computer:

Kevin and Jeff were having a nice chat when some idiot with a camera interrupted. Sorry guys, but stardom has its price!

Unfortunately Philippe (of JDT fame) escaped my camera, but Marcelo and I had a very nice chat with him. In the registration room, Ian and Nick ensure that no freeloaders dig too deeply into the free snacks:

Later in the evening, after the planning council meeting, Ian Skerrett's, blog party was in full swing:

Wassim escaped my camera as well, but I'll get him next time. Maybe he'll have shaved by then and will make a much prettier picture. If not, I'll have to touch him up.

Ward and Bjorn were nearby all the activity as well. I'm not sure why Bjorn was giving me "that look"! I was so helpful at the council meeting and even refrained from flashing those folks.

Good times were had by all, including Nick, me, Dave, Marcelo, Ian, Chris, and Gunnar.

Tomorrow should be fun as well. I get to sit in on the Eclipse board meeting after my stunning committer rep election win. To think that out of five candidates I actually won one of the five positions. It was almost too close to call! Thanks to all those who took the time to vote!

I'll bet you're all just waiting on the edge of your seats for my next in depth report about life at EclipseCon. Stay tuned...