Archive for March 2007
The last day of EclipseCon was SOA Tools talk day. I spent the early part of the day working on the presentaiton (which you can find if you follow the previous link). The talk itself went well – there was an audience of about 40 or so, and there wasn’t much attrition towards the end. In the talk we covered some of the technology that had been put into the SOA Tools project, and gave an update of progress and a draft roadmap.
Day 3, Wednesday, and at this stage in the conference I feel as if I have been dragged through a hedge. I’m not the only one, as lots of the people I’ve talked to have been here since Sunday and the adrenaline is starting to fade. This has nothing to do with a number of BoF sessions that provided free beer late into the night, nor has it to do with mojito-fuelled technical and project discussions. More on that in a later entry.
Today was the big day for the guys in the SOA Tools BPMN sub-project. I introduced their long talk
From Modelling to Execution in the Enterprise – using BPMN and BPEL to a crowd of around 60 people, which was an excellent attendance. Antoine and Hugues did a a great job of bringing the audience through BPMN and how it can be mapped to and from BPEL.
These entries are being posted ex post facto to the conference – I just haven’t yet got the hang of real-time blogging!
I managed to get one demo, one long talk and a panel in today. Lunch and part of the afternoon
got subsumed by meetings and general corridor work. I was also developing some ideas to bring to the ServerSide Java Symposium in Barcelona in June. Here’s the roundup:
This session was out the door, standing room only, and at some point the event hall monitors started beating people with sticks to prevent them from attempting to enter the room. The guys showed us how to configure adapter hooks for the OSGi framework (using Equinox, of course) , extending the default behaviour, for example to do some class checking on class-load, or to filter the contents of contributed bundles to remove disrespectful extensions.
The presenters talked about and demonstrated two great applications of this technology. The first was the capability to load classes from a memory mapped archive or indeed shared memory, rather than from a JAR files. The second used AspectJ to weave incoming class files and instrument them for monitoring.
This long talk gave a full introduction to the facets facility in WTP. Facets can be associated with Eclipse projects, as metadata to describe capabilities, or requirements. For example, a project can be given the jst.web facet, to indicate that it is a web application. In this way, facets are similar to Eclipse natures, but the advantages that facets provide is that they are versioned and may have information about other facets that they require to function, and facets with which they conflict. All in all it’s a cool approach and I certainly think we should consider using it in SOA Tools – we currently use natures to mark JAX-WS and SCA projects, but the versioning feature of facets would be very useful here as these approaches are standards and will move on over time.
This session was a panel, hosted by Bill Roth of BEA. The panellists were asked a number of questions about how they have adopted WTP as part of their product suite. The most interesting thing I got from this session was an insight into SAP’s open source strategy, which is more about take than give: the SAP representative on the panel showed some serious frustration at not being permitted by his employer to actually commit code back into the Eclipse commons. This cleared up something for me: I know that there are some guys in SAP Labs in Bulgaria (video link) working with SOA Tools, so on a recent IM session with an insider, I dropped some dark hints about contributions. The response was along the lines of “our Open Source strategy is difficult to explain”. I guess that in the fullness of time, SAP will get its head straight on OSS and be more forthcoming. We live in hope.
Last year I regretted not attending more of the tutorials, so this year I kept the schedule clear to let me attend as many as I could. Here’s the experiences from the day.
This was a double-length (4hrs) tutorial that would take up the whole morning. My major motivation here was to get an idea of where I would start writing a BPEL remote debugger. I have some debugger coding experience: many moons ago I had spent a summer rummaging around in the belly of dbx , changing the remote debugging elements to allow it to debug bootstrap code on a uVax at the end of a serial line. Charged with this dim experience, plus a very long bittersweet affair with using debuggers to find bugs, I was really looking forward to this session, and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed with the content and presentation. The link to the tutorial page above contains a link to a zip file with all the tutorial materials. Go and download it – if you use Eclipse for debugging your code, you should at least read it and see how the magic works.
After a break to miss lunch, I had two short tutorials lined up for the afternoon.
Part of the work SOA Tools needs to get sorted in the short term is an editing facility for SCA .scdl files. These files describe the structure of an assembly, and use an XML vocabulary. The current state of the art is a WTP XML editor, backed by a the SCA 0.95 schema and registered for .scdl resources. I’d like to be able to do better for SCA 1.0 when it is released, so I attended this session to gen up on the whole procedure.
The session itself was fine, the exercises were useful, but I got there a bit late after saying a few words at the membership meeting, plus I was missing something in my installation that cause things to go a bit tango uniform about three-quarters the way through. I adjourned for coffee and email at that point, but I certainly plan to revisit the tutorial materials that are posted at the link above.
I work with some guys who do GMF programming and, frankly, I can’t understand a single word they say at the standups. I attended this tutorial to try to remediate that situation, and to hopefully gain some kind of understanding on where to start on creating some domain-specific pictures for the SOA Tools Core Frameworks. One thing that was very useful was a run-down on what the GMF runtime provides – action bars, collapsible compartments, connection handles, geometric shapes, ruler and grid support, appearance properties and lots of other good stuff (especially: printing support!). The other thing was the discovery of inimitable GMF Dashboard:
They tutorial went on to show how to customize and extend your domain-specific model and to how to keep your crazy diagramming from eating EObjects. Unfortunately, I needed to peel off for a meeting before the tutorial had finished, but this is another one that I will be going through again offline.
Sunday is Day Zero of EclipseCon – traditionally a day for some introductory meetings and beers with people that you might not have seen, well, since the last
Eclipse conference meeting.
|Would you buy a Maven support license from this man?|
EclipseCon is also a time to meet new people that you’ve only ever written emails to, or seen on dev lists and newsgroups.
|Adrian Mos, from the ObjectWeb Team at INRIA, enjoying beer the quality of which cannot be easily obtained in Grenoble. Adrian is a JBI stalwart, and has been working with guys that created Cimero and ServiceMix to advance the state of the art in JBI tooling for Eclipse, and bring it to a home in the SOA Tools Project.
This photo has been shamelessly plagiarized from Ed Merks’ blog, so he gets a link. Thanks, Ed!
Next up is Day One – tutorials – and as usual there’s great stuff on offer. STP‘s own Antoine Toulmé is doing a two-hour tutorial on our BPMN Modeler, which has attracted a lot of interest. I’m taking the opportunity to learn more about the Eclipse Debug Framework, and later on in the day, looking at how to extend the XML editors that are in WTP. At the end of the day, I’m closing up with some GMF domain-specific model stuff.
|Carlos sums up the mood of the evening.|