Talk about a late blog entry. I’m just enjoying this EclipseCon too much. Here’s my plan for Tuesday, that is today.
Oracle will be (were) here to tell us about the future of Java. Multiple modularity systems (sigh) with some kind of paste on top to hide which one you are using, a nice JavaFX authoring tool that will allow you to create vibrating animated rockets and JDK 7 to be shipped as fast as possible.
It was a tough choice again – Server-side Web Applications, Anatomy of e4, Getting Started with EclipseRT, all sounded great, but I’m currently in the JDT Fundamentals tutorial, learning about the three pillars of JDT (java model, search engine, AST), the APIs of each and how to use them. It’s not by any means trivial, but it is definitely very cool. They have given so much thought to performance and cost of usage in the APIs. Kudos.
I made this choice because part of the work we did in Progress on a UI for Apache Camel included an Eclipse view that rendered the Camel route, based on the content of a Java editor where the developer was using the fluent builder APIs. We did this by walking the JDT AST and constructing a model that could be rendered. The result was a better user experience for people using Java as the route definition language – they could simply glance at the diagram of the route to ensure that the Java they were writing was correctly expressing their intent. I didn’t write this code, but I’d like to know how it works, and this JDT tutorial might help me with that (partial ASTs FTW, I think).
My first choice is Textual Modeling Tools: overview and penalty shoot-out. This is a comparison study of a number of text modeling tools. Top tip to presenters in the future – more of this kind of thing, please. Comparison studies are extremely valuable for developers and product managers that need to make technology choices. It’s even more important in a big wide space like the Modeling Project where there are many projects that appear to have overlapping capabilities.
Second talk – Documentation: Single-Sourcing, Crowd-Sourcing And Other Voodoo. Documentation is the Achilles heel of many Open Source projects. In a sweeping generalization, I hereby declare that developers like to focus on code and tests, and not so much the explanations in natural language. Couple this with a ‘read the code’ type of arrogance that sometime pops up and you have a project that has a serious bar to entry for new contributors. One thing that might help stave off that kind of situation is to have a very functional way to contribute documentation, thought out as a first-order plan rather than an afterthought, which permits the spreading of a wide net and makes it really really easy for contributors to add snippets and fix issues. Maybe there will be some solutions in this talk.
Talk three – one of those rarely-observed Extended Talks – OSGi Best and Worst Practices. I’ve been looking over zx’s shoulder as he has been putting this together and it looks like there is a bit of presentation zen going on with good dollop of humour as well as good, solid information, so looking forward to it.
Note to presenters: the primary purpose of a presentation is to entertain, the secondary purpose is to inform. Let’s face it – if you are not entertaining the crowd, they are going to get up and leave before you get a chance to give them data.
Talk number four is another Extended Talk, and it is definitely going to be Graphiti – The Graphical Tooling Infrastructure Speaking Plain Java. I am totally looking forward to this, because I’m a bit excited about this project and can’t wait to get my hands on it 🙂
Talk five – I can’t believe there will be this many talks – I’m not so sure about. Using JPA in OSGi might be the one – I have seen so many developers in trouble trying to get this running it would be good to know how to do it. The Towards Contributors Heaven: from CVS and SVN to EGit/JGit talk will be interesting, but I think I know that well enough. How to make a framework plugin that doesn’t suck could be good too – the speaker has a lot of experience in developing Eclipse tools. I don’t know if he will be wearing his Superman shirt for this gig, however.
I’ll be on the Build and Continuous Integration with Eclipse panel.
I think I’ll do an Unconference presentation this evening, what topic, I don’t know just yet. Will decide during the Reception 😉