Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change

2007-04-30

EMF: It's A Beautiful Thing

At the moment, there are at least 11 different ways to get EMF, topped just the way you like it:

  • 9 zips: 3 SDKs (EMF-SDO-XSD, EMF-SDO, XSD SDK), 3 runtimes (EMF-SDO, XSD & Standalone), examples, tests, and models [1]
  • 2 different Update Manager methods (install EMF-SDO-XSD SDK or install individual features) [2]

Is this sufficient? Some say it's already overkill, but others say no, and with the lofty goal of pleasing most of the people, most of the time, we're now exploring creating a whole new set of features in EMF [3].

This new set of features [4] is intended to add more options via Update Manager, as that's the most commonly used mechanism (80% of all requests tracked by eclipse.org last year) for downloading EMF. The old features remain -- they're just being chopped up more finely.

Those who want fries with that can order a combo meal and drive forward to the second window to pick up their zips; those who want EMF à la carte will now be able to order off the Update Manager menu, so they can pick and choose the toppings, er, features, they want for their special-needs diet.

Please comment or vote for bug 106804 if you have concerns or kudos.

6 comments:

AlBlue said...

I think one of the big problems with EMF is that it's possible to obtain so many variations. Whilst it's also possible to obtain Eclipse in a variety of with-JDT, without-JDT style combos, actually downloading frigging everything in the Eclipse SDK is the easiest way of having something that Just Works.

I'd recommend just having an all-in-one that people can use, or update manager to download the features. Too many downloads actually just confuses the (newbie) user.

I gave up on EMF/GMF pretty much for those reasons; the intersprawling mess of dependencies and not being able to download a combo set meant that actually getting it installed was way too much of a hurdle to overcome.

Maybe in the future, the EPP will fix this ... but for the time being, for goodness sake don't make it worse for yourselves.

Nick said...

There's already an all-in-one, and has been since EMF 2.0, about 4 years ago. It's not called All-In-One, however: it's the EMF-SDO-XSD SDK - the largest (and first) download on the page. It too, as with the Eclipse SDK, is the simplest way to download something that Just Works. Would calling it "All-In-One" make it more obvious? Or "Super Happy Fun Meal Combo?"

One reason for the feature split was to pull out the JDT + Eclipse dependencies so that those that don't want/need to depend on those can run w/o them.

As to finding the install of EMF + GEF too onerous, all you need to develop w/ EMF + GEF is the Eclipse SDK, EMF SDK, GEF SDK. To run with EMF + GEF, you need just Eclipse or RCP + the EMF and GEF runtimes.

You could also choose to download Eclipse, Callisto or Europa, then add EMF + GEF via Update Manager, which (given our download stats) appears to be what most people do.

Last year we got over 800,000 UM jar downloads and more than 200,000 zip downloads. Intersprawling mess? I think not. Sure, we offer many configuration choices, but are you really suggesting that choice is a bad thing? Do you find it difficult to pick which JDK to download (JSE, JME, JEE, with or without Netbeans)? We provide different install options because we have divergent community needs, and strive to accommodate everyone.

Andrew Overholt said...

Don't forget it's also in Linux distributions :)

yum -y install eclipse-emf-sdk

on Fedora, for example.

Ed Merks said...

Alex, I'm surprised you would make such completely ignorant comments! I would have thought it reasonable to expect that you of all people would be well informed before making recommendations. I would also suggest that enhancements to the English language, such as the word "frigging", are beneath you and make you appear crude as well as ignorant.

As Nick points out, we've always had a single zip file that includes everything, and it's the first choice too, but not surprisingly that doesn't actually make everyone happy. What is surprising is that you gave up on EMF because there's no all-in-one, even though there is an all-in-one. How shallow is that? Surely you are almost as intelligent as the other 1,000,000 people who are downloading and using these things.

A sprawling mess of dependences? Such thoughtful words and so well considered too. I can only guess at what you must think of Callisto and Europa and their dependencies.

Given your comments, it would seem that one of the biggest obstacles for us to overcome is ignorance.

Denis Roy said...

I agree that renaming EMF-SDO-XSD SDK to EMF All-In-One makes it look like less of a mish-mash. Many projects at Eclipse.org seem to use the All-in-One nomenclature.

Nick said...

Bowing to public pressure (oh, the power you wield, Denis!), I've relabeled the links on the EMF downloads page to "All-In-One SDK", and made them green (not with envy, but with newbieness).