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


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EclipseCon '09: Y.A.R.R*

* Yet Another Retrospective Roundup

The highlights of this year's con for me include...

The rousing success that was our Dash Athena tutorial, in no small part thanks to Andrew O and Andrew N contributing heavily to the content, flow, and technical expertise. (I also credit a year's worth of improvements, refactorings and cross-platform testing on Mac OSX, WinXP and Linux, plus having a better UI story.) Thanks also to Barry Lafond for his invaluable assistance passing out USB keys and helping to get late-arrivers up to speed. For those that don't know Barry, he works on the Teiid Designer project at, which I'm going to have to look carefully at in future, to learn more about virtual databases.

I also caught a demo of the Eclipse Modeling Project's CDO thanks to Eike offering to give myself and Marcelo Paternostro a quick recap of his talk, which we both missed due to conflicts. Now that I'm split between the Eclipse and JBoss communities, CDO looks like a perfect way to help bridge these two arenas as it connects the Eclipse Modeling world with the JBoss Hibernate world - among other things. Now I just need to find a reason to use it, and time to adopt his new website for the rest of Modeling. :)

Despite the somewhat slower economy this year, it was great to see some old traditions were kept alive:

  • Getting gouged 150% of meter price by SFO cabbies
  • The $13 burger n' fries at the Hyatt bar
  • Sleeping in on Wednesday due to working/partying too hard for the first three nights
  • EclipseCon By The Numbers on the final day

Some traditions that were regrettably missing this year:

  • Watching Ed Merks talk about the stupidity of Modeling (though Peter Friese did an excellent job in his stead)
  • Attending BoFs - I missed all the BoFs I wanted to attend due to other distractions
  • Sneaking off for a swim on at least two afternoons of the con
  • Sneaking in to Ralph's 'European Committers Afterparty' to schmooze with the German and French modelers
  • The convenience of staying at the Hyatt (despite being charged $200/night + $10/day for wifi)
  • Buying a new WD MyBook USB hard drive at Microcenter (my bag was already too full of EclipseCon booty, and the offer of a free lift to SFO was just too good to pass up - thanks, Denis G!)

With a new year (and for me, a new team) comes the start of new traditions, such as:

  • Replacing plastic water bottles w/ glasses & water coolers
  • B.Y.O.B.S.T.E.D (and $50 in books for my Celebrity Cruises bag from Seward, Alaska, woo!)
  • Monday's 'Galileo' salad (everything in one dish)
  • Tweeting, tweeting, and more tweeting!
  • Fashion crime free committer shirts! No more denim, no more beige!
  • JBoss beer glasses (though unfortunately I set mine down to talk to Bernd Kolb about SAP possibly using Athena to build the Eclipse SDK, as after 3.4.2 IBM won't do it, and someone bussed it while I wasn't looking)
  • Skipping the EclipseCon-provided lunch on Thursday for an all-dressed 'Spicy Italian' from Subway + a 'Black + Blue' smoothie from World Wraps
  • Our post-Con LaserQuest soiree - winning the first game and getting decimated in the second game
  • Our post-Con planning meetings @ the Ramada ($70/night + free wifi), to better dialogue between the various teams in Moscow, Minsk, Beijing, Switzerland, Belgium, the US, and of course, Canada.
  • Designing the Captains Of Awesome jackets and JBoss Tools wordle shirts, thanks to Rob Stryker's idea and Max's help

One tradition started last year I had hoped to avoid was that of "bring a laptop to EclipseCon, go home with a wifiless brick". Last year I brought two Thinkpads, and had NO wifi from one and spotty wifi from the other, forcing me to switch from ubuntu to WinXP to get anything close to consistent performance. This year the wifi in my 6 month old Lenovo X200 just stopped working Thursday for no apparent reason, forcing me to surf by Blackberry for the past 3 days. Worse, I discovered that the Gmail app for Blackberry can't use wifi, so I'm stuck checking mail in the BB browser or paying roaming fees. Not cool, Google, not cool.

Beyond the actual talks - and there were several excellent sessions, including...

  • the first keynote (I missed the second one helping Rob set up my Thinkpad to do his WTP 3.1 demo as his hard drive was foo'd, and slept thru the third one),
  • the p2 & PDE sessions, showing that these projects are alive, well, and still moving forward
  • the Intro to JBDS 2.0 hands-on workshop with Jim and Rayme
  • this year's update on COLA, ECF, and shared editing
  • Koen's talk about the BPMN jungle

...for me EclipseCon is about connecting with people, putting faces to names and having a beer and a chat with someone you've worked with virtually. There are too many people to list, of course, but one highlight includes being able to thank Doug Satchwell in person for ShellEd. If you write bash, and you use Eclipse, chances are you use one of the various vi/vim plugins, EclipseColorer, or ShellEd. Three guesses which one I'd recommend. (If I promised you a pint at some point this year but failed to deliver this week, my apologies. Post a comment below or email me and I'll try to do a better job next year.)

I also enjoyed chatting up Oisin about STP and BPMN and expect to find myself helping out there in future w/ builds and testing, as I had occasion to do last year as we all put the finishing touches on Ganymede. Kudos too for his always entertaining tweets.

Finally, the greatest highlight - and honor - was of course being voted Top Ambassador by you, the community, placing me shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Mik Kersten and Tom Schindl, each great ambassadors for Eclipse as well. Thank you all for your support. I hope I can continue to entertain via this blog, educate via the Eclipse wiki, and facilitate via Dash your lives as committers, contributors, users, testers, early adopters, builders, and all the many other hats (Red or otherwise!) we get to wear in this wonderfully diverse ecosystem that is Eclipse.


SQL Tribbles ][


EclipseCon '09: Dash Athena Common Builder Workshop: Post Mortem

On behalf of myself, Andrew Overholt and Andrew Niefer, thanks to everyone who attended our workshop on the new Dash Athena common builder.

Looks like the feedback was favourable...

(more stats here)

However, +1 doesn't tell us anything about how we can improve, what you liked, or what could have been done differently. If you have specific feedback, we'd love to hear it. Please post it on the EclipseCon site, or here.

If you missed the talk but want to try this at home, the updated slides and exercises are posted here.

And if you're a project at and want to start using the common builder, there are three ways to do so:

On your local machine / vserver

This scenario is covered in the workshop - try the exercises for setting up GEF and Linux Tools, then create your own .releng project and try your own build. Additional information on vserver setup can be seen here: Fedora, WinXP, MacOSX.

On headlessly

ssh to using your committerid (same password as for CVS access). If you can't log in, open a bug and ask for a full login shell. Once there, you can run a build using /opt/public/cbi/build/scripts/ Run the script without options to learn how it works, and see the examples. If anyone has a problem starting up from scratch, let me know and I'll flesh out some docs in the wiki.

On via Hudson

For the moment, you need to be added to the callisto-dev group before you can use Hudson. Open a bug and ask for access. Any other questions, comments, suggestions... file a bug, post a comment, or find us on IRC.


EclipseCon '09: B.Y.O.B.S.T.E.D

Karl reminded me tonight about a little bonus feature at this year's EclipseCon I hadn't previously heard about:

Bring Your Own Bag, Score Two Extra Drinks.

We are offering a Bring Your Own (Conference) Bag option this year. To save resources and have some fun, please bring a bag from your collection. There will be prizes for unique bags (oldest, from furthest away, etc.), and everyone who brings a bag will receive two extra drink tickets! [1]

This year at #EclipseCon, it's BYOB - bag, that is. Extra drink tix if you bring ur own bag from past shows. Best recycled ones get a prize. [2]

Is there anything better than free (as in beer)? BYOB and find out!


JBoss Tools 3.0: Dynamite!

As you may have heard, JBoss Tools 3.0 has been released, built on top of Eclipse Ganymede SR2 (Eclipse 3.4.2, Web Tools 3.0.4, BIRT 2.3.2, TPTP 4.5.2).

Like Ganymede itself, JBoss Tools is a collection of many components - 17 in fact. Let's crack open the case and have a look inside, shall we?

(oi, oi, oi)

Releasin' right before EclipseCon
Comin' to your 'puter screen
Thanks to all who contributed
Too many names to list here, seen?

Frameworks to the left of me
And toolin' to the right
We've got all-on-ones, and update sites
So come get some bytes

Cause I'm...
JBT: I'm dynamite
JBT: Seam, Smooks, Hibernate
JBT: FreeMarker & Drools
JBT: Richfaces & Struts

I do BPM and SOA
Lots of acronyms!
Visual editors, code completion
Cater to your whims

So fire up your browser, fire up Eclipse
Install our updates or download our zips
The Tools are back in town
And we don't mess around

'Cause I'm...
JBT: Archives, Examples
JBT: For BIRT and Portal

JBT (oi, oi, oi)
JBT (oi, oi, oi)
JBT (oi, oi, oi)
JBT (oi, oi, oi)

JBT: I'm dynamite
JBT: Yeah, my code is tight
JBT: I'm the mother lode
JBT: Come get your download

AC/DC - T.N.T.


No Sleep 'Till EclipseCon

In case you haven't already heard, Andrew Niefer, Andrew Overholt and I are presenting a 4-hour tutorial on Monday @ EclipseCon next week, entitled Hands-On: Using the new Common Builder for Push-Button PDE Builds. It gets under way @ 8am in room 201.

With much left to do, there will be...

(chorus) No sleep 'til - EclipseCon!

Hands on the keys - never ever false metal
Servers running hotter than a boiling kettle
My job's ain't a job - it's a damn good time
City to city - I'm a'runnin' my rhymes
On location - touring around the nation
PDE: tuned into that station

Itchy trigger finger bringin' Athena to the table
I do what I do best because I'm willing and able
Ain't no faking - no money I'm taking
Going coast to coast - watching all the projects shaking
While you're at the job working nine to five
The build server's up all night, cold kickin' it live

(bridge) No sleep 'til -

Another feature, 'nother plugin
Another bug - away we're sluggin'
Another green - another light
Another up all night

We must be crazy - doin' this for free
Working from home staying up past 3
With peeps 'round the world - you rock around the clock
No funds to commute, or we'd be in hock
We're thrashing gigabytes like they're going out of style
Getting paid along the way cause it's worth your while

I work from home, Andrew O bikes to work
M.C.A.'s not here much cuz he lives in Ottawa
We got servers in T.O., Ottawa and Portland
Testin' and testin' and codin' by hand

(repeat bridge)

(repeat chorus)

Ain't seen the light since we started this gig
M.C.A. - get on the mic my man

Work for Big Blue up in Outaouais
They call me Discodan - but I'm M.C.A
Like a lemon to a lime - a lime to a lemon
Work on PDE, and it's always improvin'

Got linux, ant-contrib, and Hudson
Show you how to build and have some fun
Step off homes - get out of my way
Gotta catch a flight from here to L.A.

Waking up before I get to sleep
Cause we'll be rocking EclipseCon in eight days: next week!

We're speaking at EclipseCon 2009

No sleep till EclipseCon ....
No sleep till EclipseCon ...
No sleep till EclipseCon ...
No sleep till EclipseCon ...
No sleep till EclipseCon ...

Beastie Boys - No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn


Fight Fire With Grammar

So I finally scored a copy of Metallica's latest "offering", which has a few good tracks, I admit. Overall it sounds more like their first few albums than the self-titled "Black" album or the crap that followed, but with cheesier lyrics and still more radio-friendliness. So, more like Nickelback with heavier guitars.

In a brilliant move to fight music downloading, I see they've adopted a new approach: bad grammar. I'm not sure if the ploy is to ensure that anyone foolish enough to listen to their latest, um, load will be dumbed down and lose in court should they get sued, or to discourage downloads in the first place because generally, the people who have the whatnot to understand how to create, seed, and download torrents will also be offended by the inanity of these songs.

Either way, here's a sample. Note the fact that there's no rhyming reason to use the grammatically incorrect "more strong" when "stronger" would also fit the syllable pattern. (I'll forgive "What don't" in place of "That which doesn't" because c'mon, it's a song, and no one talks that way. But "more strong" - no. One must draw the line at hillbilly English somewhere.)

You rise, you fall, you're down, then you rise again
What don't kill you make you more strong
You rise, you fall, you're down, then you rise again
What don't kill you make you more strong 

Rise, fall, down, rise again
What don't kill you make you more strong
Rise, fall, down, rise again
What don't kill you make you more strong 



Modeling: Home Star Loader

Last week I reported that there are now 70 committers / contributors in Modeling.

Today, Denis announced on the Phoenix mailing list that EMF, EMFT, MDT and GMF are in the top 30 requested home pages for Feb 2009.

The top three popular project pages were, in order: PDT, EMFT, and WTP.

However, if you combine the numbers for the four Modeling subprojects, you get 162K hits for the month, placing Modeling in the #4 slot behind only the home page, Downloads page, and Categories page, and making us the #1 (aggregate) project page.