Last Thursday, August 27th, Google kindly hosted the second edition of the EclipseDay at the Googlepex. The event was a full day of technical sessions on Eclipse. Having been an Eclipse tools developer for the last 1-year, this event was an excellent opportunity to improve my Eclipse skills, network with other Eclipse developers and attend a series of excellent talks.
The agenda divided the sessions in two tracks and I selected the following sessions to attend:
- Eclipse in the Enterprise: Lessons from Google, by Terry Parker and Robert Konigsberg from Google: the day started with this joint keynote session from Terry and Robert, where they described how Eclipse at Google evolved from the days when it was just used by a small group of developers and any integration with Google’s building system was done through external scripts and some manual hacks, to today’s enterprise deployment of a customized Eclipse environment with complete integration with the build system, in addition to usability/functionality enhancements to automate some developers’ tasks.
- OSGi for Eclipse Developers, by Chris Aniszczyk from EclipseSource: I enjoyed all the sessions, but this was the best session of the day for me! After reading a few tutorials about OSGi and getting the feeling that I was missing something about it, Chris presentation finally nailed it for me! The fact that he started by explaining OSGi without mentioning Eclipse helped a lot, as previous tutorials I had read mixed both OSGi and Equinox and I ended up not understanding what was pure OSGi and what was Eclipse. The session covered several topics, as the OSGi services architecture, bundles, life cycle and even how you can run BUG modules on OSGi Overall a great session, and it was good to talk to him later during the break and discuss OSGi a bit more.
- Developing for Android with Eclipse, by Xavier Ducrohet from Google: Xavier is the lead for the Android SDK and in this session he covered several aspects of the SDK, from a quick start with the SDK to issues they have found while developing, it the most common used features and opened the curtain on some new features to come. Xavier also covered some of the issues/limitations with using the emulator instead of a real device.
- Deploying Successful Enterprise Tools, by Joep Rottinghuis from eBay: based on his experience with leading an Eclipse tools team at eBay, Joep described the process of building, deploying and supporting tools in the enterprise level. The session was not specifically focused on Eclipse but nonetheless offered very valuable insights on the challenges one encounters when deploying tools in the enterprise, from early adoption to user feedback, maintenance, documentation and support, besides the effort necessary to come up with new and improved functionality.
- Build and Provision: Two Sides of the Coin We Love to Hate, Ed Merks, EMF lead: after having read several chapters from EMF: Eclipse Modeling Framework (2nd Edition) just a few months ago, I really wanted to attend Ed’s talk. After all, I have been using a fairly decent dose of EMF lately and it is always great to hear the leaders in the technologies we use.Â However, as the title suggests, the session was not about EMF but about the Eclipse’s build and provision system. Ed’s presentation focused on how the build is an essential tool to any project and, at the same time, not generally liked by most of the participants in the project, (especially) due to the constraints caused when the build breaks. Then he went on to explain the Eclipse build process, together with the efforts that have been done on automation and provisioning.
Overall, it was a great day! Although 3 sessions focused on build/provisioning/deployment, each one of them tackled different aspects of the process and contributed with valuable insights. Another thing I would like to note is the quality of the speakers and their sessions! No product or marketing pitch, just pure technical joy
As of this writing, the slides are available online at http://wiki.eclipse.org/Eclipse_Day_At_Googleplex_2009#Presentation_Slides_.26_Videos
Thanks to the organizers for EclipseDay 2009, and hope to join you again in 2010!