What happened (to me) at EclipseCon 2012

It’s been a few week since EclipseCon ended. It’s now time for a retrospective.

Do you also know the Red Hat Society?

First, the event was great. Although I did not have time to view that many presentations, I was able to discuss with a lot of people about a lot of topics. I learned new stuff, and shared some knowledge. I made huge steps ahead in my own work, and helped people to go ahead in their own work too. I was also able to boost some projects I like and work in making them more widely used.
So I am pretty happy of this conference. Being at EclipseCon has and will improve my daily work, that’s the best thing to expect from this kind of event.

My Top #3 favourite talks

Since I spent most of my time chatting with several people, I could only see a few presentations. I’d like to share 3 of them:

  • Persona non grata by Brian Fitzpatrick.
    I like this idea to bring  some practices coming from marketing into software development that are aimed to get a better knowledge of what your users want. Introducing Personas seems to be a high benefit for a team, since every participant will be able to talk about these personas instead of limitating users to only a role. It helps to have a clearer idea of what their users are like and can refer easily to them in their daily work. It makes product teams think more about their users being humans and act consequently, for instance when developing UI.

    Personas allow you to consider your users as people, not only roles.

  • CodeRecommanders, by Marcel Bruch
    CodeRecommanders won the Best Developer Tool award, this talk demonstrated why this project deserves such a recognition. It is pretty easy to set-up, use and provide immediately a boost in your code-writing productivity. Code Recommanders has analyzed most  of the open-source Java code on the planet and so comes into your IDE to provide you snippets, templates, examples, pieces of advice and more, gathered from all the code it has analyzed! You can save a lot of time since you do not have to search through the web anymore: CodeRecommanders has snippets and pieces of advice for you. Always.

    CodeRecommanders will become your best colleague.

  • How to profit from static analysis, by Elena Laskavaia
    This talk explains why static analysis makes you save (a lot of!) development time and money, and how to get the highest value from it. How not to spend more than necessary in setting it up, and how to get started in making static analysis part of your strategy.  Very concrete lessons and tips! Here are my 3 favorite notes:

    • Detecting a bug at dev-time with static analysis costs a few seconds, detecting it at build-time costs minutes to fix it, detecting it in a satellite costs millions. (slide 5)
    • JDT provides you very good static analysis, but most rules are disabled by default. So just turning these rules on will make you more productive. (slide 18)
    • full JDT analysis + PMD enabled in your IDE = profit.

    Did you know that JDT is a hidden gem for static analysis? I did not.

What I presented

This year, I had the opportunity to be a speaker for 3 talks

How to remain agile in code generation approaches?

This short presentation during Modeling Symposium explains some good practices to use in order to avoid being locked in code-generation approaches. Indeed, the indirection introduced by code generation can have some pitfalls when it comes to customizing generated code. But actually, you don’t want to customize generated code, you want to customize generated behavior. Modifying generated code is not the best solution for that, here are some more sustainable approaches:

The lesson is: consider generator config/generated code the same way you consider source code/compiled code.

Some news of GMF Tooling, at Modeling Symposium

If you read this blog, you probably know most of it.

Get ready to fight your technical debt, with Tycho, Sonar, and Jacoco

I had the opportunity to present, together with Xavier Seignard, how easy it is to integrate Tycho, Jenkins/Hudson, Sonar and Jacoco together. This provides a 1st-class build environment that makes you go from continuous integration to continuous improvement. We think code quality is now pretty easy to get, even in the Eclipse world, so we should not do without it any longer. There are now very very very (…) very powerful and easy tools for quality in the Java world. They work with a few efforts and minutes. That was the aim of this talk: showing people that they are very close to continuous improvement and giving them some keys to set it up by and for themselves.

I was able to also make some lobbying on Sonar@Eclipse.org, so that there is progress on bug 360935 ! Woot!

Things I did

EclipseCon, like any conference, is mostly a social event. It is a great opportunity to meet people you need to help you, to meet people who need your help; and to get things actually done and gone ahead.

About Tycho

Tycho is the masterpiece of builds for projects I work on. With JBoss Tools, we have found some bugs, we often have some new requirements and ideas for improvements. Participating in the Tycho BOF was a great opportunity to chat with the other guys doing/using Tycho and to highlight some issues that are important to us. It’s worked and we are now pleased to see and provide “quality patches”, as Igor likes to say.

About CBI

The Eclipse foundation is making an effort to improve the “Common Build Infrastructure”. The goal is to provide an efficient and easy-to-use build environment for Eclipse projects. This is something very interesting for Eclipse.org projects, but also for consumers such as JBoss Tools, since we have ideas on making Eclipse projects easier to consume. So that’s something we follow closely and we are happy to see all these efforts carried out to push Tycho and Jenkins usage for all Eclipse.org projects!

Let’s hope CBI will also address issues regarding p2 repository governance (lifecycle, availability, URL conventions…). As I am writing, a bug has just opened on this topic. Coincidence or esoterism?

About GMF-Tooling

I could see the presentation by Andres Alvarez Mattos and Ruben De Dios during Modeling Symposium. These guys made a very nice editor for GMF Tooling models that allows you to create a diagram editor graphically. It is not intrusive and is a much more efficient way to get started with GMF Tooling than the current approach based on models and tree editors. This editor simply looks like a renewal of GMF Tooling.

I helped them to get some of their patches applied into GMF Tooling code. I hope I’ll be able to nominate them as committers soon, since their editor would make a lot of sense in GMF Tooling.

Conclusion

That was a busy EclipseCon! But I enjoyed it! Some things got done, some can now be done, and some others will be done soon. There are some concrete results and some new opportunities, it’s everything I expected!

  1. Sonar at Eclipse.org ! « Some Eclipse stuff

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