The first Eclipse DemoCamp in Grenoble took place on Tuesday. With 25 attendees, it was a very good opportunity to meet people who are well-known in the Eclipse community, but also some new people who start using Eclipse to develop plugins to resolve very interesting use-cases.
Here is a small summary of the event (Thanks to Adrian for the pictures).
First, Adrian welcomed us at the Xerox Research Europe castle. A very nice place!
Then the event was made of 2 parts.
The first one consisted in presenting new stuff at Eclipse. Of course, Indigo, but also to give news about some other projects.
Next, Vincent , my new colleague since I joined PetalsLink, presented 2 projects of the SOA landscape at Eclipse: the SCA editor, and the BPEL designer, which is coming back to life at Eclipse and is going to join the SOA top-level project very soon.
Aurélien and I closed the first part of the event by presenting an overview of the Modeling stuff at Eclipse. I liked presenting it, so that I submitted a presentation about Modeling at Eclipse to Devoxx, if it gets accepted, it will include more demonstrations and will be improved thanks to the feedback people gave us during the DemoCamp!
It was the time for a break! Adrian came with beverages and very good food such as macaroons. I love macaroons. Unfortunately, there is no picture of this break, but people really looked satisfied of speaking one and other, and of drinking and eating.
The second part of the DemoCamp was dedicated to case-studies: showing to people what people do with Eclipse and how they achieve their goals.
First one to present a case-study was Aurélien (again! 😉 who highlighted the main Modeling features of the “Best Eclipse Modeling Application” Bonita Open Solution, and who explained what are the tricks used by Bonita to customize GMF Editors. See slides.
Next, Marc Dutoo (my first Eclipse mentor who made me a committer on JWT while I was a trainee) from Open Wide presented us the EasySOA research project, in which one the leverage several Eclipse SOA technologies to make consumption of services easier.
The following presentation was a presentation of Xeproc, a model that they use at Xerox to process documents. Thierry Jacquin explained us the use-case of Xeproc, which they use to discover how documents are structured and extract some meta-informations from them, and Adrian explained us how he plans to make it interacting with several SOA projects at Eclipse, using Mangrove.
Both last presentations were proposed by guys from IsandlaTech. and came to present solution for their daily work with Eclipse. Olivier Gattaz started by explaining us that they use a lot the spellchecking in Eclipse, mainly to write documentation; and started by telling us what are the limit of current spellchecker in Eclipse for his use-cases. Then he introduced us the Hunspell4Eclipse project, available on Eclipse MarketPlace, that provides an implementation of spell-checking in Eclipse that is the same as in Firefox or Libre Office. It was very interesting, and doing this work, Olivier discovered some issues in the JDT editor that I hope will be fixed one day! (slides)
And the last speaker was Thomas Calmant, who demonstrated us the ReST Editor, which is a very smart (maybe the smartest) editor for reStructuredText, a language to create documentation widely used in the Python community. This editor is full of very nice features that makes editing of reStructuredText much more comfortable that with a basic text editor. Click here for the slides!
Lessons I learnt
- Eclipse DemoCamp are cool events to meet people
- Eclipse DemoCamp are cool events to discover new Eclipse use case
- Eclipse DemoCamp are cool events to be a speaker
- Eclipse DemoCamp are cool useful for the life of the community
- Modeling is not an easy thing to present, but it is quite interesting to do it. Everyone likes at least one thing in the Modeling landscape at Eclipse.
- Xerox offices looks like an holiday center 😉
- It is not always for people who develop plugins to find how to get an influence on big Eclipse projects. People who have been involved for a while do know that everything starts with participating in forums and opening bugs, but it is not so obvious for newcomers. It is our role as member of the community to guide them, and to recruit them in the community. DemoCamps are perfect events for that.
- According to the audience of this DemoCamp, a lot of people really like GMF, but find this very difficult to use it. The documentation is very weak compared to the power of the project. That’s why I spent some time refactoring the Tutorial. The objective is to make GMF an easy-to-use project. You feedback is welcome.