Usually in late November we are going to different places in wonderful Thailand for vacation but this year the Eclipse Summit Europe was a month later than the all the other years. So I abstained from a big vacation and headed for the Summit in Ludwigsburg. I arrived there on Monday evening but my luggage did not. Never again I’ll ask for priority baggage when checking in with Air Berlin!
Fortunately my luggage was delivered to the Nestor hotel before midnight so I could fully concentrate on the fun of the conference. This fun caused an initial hangover on Tueasday, the symposia day. I missed the modeling symposium because I was told that it was already cramped when I arrived. And I did not prepare a position paper with the required minimum of 2 pages. I’d vote for freeing committers and other persons who are known to be involved so deeply from such effort. Later I was even told that the papers had not been checked very strictly. Anyway, I had some really nice talks to different people on Tuesday.
And I was able to attend the BREDEX GUIdancer presentation, given by Alexandra Imrie, who did a really great job. Later I was amazed that she, coming from Liverpool, could speak German without even the slightest accent. They seem to have a nice tool to create , maintain and execute user interface tests and I am happy that they promised to consider providing me with a free license for my CDO Model Repository project. I also met Ibrahim Sallam from Objectivity, Inc. who is currently preparing the offer of free developer licenses for their wonderful and darned fast OO database system (if used in combination with our EMF/CDO stack). We scheduled a more detailed discussion about this effort for Thursday.
In the evening we had dinner in a smaller group and this time in a small restaurant with the lovely local food, which I think of is reason enough to have the summit in Schwabenland every year. Here you get the best Rostbraten, Spätzle and Maultaschen ever. Although we had a lot of fun I left early and went to bed to avoid another hangover during my CDO talk next day.
Wednesday started with (a nice breakfast and) six great talks, the most fascinating for me being the Aspect Weaving for OSGi one. Heiko Seeberger and Martin Lippert presented amazing stuff about their Equinox Aspects project. I promised myself to give it a try as soon as possible. Some time after lunch I headed for Cedric Brun’s interesting talk about Team Work with Models : Compare and Merge with EMF Compare. I appreciated that he finished in time because my talk about the most interesting new features for the upcoming version 2.0 of my CDO Model Repository was the next one to follow.
It seemed that I somehow managed to address both, give an initial impression to the newbies and make existing users look forward to the next release. And our next release will really be a major one. Our small team has already implemented 175 bugzillas since Ganymede, many of them being powerful new features. Special thanks belong to Simon McDuff, who spends considerable part of his parental vacation to provide the CDO community with cool features and friendly support!
To not repeat my former underestimates of talking time I focused on only very few architectural slides and some code snippets to demonstrate some of the most interesting new features:
• External References
• Distributed Transactions
• Structured Resources
• Resource Queries
• Explicit Locking
• Save Points
• Configurable Passive Updates
• Change Subscriptions
• Query Framework
I squeezed the large audience through my ten slides in only fifteen minutes, which proofed to be a good decision because even the remaining twenty minutes were not enough to anser all of the questions. I was amazed about the great interest in CDO and particularly noticed the increasing concerns about the scalability of models. CDO transparently addresses this sort of issues for example by loading and unloading single instances on demand or by partially loading huge lists of references. It is unbelievable, yet true, that we can easily traverse models of four gigabytes size or more. Depending on the back-end type chosen we can reach load rates of up to thirty thousand objects per second! I believe that such characteristics, together with the well-thought APIs and our prompt support to the community, caused a lot of the hype we are currently experiencing.
After my talk I enjoyed the presentation of Gilles Iachelini, Marc Hoffmann and Simon Eggler about „Eclipse on Rails: RCP at the Swiss Railway“. It reminded me to an excellent live presentation they gave to me alone on during one of my business trips to Bern, Switzerland. Thank you guys, again! After that I missed the other presentations to have some more discussions on the floors. Dinner, lots of wonderful wine and the chill-out in the Nestor lobby expanded until five in the morning. As a consequence I missed the keynote on Thursday.
Ed Merks’ talk about The Unbearable Stupidity of Modeling clearly was one of the highlights of the whole summit! I’m glad that I was able to attend it. Many of the other talks that I marked as interesting in my schedule became victims of some more private discussions. The only exception was Tom Schindl’s presentation about Writing Datacentric applications with RCP+EMF+Databinding. He excited the audience with some really nice design ideas and, last not least, a demonstration of how easy it is to distribute model changes across machine boundaries with CDO. A meeting with some guys from the automotive scene prevented me from having lunch but the results were so promising that I did not care. That’s why I‘m always carrying some chocolate with me. We enjoyed it together.
As I mentioned earlier I also continued my discussion with Ibrahim about new licensing models for Objectivity’s OO database. They are currently not only exploring ways to provide free developer licenses for API and server runtimes but could also imagine to provide us (the CDO project) with empty skeleton bundles (EPL licensed) to fake p2 at installation time. I’m really looking forward to see our existing integration with Objectivity as a back-end for CDO model repositories being open sourced in the near future. Unfortunately it appeared that the time ran even faster on Thursday and after a last refreshing beer in the lobby, where most of my Eclipse friends met a last time, I headed towards Stuttgart airport to catch my flight home to Berlin. My luggage arrived with me…
Thank you all for making ESE one of the nicest events in 2008 and see you at EclipseCon 2009 in Santa Clara!