Eclipse Democamp in Copenhagen - Done

Last Thursday we had our edition of the Eclipse Democamp in Copenhagen. With 70+ participants it can only be considered a big success - given the COP15 conference going on right now in Copenhagen, it is not always easy to get around in Copenhagen these days.

We were very lucky that IBM had both room and food to spare for the event - thanks for that.

You can find the slides from the demo camp on eclipse.dk as I get them from the presenters.

I started the camp with a presentation of the ideas behind e4 with focus on the differences you will see as a developer in the future. We will be talking about this a lot more in the future.

Jesper Steen Møller talked about the state-of-the-art of the XPath2, XML Catalog and XSLT tooling in the WTP project. Among other things, Jesper showed a very cool debug session of XSLT.

Bent Agervold Jensen - from ReportSoft - showed some very pretty graphics based on BIRT. I was rather impressed. I will have to look at BIRT again in some near future. Bent showed two real-life examples from the web based om some work they had done for customers - quite impressive.

Mikkel Heisterberg - from Intravision - showed how Lotus Notes in an extension of Eclipse and illustrated how your "plain" Eclipse plug-ins can be used in Lotus Notes with a little extra work. He rightly stated that many of the things we will see in e4, already is present in Lotus Expeditor, but with e4 we will hopefully get something everybody will use...

Jakob Lyng Petersen - from Maconomy - showed some of the work they have done with a commercial application based on Eclipse RCP. Among the more interesting things - for me at least - was their good looking presentation API and the way they have implemented searching just about everywhere. I bet that some of the new e4 technologies would have helped them a loot in their implementation...

Ekkart Kindler - from DTU - showed how the modeling framework in Eclipse can be used together with Petri nets.

Steen Brahe - from Danske Bank - talked about how he has used GMF in his bank. He first outlined the different models that makes up the GMF framework and then showed how they had enhanced their UML editor via a new model that described some of the constraints they have in the domain models. Not that I understood it all, but it was quite obvious that they can save a lot of work in their UML modeling this way.

Jan Schoubo - from Oracle - talked about the LEJLN platform - Linux-Eclipse-Java-LEGO NXT - for absolute beginners. This was by far the most fun presentation where Jan showed how you can program LEGO NXT via Eclipse with a impressive demo where he got a LEGO to to find the colors of small LEGO bricks and showed these on the attached computer.

The next eclipse.dk event will be our general assembly in January.


Eclipse Democamp in Copenhagen

eclipse.dk will have our first ever DemoCamp in Copenhagen on 10. December.

IBM (at Lyngbyvej 2, 2100 KBH Ø by the Chokolade Frog) has provided the space for the event so we still have room for more people.

The current presentations for the DemoCamp are very diverse:
  1. Tonny Madsen, The RCP Company, What exactly is the new e4
  2. Jesper Steen Møller, XPath2, XML Catalog and XSLT tooling
  3. Bent Agervold Jensen, ReportSoft, BIRT
  4. Mikkel Heisterberg, Intravision, Signed plugins and how these works end-to-end in Lotus Notes
  5. Jakob Lyng Petersen, Maconomy, Building a Generic Client for Business Professionals using Eclipse RCP
  6. Ekkart Kindler, DTU, Model-based Software Engineering with the Eclipse Modeling Framework
  7. Steen Brahe, Danske Bank, Use of the Graphical Modeling Framework in Danske Bank
  8. Jan Schoubo, LEJLN platformen - Linux-Eclipse-Java-LEGO NXT - For absolute beginners 
If you want to participate, update the wiki page at eclipse.org or mail me on formand@eclipse.dk.
    And yes, we do have space for one or two presentations more...


    Learning more about Eclipse plug-in development...

    As part of the Eclipse Foundation Training series, there are scheduled 5 classes on "Advanced Eclipse RCP".

    This is the perfect class for people, who have developed Eclipse plug-ins for the last year or so and now wants to know more about some of the more advanced subjects in Eclipse plug-in development.

    The title of the classes is "Advanced RCP Eclipse", but with the exception of one subject, all the subjects of the class are just as relevant if you're developing Eclipse plug-ins for the IDE.

    Amoung the subjects we will teach in the classes are:
    • Wizards - which is basically here because we don't have time for this subject during "Development in Eclipse RCP".
    • Long-Running operations and Jobs and how to make the interaction between these and the UI as painless as possible.
    • How to use Eclipse Adapters. While the Adapter framework arguably is one of the more difficult to understand and use properly, the is also a framework that will solve many of the problems you might face is larger non-trivial applications especially when used in conjunction with the menus extension point and handlers.
    • The Data Binding framework and how to use this to cut down on the boilerplate code in the application.
    • How to handle virtual trees and tables when either the amount of data is large or the retrieval time is long for items in the tree or table.
    • How to declare and implement your own extension points. Not that this is especially difficult, but there are a number of god design patterns around this that can help reduce the code involved and also make your application react properly when plug-ins are either added or removed from the running aplication.
    • How to do head less builds using PDEBuild, which probably is not of the most troublesome subjects in Eclipse. One day it works, then next it don't...
    You can see the complete list of subjects in these classes and where to attend of the classes on the training page.

    Although the page on the training says "Prerequisites: Solid Java experience, experience with Eclipse SDK as a Java development environment and notions of Eclipse RCP", I know from past experience that mere notions will make for very hard three days. In the classes we assume you know about commands, views, perspectives, etc - basically the subjects from the "Development in Eclipse RCP".

    If you have been developing Eclipse plug-ins for some time, this just might be the next class for you...


    Running is good...

    ...between the fine meals and many interesting talks... and the plenty beers in the evening.

    I always try to attend the different runs that usually are part of all the technical conferences including Eclipse Summit Europe and EclipseCon. Not only because, you need them after long - and often interesting - talks in the evening - possibly with a few beer - but more so because the runs are very good chances of meeting people you would not necessarily talk with otherwise.

    Today it was easy 5 km through some of the trails around the hotel. As Ludwigsburg is build on a small hill, it was quite interesting at times.

    So a big thanks to our big leader, Chris Aniszczyk, for hosting the runs. And come and join the run tomorrow at 7:00 in the hall of the Nestor Hotel..


    Teaching MDD and DSLs at ITU, Copenhagen

    This fall I have accepted a position as extern lecturer at the IT University in Copenhagen teaching model driven development and domain specific languages. I share the position with Steen Brahe from Danske Bank - one of the major banks in Denmark - who have a very solid practical experience in GMF models.

    The class runs every Monday and is a required part of the Master degree on software construction at ITU.

    As the tool bench for the classes, we use Eclipse Galileo Modeling Tools, which have turned out be a very good choice as a platform, as it is both pretty solid and contains all the bits and pieces we need in the classes.

    The IT University is a rather interesting place - not only from an architectural point of view - see the picture at the right - but also because the students are required to hold a bachelor degree as well as at least two years of real practical experience. This later requirement means, most of the students actually have a qualified opinion about the subjects that is taught.

    The classes we teach includes the following subjects:
    • OSGi
    • Basic Eclipse Plug-in Structure
    • MDD Theory
    • EMF
    • OCL
    • Textual DSL design an theory
    • XText
    • GMF
    • Model Transformations
    • QVT
    • Xpand
    • and a number of lectures on alternatives like UML
    As it can be seen, this a very mixed bag with both theory and lots of practical exercises based on the Eclipse tool bench.


    EclipseCon '09: UI Bindings: Slides and notes

    I just finished my presentation on UI Bindings, a framework that can help you getting a more consistent UI in large applications with many views based on an EMF model.

    The presentation was co-hosted with Olivier Moises - talking about Wazaabi - and Thomas Schindl - talking about UFaceKit. It was rather interesting to compare the different approaches...

    I have uploaded the slides and you can find them on gpublication.com.

    Please note that UI Bindings is released under the EPL license and can be found at Google code - for the time being...