Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eclipse: Empowering the Universal Platform Technical Briefing

IBM has put together a technical briefing entitled Eclipse: Empowering the Universal Platform that provides an introduction to Eclipse - the platform, the foundation, and the ecosystem. This is a nice introduction if you're starting out with Eclipse or want to get a better sense of what's available in Eclipse land.

For those who attended my session last week the slides are available from:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Eclipse RT Day Toronto

Yesterday was Eclipse RT Day Toronto at the IBM Toronto Lab. For those who missed it, there is quite a lot going on the runtime space. (A number of the presentation slides are available on the Eclipse RT Day page.) My interest is currently in server side equinox. I've first started playing with this technology about two years ago and my current product, Rational Insight, recently released v1.0, which includes a server side equinox based component. The runtimes are really coming along nicely and have been stable and usable for some time. For me the big takeaways from the day are:

1. The required ancillary features, like filter support for server side equinox, security, and provisioning have now been or are currently being addressed.
2. Tool support is growing for Eclipse RT.

This one day event was really great. The two tracks kept everyone together for most of the day, there was low overhead for me as this was in Toronto (and where I work no less), and there was only a single day commitment, which is much easier on my schedule than a multi-day conference. Thanks to everyone who came down from Ottawa and other places to present and participate. I hope to see more of these events in the future.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Watch Mike Milinkovich debate the merits of the EPL

The Free and Open Source Learning Centre recently ran a debate about which open source license is best: BSD, EPL, or GPL. I think Mike does a great job of summarizing the merits of the EPL. Check out the video for yourself at:


Friday, February 1, 2008

More WTP Books on the Way

My publisher just informed me that stock of Eclipse Web Tools Platform: Developing Java Web Applications is getting dangerously low. (OK, so I added in the dangerously part.) This is great news as it means the book is a hit and I think speaks volumes about the popularity of WTP.

The second printing is taking place now and should make it to shelves shortly. My co-authors and I have made a number of corrections most notably fixing the two incorrect code examples identified on the WTP book errata page.

If you haven't already picked up a copy take a look at the book's web site or pick up your copy directly from Amazon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Register for EclipseCon 2008, Get a Free Eclipse WTP Book

EclipseCon 2008EclipseCon 2008, the Eclipse Foundation's annual conference, is being held March 17-20, in Santa Clara, CA.

Register early and as a bonus the first 100 people to register will receive a free copy of my book Eclipse Web Tools Platform.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Up Next, Free Software and Open Source Symposium

Free Software and Open Source Symposium
I meant to get this post out much earlier than the night before the event but I think it will still be useful as all of the symposium content is recorded and available online for free from the FSOSS site. (You can check out last year's talks now, including my presentation about Ajax toolkits.)

Up next for me is the Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) at Seneca College running from Oct. 26-27. This will be my third year at this event and the first year the event will span two days. This is another event I've found to have very high quality presentations and a lot of good people from various backgrounds. In fact FSOSS is sponsored by, among others, Mozilla, BMO Bank of Montreal, Novell, Seneca College, and Apple.

Here's my agenda for this two day event:

9-10 Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for Better User Experiences
I've really gotten into user experience and how I can improve it in my products. I'm interested to see what David and Jay's 12 step program is after reading book like The Inmates Are Running the Asylum and User Interface Design for Programmers.

10-11 Facebook's Thrift: Scalable Cross-Language Development
This is a talk about some of the technology that supports the Facebook platform. I really don't know anything about Facebook from a technical perspective and this is the first opportunity I've had to hear directly from the dev team.

11-12 Product and User Experience Design in Open Communities
Amazingly I've never seen Mike present. Although I'm interested in the topic I'm going to his talk to see if he's as funny in front of a room of people as he is in person. (My bet's on yes.)

1-2 Welcome To The Jungle: A Field Guide To Enterprise Computing
Read the abstract for this talk. It just seems like it's going to be fun.

2-3 Open Commercial Development
This is the talk I'm giving with Jeff Liu. Our talks the last couple years have been on Open technologies (Eclipse WTP and Ajax toolkits) so this is a bit of a change for us.

3-4 Keynote: Applying Open Source Concepts to Non-software Industries

9-10 Accessible Rich Internet Applications
This is real concern as RIAs break many of the existing solutions for accessibility. I'm currently building an RIA so I think this will be a useful talk.

10-11 Shifting the Focus: OpenOffice.org 3.0
IBM recently announced that it will collaborate on OpenOffice. Think I'll check out what's new and upcoming.

11-12 Open Source in the Telephony Market
Asterisk is pretty cool. My brother-in-law uses it to power the telephone system for his small business (RentMagic) and I've been meaning to set up a test box for a while to play with this Open Source telephony application.

1-2 Community as A Core Competency: Microsoft and Open Source
Although I've been disapointed by other MS talks at Open Source conferences this one again looks interesting and so I'm holding out hope.

2-3 A Linux Desktop on Every PC
Marcel is a great speaker. (I've seen him twice at this event.) I'm looking forward to what I'm sure will be an energetic talk.

3-4 Keynote: Open Source Economics: Stakeholder Perspectives

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Error Message for the Hall of Fame

I was trying to create a DVD with InterVideo WinDVD Creator V2 (which came bundled with my ThinkPad) this weekend when I was presented with an error dialog.

Can not complete authoring process due to some error.This immediately seemed to me like a candidate for the error message Hall of Fame. Not only does this error message contain no useful information but after failing the program seems to remove all clues as to what it had done so I can't even debug the problem myself.

I'd like to think that due to the Open Source process (with committers elected due to their proven technical expertise) that Eclipse is immune from poor error messages. Unfortunately this isn't always true. However Eclipse and other Open Source software does have a great advantage from community review (many eyes). The community is a great help in locating poor error messages.

One error message, which is partially my fault as I let it be propagated through the WSDL validator, was recently identified in a WTP newsgroup posting about the WS-I WSDL validator. The error message in question is:
"WS-I: A problem occurred while running the WS-I WSDL conformance check: org.eclipse.wst.wsi.internal.analyzer.WSIAnalyzerException. The WS-I Test Assertion Document(TAD) was not found or could not be processed. The WSDLAnalyzer was not able to validate the given WSDL file."
I think there are a number of problems with this message.
  1. The message identifies an internal exception. If the exception is one that a user should understand it should probably be part of an API.
  2. The message refers to the WS-I Test Assertion Document (TAD) without any explanation of what this is or why this is affecting the end user. I think a link would be very helpful here.
  3. The message doesn't give the user any suggestions how to resolve the problem.
I've brought this up as I think it's a good reminder to do your best to think like your users when creating error messages. An easy way to do a quick dry run is to simply ask the person sitting next to you (either physically on online) whether they understand the message.

Oh, and in case you're interested, I've opened bug 206845 for the WS-I error message above.