EclipseCon Europe 2016 – I’m coming!

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I’m sitting now in the train on my way to Ludwigsburg. For sure I cannot miss this great event, where so many smart people and friends come together. Although ECE is always at the same time of the year and I knew for long that I want to go there again, it comes not at the best time for me – or better: for my family. The reason is a really positive one: Almost 3 weeks ago on October 4th I became for the second time father of a lovely daughter, Sophia.

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I am missing her already deeply, and my wife would need some supporting hands at home right now. However she understands that EclipseCon is important for me and supports me. The past weeks I did not get much sleep, but the reason was mostly not Sophia, but mainly preparing my talks – in the late evening and night it was most suitable. I will definitely enjoy EclipseCon, but this year I will also be happy when I can leave towards home again and will take 3 days off afterwards for regeneration and caring for the family.

This year’s EclipseCon will be fully packed for me. Today, on Sunday, it will start with a small pre-conference event at the Rossknecht, where the Eclipse Scout community comes together. Tomorrow at the Unconference day I will attend the Eclipse Scout User Day, which I attended the past two years already. At the moment I do not work with Scout, but I really enjoyed working with this framework in the past and would like to do another project with it again. The recent year Scout has much evolved, and I am keen to learn all the news.

On tuesday the Xtext developers plan to schedule a BoF Session. A beta of Xtext 2.11 was released this week, and we have to work much now to make the 2.11 release round. I plan to invest quite some time on this, and we have to talk about the concrete tasks and collaboration. Since we are now a team spanning several companies, it is important to have the chance to get the whole team together at EclipseCon.

On wednesday it is time for action. I was recently contacted that the proposal for the session “Recipes to build Code Generators for Non-Xtext Models with Xtend” got picked from the waiting list. I will perform the talk with my colleague and friend Holger Schill.

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We give this talk because Xtend is a very nice language when it comes to developing template based code generators, but is mostly only used in the context of Xtext. Xtext projects seamlessly integrate a generator infrastructure with Xtend, but it is not that common to use Xtend based generators with models that are not Xtext DSL files. We will show how simple it can be to integrate Xtend for other use cases, e.g. with JSON as input.

After that talk we will participate at the Modeling Symposium (17:45 Theater Stage). There we will shortly (7 minutes slot only) present a generator fragment that creates an extension package for VisualStudio Code to embed support for a DSL with an embedded language server. The Language Server Protocol support is the main feature for Xtext 2.11. We plan to contribute the created generator fragment to the Xtext project.

On thursday it is time for my talk “From stairway to heaven onto the highway to hell with Xtext” (11:00 Theater Stage). In this talk I will explain why I love Xtext and why it is used successfully in so many projects first, but then discuss where users have or run into trouble when using the framework. We see in many projects that first steps are easily done and don’t require much experience, but as requirements grow the complexity of DSL projects also grow and extensive experience with details of Xtext and the technologies behind is crucial. I hopefully compiled an informative set of issues.

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EclipseCon 2011 warmup

EclipseCon is just about to start and I am glad that I can make it this year. I have the chance to present Project Spray on thursday (Nov 3rd, 11:30 AM Bürgersaal 2) together with Jos Warmer. Spray aims to provide tooling to facilitate the creation of visual editors based on the Graphiti framework by the use of Xtext based DSL and Xtend code generator. You can basically compare it with what GMF Tools does for GMF, just with a DSL based approach.

EclipseCon Europe 2011

The project was founded at this year’s Code Generation conference, and Jos contributed an initial state of Spray derived from a customer’s project back in August. Since then the project team refactored the code base quite a bit. We are still in an early project phase. Most of the development is done in spare time yet, like Open Source projects often start. That was quite tough besides my full packed work schedule. Many hours on train or evenings in the hotel were spent to push this project.

At the moment I am just about to release version 0.3.0 of the Spray SDK, which I will use for our demo on thursday. Of course we want to gain a large audience. I am honest enough to say that attendees won’t see a production ready tool yet, but of course it is in working state. Jan announced a pie fight for visual tooling, I am ready to open my mouth wide enough to catch the incoming pies.

For our session we don’t want to start any discussion on graphical editing vs. visualization, whether GMF is better than Graphiti, or DSL / code generation vs. framework approach. There is always a niche for everything, and we are confident that Spray fills one of these gaps.

Besides what an end user actually can do with Spray at this moment there are quite some hidden gems in the project. I am using Spray to have also a non-trivial example for Eclipse Modeling tooling. You will find, for example

At EclipseCon I will take the chance to exchange with some experts in the fields of Modeling, especially Xtext and Graphiti. I will lay another focus on Build systems, especially Maven. Besides that there are many other interesting talks, far more than I can attend. And not to forget to meet all the other Eclipse enthusiasts. See you there!