Saturday, August 22, 2009

EMF is Awesome!

This is one of the conclusions in the first part of an article series I wrote for the german Eclipse Magazin. I already blogged about the included example application eDine. Now the article has been promoted to the JAXenter portal, where it can be read by everybody who's able to read German:

In this article I elaborate on some internal details of EMF regarding scalability (see also my blog How Scalable are my Models?) before I dive into a detailed explanation of the CDO Model Repository.

The second part of this series will show you how to use EMF and CDO to build distributed, scalable and model-based application systems. The comprehensive example that will be included in that article is already available in the Eclipse CVS. I'll leave a note here when the second part is publicly available on JAXenter.

In case there's a translation geek out there, willing to help me translate these articles into English for a broader audience, please drop me a note. A seat in the CDO hall of fame is guaranteed :P

Monday, August 17, 2009

Modeling Stammtisch Details

Our poll for the upcoming Eclipse Modeling Stammtisch in Berlin was successful enough to arrange for a nice location and time. Jens v. Pilgrim sent me a proposal which I liked, too:

Prater Garten

Kastanienallee 7 – 9
10435 Berlin
(Prenzlauer Berg)

Begin: 18:30
End: Open

For the outside area it's not possible to reserve tables but they promised me that at this early time it'll be next to sure that we don't end up without a table for 25 persons. The rush hour there is only around 20:00.

Thank you, Jens, for the suggestion. We hope to meet you all there in two days...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eclipse Foundation funds my Project

Some discussion has been going on about revenue models for open source projects and their committers. Many good ideas, some whining, and also some misconceptions. One of those was brought to my attention several times just recently by users of CDO and by some of my customers. They seem to believe that

The Eclipse Foundation funds my Project

This is simply not true, neither for my projects, CDO and Net4j, nor for any other Eclipse project. The Foundation's revenue, as well as the donations to the Foundation, are spent in a way that more or less suits all projects equally. Staff must be paid, servers operated, marketing be done, and so on.

All projects are responsible for their own funding. In particular the committers are either employees and paid by their employer (who'd better have a good business model for being able to continue to fund open source development) or so called individual committers, in which case they have to look after themselves for their funding or just do the work for their own gratification.

To make a project successful a great deal of marketing has to be done which often incurs additional costs such as conference fees and travel expenses. I tend to think that the community benefits from these marketing efforts in a similar way as from the usage of open source product itself. The more people are using a product the quicker it will mature to something really great. And the needed funding can be distributed among even more shoulders.

I'm clearly an individual committer and I'm usually working full-time on my two Eclipse projects, for more than five years now. This can and will only continue to work if enough users of the project results realize that nothing is really free:

Open source software is free.

Free like in freedom
but not gratis!

I hope this does not sound too much like whining. It's not intended to be like that. In fact I appreciate that more and more companies that reap benefit and revenue from using open source technologies realize the subtle but essential economic mechanisms that guarantee continuation of their business model. I'd like to take this as a chance to thank my own customers: It has always been fun to spend time with you being incredibly creative and productive to our mutual benefit!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

EMF Tips #1: How the hell do I generate my 28 models?

Recently Ed pointed me to a "hidden" feature in EMF which I always thought I was missing. I take this as an opportunity to launch a series of EMF blogs with hints around EMF, starting with:

How the hell do I generate my 28 models?

In CDO and Net4j together we have 28 models, many of them being test or example models. It has always been a hazzle to regenerate them for new versions of EMF having been published. The best approach I was aware of is a manual loop like this:

I always wished there was a view with all genmodels so that I could select multiple genmodels and regenerate them with a single click. I had such a view in GenFw and even an incremental genmodel generator.

I bet you didn't know the default key binding Shift+Alt+G (M2+M3+G)? I didn't! Go figure:

A dialog opens that lists all genmodels in the workspace. The next page lets you select the sub models to be regenerated:

Before you switch to the second page be sure that all the genmodels selectedin page one can be opened with the genmodel editor without errors. Otherwise the wizard could indefinitely block the UI. Apart from this little lesson it works great and will spare me a lot of dumb effort in the future. Kudos to Marcelo for this neat (but somehow hidden) feature!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eclipse Modeling Stammtisch

On Wednesday August 19th Ed and Ralph will be in Berlin and we thought it'd be cool to have an Eclipse Modeling Stammtisch together with you. Here's the invitation:

If you are a modeling newbie and don't understand this abstract syntax just drop me a note so that I can come up with an invitation in a general purpose language. Of course I'd use JET for this purpose :P

Don't forget to add yourself to our poll in order to help us finding an appropriate location!

Hoping to see you in a week...