Friday, August 17, 2007


With Wassim publicly announcing his departure from IBM and his reduced role on PDE, I thought I would use this opportunity to say a few thank-yous, and suggest a new award at EclipseCon.

I first started within with Eclipse in January 2003, and my first exposure was with GEF. It was part of my PhD research (that is *hopefully* almost finished :) ) and it was at IBM as a research student. Throughout my time working on / with Eclipse, numerous people helped me along. First is Wassim, who contacted me about building a graphical view for Plug-in Dependencies. Many-a-nights I would find him on-line asking him stupid questions like why does the PDE have 5 different models to represent Plug-ins. I'm not sure who I'm going to turn to now to help solve my confusion (I'm already hounding Mike and Brian of the PDE Team). The second person I need to thanks is Chris Aniszczyk. Chris is actually my Summer of Code mentor and I'm not sure if he knows *everything* about Eclipse, but he sure knows everyone! Chris is also knows everything about Eclipse process and can really help get things done. Finally, and maybe most importantly, is Ed Merks. Ed is my IBM research mentor and I still turn to him for real life advice (not to mention all my questions on the newsgroup that keep him busy).

With the departure of Wassim (and no he is not the first committer to leave), you start to realize the importance of junior developers and Eclipse up-and-comers. Eclipse thrives both because of its user base and developers, but what if one company decided to pull all its committers? In order to ensure Eclipse growth continues, it is important that new committers (both from existing member companies, and elsewhere) join the ship. This is why I would like to throw the idea our there of a mentorship award at EclipseCon. An award for the committer who goes out of their way to bring new committers on board?


Good luck Wassim!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

PDE Dependency View (SoC)

It has been too long since my last update. I meant to post this early this week, so this isn't the latest code. I will do another update this weekend.

Anyways, I thought I would give a brief overview of what the PDE Viz tool looks like and how to use it (My SoC project). The PDE Viz Tool is targeted at developers trying to understand the dependencies of their bundles. Once you get the tool (currently only available in source, but that will change soon) from here, you can find it using the now famous CTRL-3 :)

Once loaded, you can right click on the canvas to select a bundle.

For this example I selected ecore.

Producing a nice little graph.
I have also added a few small analysis tools, so if you ever wondered why javax.servlet was needed by EMF, you could see the dependency path:

A few other small notables in this version. I have updated my labels to use gradient colours. Also, if you double click a node it will refocus the graph on that node. The arrow keys (at the top of the view) can be used to navigate forward and backwards through the graph. Finally, I added a "Screenshot" action so you can save your dependency graph to a PNG.

I have tested this on some of the large IDEs built on Eclipse and it worked (albeit a little slow). My hunch is that it was not slow because of the large number of nodes, but rather because of the even larger number of edges. But for all the bundles I tested in Europa it worked without problems.