lundi 1 avril 2013

Goodbye ECon 2013, Such a good time!

This year, I had the chance to attend EclipseCon once again. Like each time, it was a great moment for many reasons.

1- Contents


I presented two talks this year, so I haven't be able to attend many sessions. But, in the EMF community we are fortunate to have great speakers. Attending sessions of Ed Merks or Eike Stepper still is a great time!

Ed presented the result of its work on the EMF performances. This session was composed of 3 parts:

  • Some tips on the way to work on software performances.
  • An important reminder of the fact of trusting nothing and nobody (what a party guy Ed!).
  • And finally a presentation of the methodology and the work done for improving EMF performances.
Even if it's part of the software development’s foundations, it's always a good to remember the importance of taking care of software performance.

The only problem of this session was the lack of time, 70 slides in 35 minutes remains a big challenge hard to meet!

Eike presented a very complete tutorial for developing RCP applications based on EMF. I hope to work one day with Eike to include a demonstration of EEF dealing with the UI part of this application! :)
During this session, Eike made a demonstration of one of his superpowers: the ability to sketch a full RCP application in less than a minute without effort!!! So amazing :)

2- The Eclipse community and my sessions


Like I said before, I presented two sessions this year....

2.1- Documentation Driven Testing 


During this talk, Alex and I presented the result of the work we've done on the EEF tests.
This work aims at implementing a brand new methodology to develop and maintain functional tests. The idea is to fully drive the test development by the documentation.
Indeed, these last years, many projects like SWTBot or Intent have been created. These project allow the design of high quality tooling for tests development.
The tooling we’ve developed is composed of 3 parts:

  • An extension of Intent has been created to allow users embedding models directly in the Intent document. By doing so, there is no risk of non-synchronization between the documentation and the models since they are inferred by the documentation.
  • An EMF model for functional tests modeling. By instantiating this model, an user is able to sequentially define a list of actions to describe a test scenario. Associated to this model, a SWTBot interpreter has been developed to read the model instances and execute the defined tests.
  • Finally, in order to ease the test modeling process, an XText syntax has been created. A functional user is able to describe a test by writing an actions sequence with a language very similar to natural language.
The idea behind this tooling is to ease the tests creation process, and to invite the user who is responsible for this process to keep a complete and synchronized test documentation by refocusing the test tooling on the documentation.

This tooling enables users to write a document on the software they want to test and, in dedicated areas, to define the test sequence validating the behavior described by the documentation. The tool can then generate scenarios executable by SWTBot.
This tooling isn't magical, it can't force users to write documentation. However, the strategy is to invite the user to make documentation and keep it synchronized by focusing the test development process on the document. Indeed, with our tools, the way to create a new test (or to update an existing one) is to open the testing document and to change the described scenario.
I'm really convinced that if you change a test in a document and, if the paragraph just before your scenario say something wrong about this scenario, you will update this paragraph.

That's why Documentation Driven Testing exists!


2.2 - EMF community, move on e4! 

My second talk was a presentation of the new brand new version of EEF. I worked on a full redesign of the project I lead in the Eclipse community to help EMF users to move on the new e4 platform.
I  was very excited to show some of the new very cool features I’ve developed in EEF2.

The crazy user experience of runtime interpretation for UI rendering (yes, EEF2 doesn't generate code anymore), as well as the flexibility brought by the full OSGi design of this new architecture and the ability to switch  from one platform to another just by changing the EEF bundles loaded in your application, make me want to release very quickly a first version to let you play with it!
I will push the code I’ve developed just after my vacations in Chicago (w00t w00t) and then make a build. Don't hesitate to play with it and to give us feedback in order to make this version the coolest UI framework for the EMF community!!!

3. The Eclipse foundation staff


But most of all, the thing that made this EclipseCon a great moment for me was the kindness and the availability of the Eclipse foundation members.
This edition permits to see people that we're not meeting very often but who are extremely important for our daily committer job. And icing on the cake, these people are incredibly nice! It was a great opportunity for me to meet them and I really hope to see them again very soon.
I would really like to mention Anne (I already met her at the previous editions) who remains a very likeable person and the most fastest photo-shooter of the world!

And this year, I’ve met for the first time Sharon who is a really nice person (except when I had to work... she was putting pressure on me and inciting me to prepare my sessions - j/k;)). She came with the frenchies very often and gave us so many goodies from her magic bag! I was very impressed by the amount of stuffs she can store in her bag (even an iron!!!), did she stole it to Mary poppins? ;)

This year also was the opportunity to meet Roxanne who joined the Eclipse foundation staff some times ago. She speaks a very good french and she allowed me to get a free beer at the first meal, how to imagine a better way to meet somebody? ;)

I also met Pablo who was my mental coach for my second session. I'm pretty sure that this mental coaching was the main factor of the good running of my EEF2 presentation. Thank you so much Pablo, our chat before the session was an important help for me.

I finish with Nathan, and I want to make a very special kudos for this so cool guy. Indeed, you have to know that a great competition took place this year in EclipseCon to get the so cool Eclipse hoodies made by Roxanne. After many tries to get one (sorry Roxanne for putting so much pressure on you shoulders for this reason ;)), Nathan became the nicest guy of the world by giving me his hoodie and so making me the proudest man of the world:

(beat that, Mikaël ;))

So, thank you so much Nathan and I promise to bring you something from France the next time we meet!!!

Thank you everyone for this great event. I hope to see you very soon for other great adventures! ;)