Last Wednesday I attended the Eclipse Modeling Day in Toronto. Coming all the way from Victoria, I must have been the participant that came from farthest. Except, of course, those folks from SAP AG and Itemis that were presenting. But I was really glad to be there. I finally had the chance to chat and discuss about Eclipse and Modeling face to face with people like Simon Kaegi (server-side OSGi), Kenn Hussey (MDT UML2), Eike Stepper (CDO), Ed Merks and (fellow Brazilian) Marcelo Paternostro (EMF), Lynn Gayowski and Ian Skerret (Eclipse Foundation). It’s weird: I have been part of the Eclipse Modeling community since 2006 (and the larger Eclipse community since 2002), but had never actually met any of those folks before. Also amusing was that even though I worked for IBM Ottawa for quite a few years, my first time at the Toronto Lab was many years later as an ex-IBMer living on the West Coast.
The presentations I attended were in general very good. I had seen Ed Merks’ opening presentation on the web before, but this time I could ask questions. I got a better understanding of Xtext (great presentation!), CDO, and the Query, Validation and Transaction frameworks, some technologies I am considering adopting in the near future. I had a first time contact with the Papyrus 2.0 vision, which might provide an opportunity for increasing adoption of the TextUML notation by integrating the TextUML Toolkit into a larger modeling environment. And I liked the idea of a discussion panel at the end.
I had to catch a flight back home that same night, so I could not attend the Eclipse RT Day on the following day nor could I see any of the demos at the DemoCamp. Speaking of which, I did manage to stay long enough to have a beer on the Foundation (thanks!), and chat with Christopher Nagy from Dexterra/Antenna Software, who made a quick ad hoc demo to Ian and myself of their Eclipse/GEF-based tool for authoring multiplatform mobile applications. Very impressive!
As constructive criticism, I do agree with Bjorn that the format could use some tweaking. I sure had to miss some very promising presentations. Maybe with two presentation formats, a longer (for instance, 40-50 mins) and a shorter one (20-25 mins), we wouldn’t need two tracks. I am not sure presenters who came from Europe would have come had they had a shorter slot though. That being said, I was very satisfied with the event overall and am sincerely thankful to IBM Toronto for hosting the event, the Eclipse Foundation for organizing it, all the folks presenting and the companies sponsoring them. Thank you very much! As Lawrence wrote, hope we will see more events like this in the future!