mercredi 17 mars 2010

Eclipse Amalgamation 2.0

I'm waiting for a nightly M6 Modeling package to get downloaded on my laptop. As I've got a few hours to wait getting it I'll use this chance to give news about the Amalgamation project.

It's a well known fact that the Eclipse Modeling Project is myriad of small focused projects, Kenn is working on sanity checks for each of those project, more than 50 ! The benefits of this organization is that you can choose which bits you want to use depending on your use case but this flexibility come to a cost: making sure there is no overlap between proposals is often tricky and making sure those projects taken as a whole are providing a consistent platform is even more challenging.
A few years ago the Eclipse Modeling Amalgamation project was created and started by providing Eclipse distros tailored for specific needs and an "All Eclipse Modeling in One Package" distro through EPP. At some point the project staled and during last October a new team gathered and I've been designated project lead.

Most users and adopters are consuming the Eclipse Modeling Project through the EPP package, one don't have to figure out how to browse and install the projects you need. But this package was including all of modeling, as such it was huge, cluttered, un-tested, and nobody could really use it.
Downloads of the package felt down and the Eclipse Modeling project has a whole probably suffered from that.

My first objective for the Amalgam project was to update the package to get a sane one : changing our big messy package to an Eclipse Modeling SDK composed of the core runtime components and framework :

EMF core and its low UI profile companions : XSD, Transaction, Validation, Mint and compare

Graphical support with GEF and GMF runtime

OCL and UML2 : you can't really live without those standards.

CDO : it brings EMF - as a framework - to another level with collaborative editing and remote model repository.

This set of features + Eclipse SDK and Mylyn is composing our new platform, and we went from almost 400 to 250Mb. It's still big but hey, it's an SDK !

Still, many more great and useful components are built within the Eclipse Modeling Project and getting those to install was painfull. Mylyn was already providing a solution to that : a discovery UI :

In the meantime during the year this discovery support has been moving from Mylyn to P2.

As a user, having this UI makes my life easier, I can install components without even thinking about where I'll find the pieces and P2 is taking care of the requirements and consistency of my Eclipse installation, I'm looking forward to hear from your feedback about it when the M6 Package will be out.

This modeling platform is a basis we'll test and polish to get a streamlined user experience and we'll have to organize ourselves to make sure to release a tested, used, and clean platform. The Eclipse Modeling Panel will be a perfect time to give your opinion and feedback, do not miss it, it's on Monday !



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