Vancouver Eclipse deMO Camp Wrap Up

by Robert Elves, November 27th, 2009

We had another fun and informative Eclipse Demo Camp this past Wednesday here in Vancouver with over 50 participants braving the elements to attend. A number of attendees were participating in MOvember. These gentlemen could be easily identified by the presence of a moustache adorning their face (myself included). A number of the speakers were fellow “mo bros” and their donation pages are linked below where you can rate their moustache and make a donation.


What is Eclipse Demo Camp? The Eclipse Foundation sponsors Demo Camp events world wide. The Eclipse Demo Camp is a gathering of local Eclipse enthusiasts, giving individuals the opportunity to present or hear about Eclipse based technology being developed locally.

Vancouver Demo Camp Format. The Vancouver Eclipse Demo Camp has taken the “learn by fire hose” approach: 7 or 8 fast paced 10 min talks delivered by local industry and academics building on Eclipse. This includes a minute to answer a quick question while in parallel the next speaker is plugging in and lining up to deliver their talk. Its fast, its fun, and translates into rapid exposure to really cool technologies in just over an hour. Attendees have commented that this high energy, to the point format offers a nice alternative to events with longer talks.

The Speakers

We enjoyed talks from the following speakers:

Mik Kersten, lead of the Eclipse Mylyn Project and CEO of Tasktop, gave a quick introduction to the Eclipse Ecosystem and why it excels as a platform for innovation.

Andrew Eisenberg from SpringSource/VMWare demonstrated Groovy tooling within Eclipse and how easily Grails controllers and model classes can be generated from within the Spring Source Tool Suite. Slides (pdf)

Jim DeLaHunt of Jim DeLaHunt & Associates demonstrated how Eclipse can be used to perform runtime debugging of large php applications, something many of us take for granted. He equated life before discovering Eclipse PHP debugging to working with ‘bear skins and stone knives’ to get the job done. Great analogy Jim, I can’t imagine how I’d survive without Eclipse’s debugger.

David Green, a committer on the Eclipse Mylyn project, explained the problem of keeping documentation up to date and showed how Mylyn’s WikiText module can be leveraged to build Eclipse documentation crowdsourced from user contributed wiki content (i.e. from EclipsePedia). See David’s blog.  Slides (pdf) Movember Donations

Emerson Murphy-Hill from the Software Practices Lab at the University of British Columbia demonstrated a new way to communicate the presence of code smells through a visualizations called “stench blossoms”. These “blossoms” are drawn within the Eclipse editor along the right hand margin and scale in proportion to the severity of the smell. For more information, read the paper and download the tool.

Sam Davis from the Software Practices Lab at the University of British Columbia, demonstrated a prototype within Eclipse that dynamically presents the abstractions in your source code more succinctly (so that it feels like you’re using a dynamic language while in fact you’re still using java). You have to see it to believe it. If you would like to try this technology sign up for his user study.

Ian Bull from EclipseSource demonstrated the simplicity of customizing and provisioning Eclipse using Yoxos. In addition to custom Eclipse configurations, Ian also pointed out that Yoxos can help developers that need to manage multiple different instances/profiles of Eclipse. Movember Donations

David Shepherd from Tasktop closed the speaking protion of the evening off with a few quick best practices when working with Tasktop Pro. David put the call out to all Mylyn and Tasktop users to ping him on his twitter account and share your workflow practices. Slides (pdf), Movember Donations


After the presentations we all enjoyed good food, drinks and conversation. I’m already looking forward to the next Demo Camp! This is the third year Tasktop has organized this Eclipse community event, and each year has been better than the last. Thanks go out to Andrew Eisenberg from the SpringSource crew for helping with this year’s Demo Camp. Also, thanks to whoever provided the runtime debugging of my (paper based) sign up sheet at the event, catching my miss use of the assignment operator:

P.S. My Movember page. Drop me a donation and a comment!

2 Responses to “Vancouver Eclipse deMO Camp Wrap Up”

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