Summary Eclipse Kepler Democamp 2013-06-13 in Dresden

Eclipse

Dresden, Jun. 13th 2013 – Again there have been some very interesting presentations at the democamp in Dresden.

First it was my pleasure to talk about extending Eclipse using the dropins folder. As it can be quite a pain to create the contents for that folder I wrote an Eclipse Diff Util which I showed in the live demo. At the beginning I was asking who knew the dropins folder and about half of the audience raised hands. Still from the questions asked at the end I think could provide some additional knowhow about porting plugins configuration to various other Eclipse installations. The slides are available at slideshare.

Thanks to Stefan Oehme from itemis AG about everyone was impressed of what you can do with active annotations provided by Xtend. A live demonstration just beats the videos and the documentation!

Besides drinks there was no catering during the break. The reason for that is simple: Although there lots of ways to register for a democamp even if you just come to listen to the talks many people just don’t register. But registering is necessary to predict how many people will attend a democamp. The Keplar democamp was well attended, but by far less people registered. Hence the organizers unfortunately decided against catering this time as it would’ve been disproportionate. So, please, next time you intend to attend do register if you didn’t this time!

After the break Lars Martin (SMB GmbH) gave a comprehensible demonstration of the MoDisco toolkit. I knew MoDisco, but never used it because from its documentation I did not see its value and capabilities. It always appeared to me to be a big monster so I stayed away from it. It is a monster indeed, but a good one. The talk was great and 30 minutes certainly are too little time to show every detail of MoDisco, but Lars managed to pick the essentials with a comprehensible example project.

The last talk of the evening was given by Christian Wende (DevBoost GmbH) about NatSpec. The approach of NatSpec is to collect requirements from your customer in natural language and transform those to unit test that can be used for acceptance tests. It was very impressive how quick you can get from a requirement to a unit test.
His talk was of additional interest to me as it reminded me of my diploma thesis 5 years ago where I extracted EMF models directly from word documents. As we had already code generators I was even able to build a complete tool chain that created a running product from the specification in natural language found in the document file. It’s nice to see that people are working on building bricks of a software factory again. Given the power of DSLs and progress in modeling technologies around the Eclipse EMF framework it appears to become more and more possible to really build such a factory one day.

To sum it up: The sponsors SMB GmbH, itemis AG, and Eclipse Foundation did a great job of selecting very interesting demo talks. Thanks for the drinks, too!

After the demo camp we met for a beer and late dinner at the Irodion Pallas‘s beer garden.

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