Sunday, March 11, 2007

EclipseCon 2007 Post-Mortem

The Best Conference Ever
I have been to the Santa Clara Covention Center for non-EclipseCon and more expensive events (e.g., SDWest) and let me tell you, it's not the same. During EclipseCon week, everything is better and everything runs without a glitch. It is a smooth operation. A big thank you to the conference organizers for an amazing job.

OSGi For Dummies
It was a great idea to merge the OSGi developer conference with EclipseCon and I hope this trend continues. Generally though, I felt that a significant number of the conference attendees did not know how the two technologies related to each other.

It may be a good idea to have a plenary talk next year to educate the masses about OSGi and Eclipse. My choice to present such a plenary would be BJ Hargrave. He articulates those OSGi concepts perfectly and his voice projects very well. He also ought to write an "OSGi for Dummies' book.

A Panel without a Panel, a Point without a Counterpoint
One of the sessions I was most curious about was the What sucks about Eclipse panel. As much as I like healthy debates, I was afraid it would quickly turn into a complaint session about insignificant problems, rather than tackle big issues.

In fairness, the moderator was good, but I think the session was destined to fail before it even started. According to the abstract of this session, "the format of this panel is a little non-traditional. The audience are the panelists". I suspect it was difficult to assemble committers or project leads for the panel if the premise was to be ambushed by the community :)

So the audience brought up some good points, but there was no one in attendance that was knowledgeable enough to respond. So it left us all empty, and after a while the whole thing just felt awkward.

I blame Bjorn and Richard for voting for and accepting that submission. (I am kidding, please don't take the bait ;)

Web Track != WTP; Test and Performance Track != TPTP
The web development track was very heavy on the WTP. Similarly, the Test and Performance track seemed heavy on the TPTP content. I would have liked to see more variety in those two tracks as I am sure there is a lot of Web and test/performance-related work going on in the Eclipse space that is not directly coming out of these two projects.

By comparison, other tracks such as the C/C++, Java, and RCP tracks, had a very well-balanced program.

Tutorials - A Popularity Contest
I suggested to the program committee that, when it comes to tutorials, they should accept submissions based on what sells, not evenly distribute across tracks. A good, but certainly not the only, indicator would be to look at the big hits/misses of EclipseCon2006. Unfortunately, either no one listened, or I spoke up too late.

So we ended up with some tutorials about obscure topics that did not do well this year. In fact, some tutorials that did not do well in 2006 came back to the 2007 schedule with little or no change. There was no miraculous jump in their attendance count this year either.

It was a bit sad to walk outside a huge room and see less than 10 people in attendance. Of course, there was no such problem in the modeling, RCP and embedded tracks. They were packed.

I think some people on the program committee ought to do some soul searching (perhaps travel to Tibet, if it helps) and come up with a plan to not let this problem happen again.

Onward and Upward
EclipseCon2007 was a great event. Looking forward to next year.

1 comment:

Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

That BJ is sure a clever guy. However it's destined that there will never be an OSGi book and it will remain a black art ;)