Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Real World: München

A Keynote at W-JAX

I am so filled with the joy of W-JAX '08 that I cannot contain it.

I will be presenting a keynote at the conference in November and I am thrilled. No holds barred. Nothing off limits. It is going to be both fun AND informative.

The First 60 Seconds

I will start my talk with the usual
"I am so happy to be in Münich... The last time I was in Münich was ... blah blah."

You can't go wrong with this intro. Everyone does this bit, including one of my favorites Tim Bray.

Astonishing Tales

Then, I dive right into telling astonishing tales of building commercial software on top of Open Source frameworks.

To give you an idea of how astonishing my tales are, here is a picture taken at EclipseCon 2008 of me telling stories to (from left to right) Ben Pasero (the smartest twenty-something guy I know who does not work at Google - yet), Bernd Kolb, and Martin Aeschlimann (JDT/UI lead and my bestest Swiss friend).

These three guys look mesmerized and I am hoping my talk will have this effect on the 800+ attendees at the conference.

What makes a good keynote?

To me, the best keynotes are ones that meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. they make you laugh
2. they make you cry
3. they make you think

If you have a story about commercial development around Eclipse that meets at least one of the criteria above, I would love to hear it. Please send an email to wassim dot melhem at gmail dot com.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crime and Punishment


Thinking that your action set is sooooo important that it deserves to appear in the toolbar of every perspective in every Eclipse product that contains your plug-in.

This very common Eclipse programming faux-pas is easy to make. All it takes is set the 'visible' attribute of your action set extension to 'true'.

There are many examples out there, but one example I was bitten by recently is the Ant/External Tools action set in the Eclipse SDK.

Running Ant scripts is useful, but its appeal is certainly not so universal to demand this ultimate level of visibility. The Ant action set currently appears by default in the toolbar of every perspective of every product that packages the org.eclipse.platform feature.

It may be reasonable to see it in the Java perspective:

It is questionable to see it in the Team Synchronizing perspective:

We have also inherited the gift of Ant in the SQL perspective of PowerSQL, where the target audience does not necessarily need Ant or even know what Ant is:


Lesson Learned:

Use the 'visible' attribute wisely when creating an action set, and nobody gets hurt :)