Thursday, April 11, 2013

Trip Report from EclipseCon 2013

I had a chance, along with Michael Fiedler,  to attend the US EclipseCon 2013 in Boston, MA in late March.   In addition to presenting a BOF and a session on OSLC, Linked Data and Lyo, we were able to attend several sessions, panel discussions and BOFs.   It was also a great chance to meet with members of the OSLC and Lyo communities to discuss the challenges of tool integration.

General Impressions from the Conference

It was cool to see and hear OSLC and Eclipse Lyo in a variety of sessions.  There were good active discussions with the Eclipse Mylyn team regarding their recent m4 proposal, including how OSLC and Lyo play a key part.  It was good to explore ways we could work together with Mylyn, Orion, Hudson and more.  We did do a lot of education and exploration with a number of attendees that had no or limited knowledge of what was going on within OSLC and Lyo.  Various panels, keynotes and sessions often called out the need for tool vendors to be able to collaborate on open interfaces....we asked them: "have you heard of OSLC?"  There were a number of people making the case for OSLC-based integrations very easy.
Here is a summary of the two sessions we presented at EclipseCon:

1) Lifecycle Tool Integrations: Linked Data, OSLC and Eclipse Lyo
Session type: Birds of a Feather

The participants ranged from experienced OSLC implementers interested in contributing to Eclipse Lyo to those new to OSLC looking for learning resources. 
The discussion covered the re-vamped tutorial on, using the Lyo OSLC4J Bugzilla adapter as a learning resource and some general OSLC and linked data integration philosophies.  Topics included:
  • a description of an OSLC4J implementation in progress which exposes EMF Models as OSLC resources - being considered for contribution to Lyo
  • the experiences of a developer who has implemented several OSLC integrations to enable tools to participate in an ALM system
  • The OSLC CM 1.0 integrations developed for the Mantis bug tracker and FusionForge
  • Status of Eclipse Lyo - what is new in 1.1 and what is coming
  • One OSLC implementer strongly recommended developing integrations using 2.0 of OSLC.  He also pointed out authentication is a primary painpoint for the work he has done.

2) Leveraging W3C Linked Data, OSLC, and Open Source for Loosely Coupled Application Integrations
Session type: ALM Connect track

This session was a 35 minute tour through tool integration, problems with previous approaches and new approaches using linked data and OSLC.
This was followed by an overview of open source projects relevant to this space (Jena, Wink, Clerezza, Lyo etc) and a brief demo of some potential integrations between Eclipse Orion and a Change Management tool (Bugzilla) and an Automation tool (Lyo automation reference implementation).   
There was very little time left for questions at the end, but there were some good ones which pushed the session into overtime: 
  • Interest in the concept of delegated UIs and the responsibilities of the tool hosting them - described the OSLC concepts in some detail
  • Interest in the concept of UI previews and compact representations.   How these resources can be used to link to full representations was described.
  • Some clarifying questions were raised by a few folks about the details of the Bugzilla integration demonstrated.   Explained it is the live Eclipse Bugzilla instance, but that it could have been any OSLC CM provider.
Special thanks to Michael Fiedler for both authoring some of this content of this blog post, as well as building the demo, presenting and too many things to list here.