Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hi, my name is Denis... You know me better as...

In addition to all the tutorials, BoFs, plenaries, keynotes and talks, another great aspect of EclipseCon is that I get to meet the folks with whom I exchange numerous e-mails throughout the months. I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Boldt, Doug Schaefer, Luis de la Rosa, Gunnar Wagenknecht, Chris AnyChick (sp?), Philippe Mulet, and a whole bunch more.

Of course, I also got to meet a bunch of fellow bloggers, some of whom went through airline hell just to get here.

The Internet is great for enabling collaboration between groups in various locations around the globe, and conferences are great for gathering all the people in one huge get-together.

Monday, March 20, 2006 is b-u-s-y

We knew EclipseCon would be a popular event this year, so we set up a local mirror server here in the conference center for downloads and presentation attachments. This server helps speed things up here at the conference, and alleviate bandwidth use at

Despite doing this, at its peak usage, our website was hosting 3,082 concurrent HTTP connections. I've never seen it so high. For those who aren't aware, HTTP connections are very short -- once you've downloaded the web page (or file) you requested, the connection is terminated until you request another. Having 3,000+ connections right now means there are a lot of people on the site -- likely many, many more than 3,000. To compare, the EclipseCon local mirror saw a maximum of 52 concurrent HTTP connections at its peak.

Fortunately we have 80 gigs of RAM over in Ottawa for this ;)

Tutorial Blues

This morning I was in the "RCP Application Development" tutorial hosted by Jeff McAffer and Jean-Michel Lemieux. The content was very interesting, and, with the help of Nick Edgar, invested every effort in making sure everyone was following along. I love hands-on tutorials where we actually get to code, test, run and debug. I really enjoyed this tutorial, except for the constant interruptions because of the lack of power bars (they were still running cabling 1 hour 30 minutes into the tutorial!!)

In the afternoon, Nathan and I attended the "Java Web App Development with WTP" tutorial, hosted by Naci Dai, Lawrence Mandel and Arthur Ryman. Again, another interesting tutorial, but without any hands-on. While the three gentlemen at the front of the room are great presenters, I would have appreciated getting into WTP on my own instead of following a presentation.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Blogging live from the bloggers' party

I'm sitting at the bar at the Hyatt, with Ian, Andre, Chris, Nathan, Alex, Gunnar, Wayne, Ed, Martin, Donald and Scott (and there's more) sipping on beer, eating wings and yapping about all kinds of Stuff.

I learned that Chris' last name is pronounced Ahh-neesh-check and Andre's name is pronounced Wist-hi-zen. Now don't ask me how to spell them -- I can't.

It's great to meet everyone in person. I actually made good on my promise and bought both Gunnar and Chris a beer, although I'm starting to regret buying one for Chris - he keeps mocking the fact that I'm Canadian.


Eclipse: not just for breakfast anymore

I was unfortunate to have a middle seat on the flight to EclipseCon. Fortunately, I met Ralph and Scott. Ralph heads up a development team in Connecticut, and their tool of choice is ... Eclipse. Ralph is attending EclipseCon because he wants to get a kick-start on RCP technologies. The next generation of Business Management software he helps develop is to be based on RCP.

On the other hand, Scott admitted to not going to EclipseCon. He was headed to the Game Developers Conference 2006 but 30 minutes in flight, he fired up his laptop to do some serious Python hacking, using -- you guessed it -- Eclipse. He uses Eclipse with Python plugins for developing prototypes and in scripted sequences. He promised me he'd try to attend EclipseCon next year .

Friday, March 17, 2006

PlanetEclipse on steroids

Next week we'll be aggregating PlanetEclipse every 10 minutes, instead of the usual 60, to keep up with the expected deluge of blog posts from EclipseCON. Ian is hosting a blogging party as well, so if you can't be at EclipseCON this year, reading PlanetEclipse will be the next best thing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

No love for mirror sites

After seeing a few bugs open against our mirror sites, I had to stop and wonder if some expectations weren't being set too high. Let's remind ourselves that Eclipse is an open-source community with projects hosted by the Eclipse Foundation. Although the Foundation receives money from membership dues to support the infrastructure (among other things), the financial resources at its disposition are not limitless.

One large cost in running Eclipse is bandwidth. One HUGE source of savings is mirror sites, which provide free bandwidth, free servers and free sysadmin time for all of us, the Eclipse project downloaders.

Granted, some mirrors are slow. Some don't sync often enough. Some of them have unexpected hardware failures that cause them to be suddenly unavailable. Some aren't configured properly. And while we do try to weed out bad mirrors, it should come as no surprise that right now, they are the reason, and the ONLY reason, that you are able to download anything Eclipse related. To remove mirrors would mean to invest a small fortune in bandwidth, servers and sysadmin resources each and every month. Bittorrent? Puh-lease. For the one Win32 Platform SDK file, only a spec of downloads came from bittorrent -- likely to improve as time goes by, but currently laughable at best.

I've open bug 131596 to see what your expectations of a free, publicly-hosted mirroring system are - knowing Eclipse, like any other OSS project, relies on its mirrors for distribution. Please read the bug and comment in it instead of commenting here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's a girl!

I know it's a bit offtopic for Eclipse, but I'm just so proud that I have to tell the world about the birth of my daughter. Alexie is my first baby, weighing in at 8 pounds. I'm a Dad, I'm sleep-deprived, and I'm loving it.

Baby and Mom are both doing well.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Playboy, Pornography and Eclipse

If you've downloaded the Eclipse SDK from our download page, then you've likely been labelled as a pornography surfer. You should be fired, suspended or hung, whichever is a la mode to you.

You see, for several months now, Playboy Entreprises, Inc has been mirroring Eclipse, providing bandwidth for some 32,775 downloads in 2006 (yes, both those links are safe for work, unless your work doesn't allow you to see a picture of a fully-clothed blonde woman with a pretty smile, and a bunch of text, respectively. If that's the case, then women must not be allowed to work where you work, because you're likely not allowed to look at them).

The problem is that some seem to consider fetching an Eclipse ZIP file from * as surfing pornography. Even our mirrors list web page, containing a simple link to, is considered a pornography page by some - regardless of whether you click the actual link or not.

I think it's ridiculous. Why not remove the word "blow" from the dictionary, because we all know that blow is an offensive word, right? I'm not allowed to blow on my soup, because blowing is wrong.

So what do you think? I've opened a bug here so we can all read and comment on these observations.