Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Babel Bugday: Friday, May 30

I listed two Babel (the project behind Eclipse globalization) bugs for Bugday. If you have a bit of time, some PHP and SQL skills, check these bugs out.

221181 Search a specific string [was: The translation for "Cheat...
233000 Recent translations / RSS feed

Both are simple and straightforward, and provide a low barrier to entry info the Babel code. I'll idle away on IRC's #eclipse-bugs for the day, in case anyone is interested in helping out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Linux and Eclipse: so happy together

I've been reading the Linux Journal for a while now, and Eclipse sightings in the magazine have been increasingly frequent in the last year or so.

This month, not one, but two mentions of Eclipse:

I used to read Linux Journal to be informed on server, kernel and OS topics. Looks like it's doing a good job on the Eclipse front as well.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is it that time of year again?

As I noticed the increasingly heavy load on the Eclipse Build server, I looked at my calendar and realized we are in the final month before Ganymede, this year's annual release train. The locomotive is pulling the latest and greatest from superstar projects, such as Eclipse 3.4 (featuring the awesomeness that is p2), Webtools 3.0, CDT 5.0, Birt 2.3 and ECF 2.0.

These next 30-some days are my personal favourites (and likely Kim's favourites too!) as release engineers build continuously, genie spends her time signing JAR files, and our servers take a beating serving bits, updating bugs, committing files and sending mail.

Let the party begin, I say.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Babel stats

Eclipse 3.4 isn't released yet, but it's already passed the 50% translation rate for several languages, according to the Babel stats page I just put up:

Eclipse 3.4 Translation progress
Spanish 54.52 %
Japanese 54.31
French 52.79
German 50.26
Polish 49.02
Italian 49.01
Chinese 48.92
Portuguese 48.61
Dutch 48.4
Turkish 48.33

Other improvements to the Babel translation tool include:
- feedback on the number of strings translated on every save (Babel translates all exact matches across all projects)
- completion statistics for each project/version/language right in the translation UI.

Install the Babel-produced language packs from the Babel update site and help us globalize Eclipse!

p2 from the Horse's mouth

Yesterday, Eclipse superheroes John Arthorne, Jeff McAffer and Pascal Rapicault were at the Eclipse Foundation's office for a 'working lunch' to show us what p2 is all about.

p2 is essentially the next generation of Update Manager (UM) - you know that thing we sometimes use to upgrade Eclipse or, worse, to add plugins. UM was okay back in the day, but its shortcomings were really becoming apparent in everyday life. Enter p2.

p2 -- or Provisioning 2 -- is a new system for provisioning software deployments on your computer. For the Eclipse user like myself, this means easier -- and more robust -- installs and upgrades.

From the quick demo, I saw p2 handle multi-threaded downloads from multiple mirrors, selecting the fastest ones for transfers. It also handles 'bad' mirrors by reverting to the home site when all else fails. This robustness is definitely lacking in the current UM. I also saw Pascal download a small (5MB) launcher, from which he proceeded to install only a small set of Eclipse plugins, rather than download the entire 140MB SDK. Pascal also swore (in French!) that p2 can handle upgrading Eclipse upgrades that UM cannot, such as 3.2 -> 3.3.

At the end of the p2 demo, I was pretty excited. p2 paves the way for future generations to upgrade and install Eclipse -- just because it can be fun.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Web newsgroups more accessible

Everyone knows (and hates) exquisitus -- the default username for Eclipse newsgroups. Last week Matt removed the authentication from the Web news portal making it even more accessible. Two things were blocking this -- the need to spam-proof email addresses (we did that long ago) and the need to prevent spambots from being able to post their junk on our clean newsgroups.

Matt added the most basic (read: simple, easy, but effective) of captchas to the 'Post' form, so we should be covered. Enjoy!

A forum/newsgroup you can read and write, but don't need to register for... How many of those are left on the 'Net today?

Babel now SVN-friendly

I just massaged and committed a patch that was submitted by our friends at ILog for SVN support on the Babel server. Eclipse projects using Subversion will be able to leverage Babel's tools for internationalization.

I'll be committing the patch later today when my buddy Gabe gives me the thumbs-up. If your favourite Eclipse project is not listed on Babel, kindly nudge them via their newsgroup to ask them to participate.

Friday, May 09, 2008

16 CPUs for Bugzilla all to myself

I'll be deploying two new servers for Bugzilla later today, but in the meanwhile, those two servers are ALL MINE. 16 processor cores are just waiting for me to do something.

Today I'm doing bug triage. It's so amazingly fast.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Eclipse Website Redesign? Give it your best shot

As Bjorn blogged earlier, the Phoenix team is actively seeking design ideas for a new website look.

Boldly Go Where No One Has

Now is the time to be wild -- we're open to ideas. Do you imagine a home page with a single download button, and nothing else? Submit it! Tired of all that purple? So are we!

Please read this mail announcement, follow the simple submission guidelines and show us what you've got.

Contest closes July 31, 2008. No purchase necessary. Valid to residents of Earth only. Void where prohibited. We reserve a bunch of rights. This disclaimer is just a joke.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 going virtual

When deploying new servers at, one design requirement is that critical services, such as Bugzilla and CVS must run on at least two physical servers to support hardware fault tolerance and traffic spikes via load balancing.

But dedicating two of the new AMD monsters to Bugzilla is overkill. We've been running virtual servers using the Xen hypervisor for years now with great success, so we have chosen that route for our new infrastructure.

We start by creating a disk image for the server and configuring it production use. Deploying additional vserver instances is as simple as copying and booting the image to a new host, setting the IP, and enabling it on the load balancer. This makes it real easy to deploy vservers to handle load increases -- even if only temporarily for, say, Ganymede, EclipseCon, Denial of Service attacks, and so on.

I expect to have Bugzilla running on a pair of vservers by the end of next week, and running on a vserver trio by mid-June. With this kind of power, expect Bugzilla to open and fix bugs for you automatically.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Happy birthday, PlanetEclipse !

On April 27, turned three! The site went through dirty diapers, teething, terrible twos and has now all grown up into a toddler of a site (can you tell I have a toddler at home??).

The original suggestion came from Ed Burnette (see above link). Gunnar went ahead and set up the first Planet on his own servers and eventually transferred everything over to

Happy (belated) birthday, PlanetEclipse!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dash Hits the Fast Lane

The Dash Project's commits explorer has been a popular site since Bjorn and Ward first brought it out. Nick Boldt contributed a bunch of additional scripts and gave it a face lift and I added SVN integration. There is a lot of interesting data, but you always had to really want it. Dash was always that old motor home lumbering in the slow lane. Useful, and full of great stuff, but slow. We've had a lot of commits in the whole history of Eclipse and that leads to lots of data, which leads to slow queries.

AMD to the rescue! We migrated the Dash back-end database to one of our spanking new AMD servers (pebbles) while leaving the front end on the same vserver that has hosted it for the last 9 months or so. Here are some numbers Denis (who did most of the leg work) ran for comparison:


dash: 17.83s
pebbles: 2.66s

That's huge...


dash: 1m7.64s
pebbles: 6.47s

HOLY SMOKES. That's a bit different.


dash: 8.56s
pebbles: 1.74s

Try it out... if you remember that old lumbering motor home, you'll like the new big block transplant and aerodynamic treatment.