Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Hero of Helios (and the crazy woman behind him)

There is little doubt that David Williams is the Hero of Helios, but I often wondered why he invests so much of his time into the annual release.

Then it all became clear that there was a persuading force behind him all along.

Thanks David for everything you do.

Helios is here!

By now you've heard the news about Helios. People are talking about it all over the place: blogs, news, Twitter (not that I use Twitter, but Ian tells me).  People sure like their Eclipse wares -- even the Wanted: 360 Friends of Helios has busted out of the screen.  Congratulations to all the teams involved!

On the webmaster & servers front, there are a number of things that has made this release even easier than in the years past:

- No last-minute rebuilds.  Kudos to all the teams for bringing together so many projects into a cohesive package.  It is no small feat, and despite having witnessed the effort four times before, the amount of co-ordination required to pull this off is truly impressive.

- New hardware. IBM, Intel and Google stepped up and donated hardware to handle the load of all those May-June builds.  During the actual release, our web servers were handling over 5000 connections without breaking a sweat.

- Early syncing. EPP packages were sent to our mirrors over the weekend, which is the best possible time (bandwidth-wise) to do this.  Kim sent the Classic/SDK bits several hours earlier than planned too, which helps avoid the sync rush we usually experience when all our high-bandwidth mirrors come knocking on our door.

- Gigabit Internet connection. With some clever tweaking, I was able to double, even triple available bandwidth for extended periods of time, without incurring any cost to the Foundation.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Checksum poll draws clear conclusion: I need a new poll mechanism

Earlier this week I launched another of my ridiculous polls to find out what your stance is on download checksums.  Here's what I found out: the overwhelming winner was who-needs-them-just-download-and-run

MD5, SHA1 and PGP are your favourite methods, in that order. Strangely, I got a few hits for a totally invalid response: only-when-I-DL-from-eclipse-dot-org-dont-trust-those-webmasters. Shocking!

Of course, even with a radio-button-type of poll, folks feel compelled to hack my system and fill my Apache logs with senseless commentary   ;-)

can-i-trade-them-for-beer: Checksums are free as in beer, so technically, we've already traded.  Or there is nothing to trade.  I'm confused now.

i-know-i-should-use-them-but-my-downloads-run-fine-most-of-the-time-and-eclipse-releases-are-signed-anyway: The Eclipse "release" isn't signed -- the individual JAR files inside are signed.  As far as I know, the "eclipse" executable (eclipse.exe for you Windows fans) isn't signed...

Then the typical comedians:




So there you have it.  For those who feel checksums are important, I've incorporated a mechanism to display checksum links for very file that asks you to pick a mirror:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Helios Desktop Wallpapers

We need your help designing a desktop wallpaper for Helios. If you are creative, have a look at the various Helios web pages and attach one (or many) Helios desktop wallpaper(s) to bug 312811.  As you can see by the bug, Lynn has already submitted her wallpaper.  While her graphics and artistic skills are hard to beat, I'm sure some of you can come up with something nearly as good.  Maybe.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quick poll: when you download something, do you check your checksums?

Here's a quick poll: when you download software from the Internet, do you run a check to make sure that what you have downloaded is what the publisher intended for you to download?  Hit one of the links below to cast your vote.  You will get a "Page Not Found" and that's OK -- I'll compile the results from the Apache logs.  Internet polls don't get any less accurate than this!

I'll tally up the results towards the end of the week.

Helios, June 23: Beat the rush, become a Friend

Helios, based on the upcoming Eclipse 3.6, will be released next week -- June 23 to be exact.  But Friends of Eclipse can get it a day early and beat the release day rush.

On June 22 an email will be sent out to all our Friends with direct links to all the new Helios bits. Being first in line couldn't be easier!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Great websites

Once upon a time, an Eclipse project website was a second-class citizen -- an afterthought, something that was not very important.  But not anymore -- projects are turning their websites into great resources for the community, and they're looking good doing so.  Here's a few recent examples:

The ATL project use the new default template (provided by the Xtext team) and add in their own touches.  Very classy.

The Acceleo site is pretty much the same, except the screenshot is replaced by a cool screencast.

Webtools uses the same basic layout, but incorporates an audience focus and some very professional-looking graphics.

It's nice to see all the great work done on these websites!