EclipseCon Day 1 - The Tutorials

Last year I regretted not attending more of the tutorials, so this year I kept the schedule clear to let me attend as many as I could. Here's the experiences from the day.

A Tour of the Eclipse Debug Framework

This was a double-length (4hrs) tutorial that would take up the whole morning. My major motivation here was to get an idea of where I would start writing a BPEL remote debugger. I have some debugger coding experience: many moons ago I had spent a summer rummaging around in the belly of dbx , changing the remote debugging elements to allow it to debug bootstrap code on a uVax at the end of a serial line. Charged with this dim experience, plus a very long bittersweet affair with using debuggers to find bugs, I was really looking forward to this session, and I can say that I wasn't disappointed with the content and presentation. The link to the tutorial page above contains a link to a zip file with all the tutorial materials. Go and download it - if you use Eclipse for debugging your code, you should at least read it and see how the magic works.

After a break to miss lunch, I had two short tutorials lined up for the afternoon.

Extending the XML and source editors from the WTP Project

Part of the work SOA Tools needs to get sorted in the short term is an editing facility for SCA .scdl files. These files describe the structure of an assembly, and use an XML vocabulary. The current state of the art is a WTP XML editor, backed by a the SCA 0.95 schema and registered for .scdl resources. I'd like to be able to do better for SCA 1.0 when it is released, so I attended this session to gen up on the whole procedure.

The session itself was fine, the exercises were useful, but I got there a bit late after saying a few words at the membership meeting, plus I was missing something in my installation that cause things to go a bit tango uniform about three-quarters the way through. I adjourned for coffee and email at that point, but I certainly plan to revisit the tutorial materials that are posted at the link above.

Extending your DSM by leveraging the GMF Runtime

I work with some guys who do GMF programming and, frankly, I can't understand a single word they say at the standups. I attended this tutorial to try to remediate that situation, and to hopefully gain some kind of understanding on where to start on creating some domain-specific pictures for the SOA Tools Core Frameworks. One thing that was very useful was a run-down on what the GMF runtime provides - action bars, collapsible compartments, connection handles, geometric shapes, ruler and grid support, appearance properties and lots of other good stuff (especially: printing support!). The other thing was the discovery of inimitable GMF Dashboard:


They tutorial went on to show how to customize and extend your domain-specific model and to how to keep your crazy diagramming from eating EObjects. Unfortunately, I needed to peel off for a meeting before the tutorial had finished, but this is another one that I will be going through again offline.