At the Eclipse DemoCamp in Ottawa a few weeks ago, someone mentioned to me that it's not entirely obvious from my blog what I've been up to lately. So, in the spirit of blogging more about what I do than what I think, I figured I ought to rectify the situation, perception being reality and all.
When suddenly faced with freedom last June, I thought I'd take some time to carefully decide what my next venture would be. In the meantime, started my own consulting company, focused on making my clients successful with open source. Weeks turned into months and, well, I'm still "deciding". To date, I've been involved in several client projects, some related to Eclipse and some in other areas (but still using Eclipse tooling!). I'll blog about each of them in my "spare" time over the coming days, in no particular order, starting with Zeligsoft.
I worked with Zeligsoft to prepare some project proposals for one of their clients and then represented them at Eclipse Summit Europe in Ludwigsburg. They are taking a serious look at the feasibility of building an open source, industrial strength model based engineering environment using Eclipse technology. While at the Summit, I presented a long talk with Raphael Faodou and Patrick Tessier entitled "Papyrus: Advent of an Open Source IME at Eclipse". We were stuck in a room with only 36 chairs and ended up with nearly 60 people in attendance. Our message seemed to resonate very well and many people seemed quite interested in, and impressed with, what's being done in Papyrus.
Of particular note in Ludwigsburg was evidence of a growing interest in an open source modeling workbench at Eclipse. The Birds of a Feather (BoF) session I held on that subject on the Wednesday night was also very well attended; it was scheduled for only one hour, but after over two hours in a stuffy room, nobody had left. We had a good discussion about the various efforts that are either already underway or in the works, followed by some disagreement about how best to proceed, i.e., this project vs. that project vs. a working group vs. an external consortium. Finally, Martin Fluegge, from the Dawn project, gave a demo of some really cool technology for collaborating on diagrams over the Web (without using Google Wave).
One initiative that I became aware of during the Summit was Sphinx, an emerging project proposal to create a generic DSL workbench at Eclipse. There was much overlap between what was being proposed in Sphinx and what the backbone in Papyrus is intended to be. As a result, we've started looking at extracting the Papyrus backbone and combining it with what is being contributed in Sphinx, working together as one team. The proposed project lead, Stephan Eberle, is looking for feedback and is keenly interested collaborating with other parties. Might you be interested in participating?
In November, I delivered an updated version of the Papyrus talk at the Eclipse Modeling Day in Toronto (which was also quite successful), and have submitted two proposals for related talks at EclipseCon 2010 in March. The first would be another update to the talk I presented at the Summit and the Modeling Day. For the second, I'm collaborating with Stephan Eberle to take a look at "The Twenty Modeling Things", i.e., essential services that might make up a modeling workbench at Eclipse. If either of these is of interest to you, why not express your support by adding a comment to the submission(s)?