Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
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)?
Monday, January 4, 2010
Comparing it with the one from last year, not a lot appears to have changed, at least on the surface - still a lot of Eclipse and modeling. By contrast, this New Year will no doubt bring a lot of change.
Last week I tweeted about ten things from 2009 that I hope to do without in 2010. I thought it would be fitting to start the year by posting them here so that I can reflect on each item in more detail.10. Corporate Politics
I've never been a fan of office politics, but having worked closely with executive teams over the past few years, I've had more than my fill for a while. So far, working independently has been a welcome breath of fresh air.9. OS Upgrades
Somehow I allowed myself to get sucked into the hype of Snow Leopard and jumped the gun. The outcome of my various installation attempts was probably best summed up by Mosspuppet in his video review. Luckily, I had the foresight to back everything up with my Time Capsule ahead of time, so all was not lost. I was amused, though, upon taking the media back to the Apple store for a refund, at the salesperson's suggestion that I try another copy, implying that somehow my copy may have been defective. Huh? Oh, and Windows 7? I don't think so.8. Piracy
I had to laugh when more than one person replied to this one with a suggestion that I avoid boating in Somalia. I had to clarify that I was referring to things more torrent-related. Yes, I believe in open source and I do feel that the concept of ownership is evolving rapidly in response to the new economy, but I refuse to use my altruistic beliefs as a justification for pirating content (movies, music, games, software, etc.). I guess that means I'll be waiting to see the second season of True Blood until it's finally (if ever!) released on DVD. Assuming I can convince my wife to wait. ;)7. Overdue Invoices
One of the hardest things to get used to about being a freelancer (for me) is cash flow (or lack thereof). On more than one occasion I found myself waiting longer than I should have for invoices to be paid. In the future, I'll consider front-loading my engagements or building interest charges into the contract terms.6. Protracted Renovations
We hired a contractor for what we were told would be a three week project which ended up taking over three months. The irony was that we went with a contractor in the interest of expediency, thinking that it would take us much longer to do it ourselves. Next time, we'll think twice.5. Airline Status
I achieved airline status for the second year in a row. To me, that's a indication that I've been traveling too much. Luckily, I've had much fewer reasons to travel since becoming an independent, so I doubt I'll achieve status next year.4. Censorship
This is my blog. The thoughts and opinions expressed on it are, and always have been, my own, and I intend to keep it that way. I'll not again consider changing the content of any of my posts to placate any of its readers.3. Staycations
Our plan for summer vacation last year was to spend a few weeks at a fractional ownership cottage we were buying. But, the economy took its inevitable toll on that venture, and we wound up staying around home for a summer "stay"cation. Unfortunately, though, I was too busy dealing with my new employment situation to relax, so it wasn't much like a vacation at all. The past couple of weeks home with the kids have reminded me what's most important in life, so we'll be taking that vacation this coming summer whether we can afford to or not!2. Legal Fees
Lawyers are there to protect you when you need them, but ultimately they're out to make a living too. One of the tidbits from the Lead to Win program that really resonated with me was the notion that the law is often argued on the basis of principal, not principle. In any case, I plan to keep situations (real estate, business, or otherwise) where I need a lawyer to a minimum.1. Cancer
Some are shocked by my openness about the details of my personal life, and in particular my mother's recent battle with breast cancer. Personally, I've been surprised by the number of people I know that have since shared details with me about encounters with the disease in their lives. I'm not sure why we don't talk more openly about things like this, but we should. I'm happy to say that my mother's treatments (chemotherapy and radiation) were a success (as far as we can tell) and she's well on her way to getting back on top of her life again (not that she ever really faltered). As of today, I start training again for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers in Ottawa this coming June. Donations are, of course, welcome and appreciated!
Here's to 2010 and all the changes (for the better) that it will bring!