Monday, November 7, 2011

Eclipse Con Europe 2011

The slides of my talk A Fresh Look at Graphical Editing at Eclipse Con Europe 2011 are online now. If you're interested in the code it's on github, but remember it's a prototype - no tests so far, no support. Unfortunately, there was no cake being served at 5pm, so the pie fight had to be cancelled.

As I have been asked this a couple of times at the booth: I am convined it makes no sense turning the presented view framework into a graphical editing framework. I am not entirely opposed to graphical editors but keep in mind that
  1. You're going to need much more than graphical editing frameworks provide (projection, navigation, browsing, ...) I'd estimate a factor of 10-20 in the effort of building a graphical tool as opposed to a textual tool.
  2. The bi-directional mapping from the semantic model to the graphical one is source of a lot of problems. Not all of them can be hidden from the users.
  3. The structure of the semantic model must match the diagram model. This is not even true for the simplest models like UML2 class diagrams. You should be in a position to change the semantic metamodel to have a perfect structural match.
Would have been interested to discuss the last point with Bran Selic, who claimed in his keynote that UML2 is cool but the tools suck...

Eclipse Con Europe 2011 was an excellent event as always. I really enjoyed meeting all the nice people from the community. Thanks a lot for the organization and especially for the delicious food.

But remember: After the conference is before the conference. The CfP for Eclipse Con 2012 in Reston, Virgina, is open. Hope to see all of you there.