Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for September 2005

Bottoms Up

The past two days have been both busy and exciting. Today was the Eclipse Members meeting. Yesterday I was in the Board meeting while Ian Skerrett and Skip McGaughey were leading the new members meeting and the Eclipse marketing symposium.

The marketing symposium was definitely a big hit with the members. We had Carl Zetie from Forrester and Steve O’Grady from RedMonk speaking. (I would have liked to have given a link to Carl, but apparently you have to be a Forrester customer to read Carl’s blog. How lame is that? I hope that Carl can drag that company out of the ’90’s soon.)

Steve’s talk on marketing to developers was a big hit. His message? Developers matter, and you cannot market to them using conventional marketing blah blah blah. Top down will never work (if it ever did), so you have to learn how to create a market bottom up. Steve’s presentation materials are available here (OpenOffice) and here (PowerPoint). They are available under a Creative Commons license and I highly recommend them.

Along the same lines, I also really enjoyed reading You ARE a Marketer. Deal With It.

If you’re interested in creating passionate users, or keeping your job, or breathing life into a startup, or getting others to contribute to your open source project, or getting your significant other to agree to the vacation you want to go on… congratulations. You’re in marketing.

The message here is that we are all becoming marketers. Every one of us in Eclipse — developers and committers definitely included — have the opportunity to get the message out. To have conversations with our community. Both Kim and Steve get it.

For those who read the entire “You ARE a Marketer…” and are wondering….Yes, I sent the link to Ian……and no, he refuses to kill himself 😉

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 22, 2005 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Foundation

Something Borrowed, Something New

I’ve been trying to find the time to write this posting ever since I got back from EclipseWorld. Obviously, in this job I get to see a lot of demos of tools built with Eclipse. A lot of them are pretty cool. Everyone once in a while I see something that just blows my socks off.

At EclipseWorld, I ran into an old acquaintance of mine, Neeraj Sangal. Neeraj and I crossed paths briefly at WebGain, after we were both acquired by that ill-destined company. Neeraj is a serial entrepreneur, and was the brains behind StructureBuilder.

Neeraj’s latest firm Lattix has built a software complexity analysis tool that is really interesting.

The first thing I think is interesting about their technology is that it is based on an idea borrowed from a domain other than software. In Neeraj’s own words:

DSMs (Dependency Structure Matrix) were invented in the 70s. However, their use was really popularized by MIT Sloan School during the 90s when they were applied at a number of large companies such as Intel and Boeing to analyze their complex work flows and organizations. Our extension of DSMs to software architectures is called Dependency Models…

There certainly are precedents for interesting ideas being pulled into software development from other sources. For example, design patterns were originally inspired by Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language, which “…was originally expected to enable every citizen to design and construct their own home”(1).

The second cool feature is that tool provides is an easy to understand way to analyze your system’s architecture, and to determine where your architectural “leaks” are. (Where code has (ab)used internal APIs, for example.)

Bjorn is going to look into whether we could use the tool to look into some pieces of Eclipse itself . Which I am sure will find nothing but perfection 🙂

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 15, 2005 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Foundation

Welcome Aboard

We’ve had two new people start working at the Eclipse Foundation this week.

First is Matt Ward, who in Denis’ words, has “…joined the ranks of co-webmaster/sysadmin/person_to_blame at the Foundation…. Matt comes to us with strong UNIX skills, a great attitude and an impressive beard.” I can definitely vouch for the great attitude and the beard.

Also starting today is Wayne Beaton who is our new Eclipse Evangelist. Wayne is joining the Foundation from IBM, where he was a WebSphere Migration specialist. I worked with him back at The Object People, where Wayne was the first employee and Director of Curriculum. He has years of experience explaining technology to people. Wayne has also worked at BEA in the past and has been using Eclipse pretty much since its initial release.

Please give a warm welcome to Matt and Wayne!

BTW, this now make nine full-time staff at the Eclipse Foundation. For those of you who are interested, here is the list (in order of start date):

  • Mike Milinkovich – Executive Director
  • Skip McGaughey – Director, Eclipse Ecosystem
  • Sharon Wolfe – Office Manager
  • Ian Skerrett – Director, Marketing
  • Denis Roy – Manager, IT (webmaster)
  • Bjorn Freeman-Benson – Technical Director, Open Source Process and Infrastructure
  • Janet Campbell – Manager, Intellectual Property
  • Matt Ward – Linux Systems Administrator
  • Wayne Beaton – Eclipse Evangelist

We’re now up to three people on staff who at one point in their career hacked Smalltalk for a living. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess which three 😉

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 6, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Foundation

EclipseWorld Wrap-up

Just back from EclipseWorld in New York. I think BZ Media did a great job putting together the first Eclipse-specific conference in North America other than EclipseCon. (In Europe, iX has been running for two years.) The program was interesting and the turnout exceeded their expectations. For me, a big part of the attraction was to talk to Eclipse users and vendors. Of course it was also an opportunity to chat with the project leaders and committers that came to the event as well.

I will definitely be back next year in Boston. Mark September 6-8 down on your calendars now.

After all, it’s always important to have a steady stream of Eclipse events that Microsoft can send people to 😉

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 1, 2005 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Foundation