Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why Support don't like NOT_ECLIPSE

Yes, those are usually the most difficult cases to solve. NOT_ECLIPSE.
Recently two bugs has been opened, which consumed significant amount of our time:

Bug 103301 - [Webapp] Search highlighting hangs for awhile on some pages in Internet Explorer
The title of bug clearly indicates that it is not Eclipse issue. Opera, Firefox and Chrome work fine, only IE displays information that the script is long running and whether you want to cancel it. This issue is almost impossible to reproduce without knowing search query and specifically structured help page.
This bug has been workarounded by adding timeout to the script when running on IE.

Bug 279440 - Invalid warnings when using windows offline synchronization
Maybe not all of you know, but Windows allows for accessing files from network drive even if you are offline. Those files are just kept somewhere in the cache and synchronized when possible. Now if you try to keep your project on such a network drive, can you imagine that Eclipse prompts you that your file has been modified by external tool after every save? More, if you try to reload the file, you may lost your changes. The issue is caused by the fact that Windows needs a lot of time to notice that file has been changed and to update a timestamp. So if you write anything to a file, then read its timestamp, and read it after some time, they will be different. This could not be fixed :-(.

BTW. Recently we had Galileo Demo Camp, please expect some news today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Word wrapping in text editor

This is quite long standing bug and it has 110 votes.

It is the 3rd bug most demanded by the community.

It has more than 110 comments.

If the issue is so important why there is no single patch contribution?

A Conspiracy Theory

This post is my private opinion.

Bjorn Freeman Benson left his position on Eclipse Foundation.

Steve Northover has left both IBM & Eclipse. If you look closer at his new company "Bedarra Research Lab" you will notice that it is owned by dr. Brian Barry, the dr. Brian Barry who leaded OTI when it created VisualAges and Eclipse(!).
BRL states on their webpage:
We have opted for a private model so that BRL can take an aggressive entrepreneurial approach to research projects, without the time consuming approval cycles, intellectual property constraints and overhead of conventional R&D labs.

If two great people leave (more or less) Eclipse and in both cases we can see some kind of protest against "conservative" rules... it is time to discuss.

Is Eclipse agile enough to survive?

Or is it just my paranoia?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eclipse Summer School is coming!

We are proud to announce that this year we will also organize Eclipse Summer School (it is the 4th one).

Eclipse Summer School is initiative of Poznan University of Technology and IBM. We are spreading Eclipse knowledge among students (for almost free), but also commercial companies may participate.

The training is in Polish, but if you would like to review our agenda please look at google translated one.

History and photos can be found here.

This is such a big fun to see how people change their attitude to Eclipse!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blog reading saturday, and what's up in Eclipse Support

Rainy morning here. Thru Ian blog I just came accross his University Lab blog and found myself thinking how simple ideas are still so fresh in different contexts. Think corporate blogs - exist, companies blogs - exist, communities blogs - exist, political parties - some do. But University having a blog? Last week, partying with my team, we've thrown the same idea worthless. Universities, at least where I live, are fed by publications and citations counts - so why should they bother about blogs?

Kuba, from my team, wasn't there last time, but he actually works on PhD, so I just asked him why don't our Univ still have blog? Actually it turns out, things are in progress(!). So some day I might be able to learn what's on my friendly Software Engineering experts minds :-) Well having a blog might actually be helpful, because researchers are always struggling to get their way to companies, to work on real cases. However they might not see that from business people perspective, they're no easier to find too. Single blog is not a cure for all the communication problems, but looking at yourself when you don't understand how to reach others might be helpful.

Ok, so now I see my blog. How dusty here. So what cool actually happend in IBM Eclipse Support center recently?? I'll write about two things.

I'm co-mentoring one of Google Summer of Code projects, namely OSGi Monitoring. Our student Wojtek is working on getting PDE Plug-in registry view able to get some insight of self-hosted Eclipse instance, remote Eclipse instance or maybe even non-Equinox one. It's a UI version of -console. So far he went over various communication layer implementations - socket connection, ECF, R-OSGI (thanks Scott!), JMX. After he passes his exams, I hope to finally see we start, stop, install and inspect all my Eclipse instances from the machine next to me!

The other thing I wanted to write about is not that promising. Since January or Feb, we were having a customer with really bad issue. He works with several Eclipse-based IBM products but for some reason his editors are slow as hell. But what's the problem we asked; what's slow, how do you see it? He uses Eclipse text editor, JDT Java editor, and various other editors to write his scripts in a multiuser environment based on Windows network shared drives. Shared drive and text editor? You sense the catch. He must be hitting some network delays! To spice things up, issue happens only in very specific setup, different product teams suspect that the other product is failing and any kind of remote assistance is hardly possible due to security and network reasons. And finally, how to find the reason for 1-2 sec. freezes that happen only when making mouse clicks? Here Eclipse support team kicked in! The Java coredumps would help - they cleanly show what's going on in the threads. Going that path we wrote a small plug-in that drops core dumps on any hangs in Display thread. And that was the hit. It turned out a couple of plug-ins had poor selection change listeners implementations. They were making calls like - you woudn't normally see anything wrong with that. But if the file is on shared drive a couple of calls like that easily take 1sec. - just enough to turn any excellent editor to crap! And that was it - few different components did the same fault with calling APIs on selection change. Now they're working on fixing that. I hope your selection listeners don't have that bug :-)