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Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

19 replies
Rafael de F. Fe...
Joined: 2009-01-27,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.

This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
to expect the same level of commitment going forward.

If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin. Given the
sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
with a feature set close to JDT").

I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
to the plugin from EPFL.

* There are other Scala language features and libraries that had no such luck.

Just my R$0,02
--
Rafael de F. Ferreira.
http://www.rafaelferreira.net/

On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Miles Sabin wrote:
> Sean, you're useful to to project if you're still willing and able to
> make concrete contributions. Code would be nice (there are plenty of
> open bugs in areas where you're the best authority) and documentation
> would be wonderful (the scalac-IDE interface and incremental AST
> maintenance, hint, hint).
>
> But if you're not going to do that and instead just respond negatively
> to efforts like the one David is making then it might be helpful for
> you to take a little break, at least until you're able to adopt a
> slightly more detached attitude to the project.
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> Miles
>
> --
> Miles Sabin
> tel: +44 (0)1273 720 779
> mobile: +44 (0)7813 944 528
> skype: milessabin
>

Ricky Clarkson
Joined: 2008-12-19,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 2 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
Miles Sabin works on the plugin.  He is paid to do so, not by EPFL as far as I know, but EPFL give him what he needs.

There are certainly many many things that could be done at the compiler that would make not only the Eclipse plugin, but many other tools easier to write.

Why is Eclipse the centre of the universe?  I forget.

2009/2/10 Rafael de F. Ferreira <rafaeldff [at] gmail [dot] com>
This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
to expect the same level of commitment going forward.

If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin.  Given the
sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
with a feature set close to JDT").

I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
to the plugin from EPFL.


* There are other Scala language features and libraries that had no such luck.

Just my R$0,02
--
Rafael de F. Ferreira.
http://www.rafaelferreira.net/



On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Miles Sabin <miles [at] milessabin [dot] com> wrote:
> Sean, you're useful to to project if you're still willing and able to
> make concrete contributions. Code would be nice (there are plenty of
> open bugs in areas where you're the best authority) and documentation
> would be wonderful (the scalac-IDE interface and incremental AST
> maintenance, hint, hint).
>
> But if you're not going to do that and instead just respond negatively
> to efforts like the one David is making then it might be helpful for
> you to take a little break, at least until you're able to adopt a
> slightly more detached attitude to the project.
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> Miles
>
> --
> Miles Sabin
> tel:    +44 (0)1273 720 779
> mobile: +44 (0)7813 944 528
> skype:  milessabin
>

Sean McDirmid
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
Eclipse is not the center of the universe. 10% of the plugin codebase is Eclipse specific, while the rest is divided between enhancements to scalac and infrastructure for incremental parsing/type checking/etc...The 10% of the code that is Eclipse specific is tricky to get right (copy/paste doesn't work) and a lot of it needs to be redone (the way the plugin hooks into the editor).
A lot can be done in scalac to support the plugin; a nice dependency calculator would help (which is why I was debating with David) and a more full featured resident compiler (the ability invalidate stale symbols needs to be improved). Cao Yuan is already leveraging scalac in NetBeans, anything done to improve scalac can help everyone. 
But at the end of the day, a lot of work needs to be done to leverage the compiler in an IDE. I'm not too optimistic that the resources will be there without a company with deep pockets caring about Scala, its too difficult to build an IDE on the cheap right now, the problem is as staggering as building the compiler, and requires similar resources. 
As for me, I'm waiting for dev10 (Visual Studio 10 where plugins can be written in .NET/WPF) + Scala.NET (that can support resident compilation). Oh...that would make my life much better. I was just opening up Eclipse today and realized how slow it was compared to VS. 
On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 3:08 PM, Ricky Clarkson <ricky [dot] clarkson [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
Miles Sabin works on the plugin.  He is paid to do so, not by EPFL as far as I know, but EPFL give him what he needs.

There are certainly many many things that could be done at the compiler that would make not only the Eclipse plugin, but many other tools easier to write.

Why is Eclipse the centre of the universe?  I forget.

2009/2/10 Rafael de F. Ferreira <rafaeldff [at] gmail [dot] com>
This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
to expect the same level of commitment going forward.

If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin.  Given the
sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
with a feature set close to JDT").

I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
to the plugin from EPFL.


* There are other Scala language features and libraries that had no such luck.

Just my R$0,02
--
Rafael de F. Ferreira.
http://www.rafaelferreira.net/



On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:37 AM, Miles Sabin <miles [at] milessabin [dot] com> wrote:
> Sean, you're useful to to project if you're still willing and able to
> make concrete contributions. Code would be nice (there are plenty of
> open bugs in areas where you're the best authority) and documentation
> would be wonderful (the scalac-IDE interface and incremental AST
> maintenance, hint, hint).
>
> But if you're not going to do that and instead just respond negatively
> to efforts like the one David is making then it might be helpful for
> you to take a little break, at least until you're able to adopt a
> slightly more detached attitude to the project.
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> Miles
>
> --
> Miles Sabin
> tel:    +44 (0)1273 720 779
> mobile: +44 (0)7813 944 528
> skype:  milessabin
>


odersky
Joined: 2008-07-29,
User offline. Last seen 45 weeks 6 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Rafael de F. Ferreira
wrote:
> This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
> issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
> regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
> Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
> went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
> participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
> to expect the same level of commitment going forward.
>
> If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
> staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
> but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
> commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
> are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
> have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin.  Given the
> sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
> think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
> success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
> with a feature set close to JDT").
>
> I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
> allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
> world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
> language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
> wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
> to the plugin from EPFL.
>
>
It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
work. Sean was such a person, but we don't get someone with his
profile every year. Normally, everyone I propose to work on the
Eclipse plugin runs away as fast as he can.
The range of projects we do at EPFL corresponds more or less to what
people choose to do, not necessarily where I see the highest priority.

So, if you are a very strong researcher and programmer with strong
expertise in plugins, and fit the profile for either a Ph.D. student
or postdoc, please consider applying here. Given the false starts I
have witnessed, you really would need to be able to demonstrate
convincingly that you can do the job. You also need to be an
outstanding academic. I am well aware that the intersection of people
satisfying these criteria is sparsely populated.

Cheers

loverdos
Joined: 2008-11-18,
User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
"Outstanding academic" and "strong programmer" rarely fit together. It is getting better by the years but we are long way.
I think we need a movement in the university (academic) circles, where both skills are sought with the same gravity. IMHO there is a great part of Computer Science research that requires both. As a side note, not everyone is like Martin Odersky or Diomidis Spinellis (http://www.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/index.en.html), professors than can talk about programming and actually know how to program (with passion).
A programmer's and minor researcher's 2 cents.Christos.
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 9:27 PM, martin odersky <martin [dot] odersky [at] epfl [dot] ch> wrote:
On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Rafael de F. Ferreira
<rafaeldff [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
> issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
> regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
> Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
> went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
> participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
> to expect the same level of commitment going forward.
>
> If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
> staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
> but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
> commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
> are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
> have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin.  Given the
> sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
> think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
> success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
> with a feature set close to JDT").
>
> I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
> allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
> world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
> language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
> wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
> to the plugin from EPFL.
>
>
It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
work. Sean was such a person, but we don't get someone with his
profile every year. Normally, everyone I propose to work on the
Eclipse plugin runs away as fast as he can.
The range of projects we do at EPFL corresponds more or less to what
people choose to do, not necessarily where I see the highest priority.

So, if you are a very strong researcher and programmer with strong
expertise in plugins, and fit the profile for either a Ph.D. student
or postdoc, please consider applying here. Given the false starts I
have witnessed, you really would need to be able to demonstrate
convincingly that you can do the job. You also need to be an
outstanding academic. I am well aware that the intersection of people
satisfying these criteria is sparsely populated.

Cheers

milessabin
Joined: 2008-08-11,
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 7:27 PM, martin odersky wrote:
> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
> people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
> wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
> work.

I think this might be a good supplement to a healthy community driven
effort, but to be honest I think the plugin has suffered from being a
vehicle for academic research when what was needed was a more mundane
engineering approach.

PhDs and postdocs are meant to produce work which is novel and
non-trivial. An IDE, even more so an IDE built on an established
platform like Eclipse, should be boring and simple. An open source IDE
also has the constraint that to garner the broadest range of
contributions it should be accessible to more than a lone author. Yes,
there's scope for significant research driven experiment, but I think
that has to be at the margins.

I'm really quite optimistic that the Eclipse plugin is moving in the
right direction now and I'd encourage all interested parties to help
me move it on further and faster.

Cheers,

Miles

Ricky Clarkson
Joined: 2008-12-19,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 2 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

If only David MacIver could stand Eclipse.

2009/2/12 martin odersky :
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Rafael de F. Ferreira
> wrote:
>> This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
>> issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
>> regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
>> Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
>> went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
>> participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
>> to expect the same level of commitment going forward.
>>
>> If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
>> staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
>> but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
>> commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
>> are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
>> have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin. Given the
>> sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
>> think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
>> success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
>> with a feature set close to JDT").
>>
>> I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
>> allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
>> world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
>> language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
>> wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
>> to the plugin from EPFL.
>>
>>
> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
> people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
> wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
> work. Sean was such a person, but we don't get someone with his
> profile every year. Normally, everyone I propose to work on the
> Eclipse plugin runs away as fast as he can.
> The range of projects we do at EPFL corresponds more or less to what
> people choose to do, not necessarily where I see the highest priority.
>
> So, if you are a very strong researcher and programmer with strong
> expertise in plugins, and fit the profile for either a Ph.D. student
> or postdoc, please consider applying here. Given the false starts I
> have witnessed, you really would need to be able to demonstrate
> convincingly that you can do the job. You also need to be an
> outstanding academic. I am well aware that the intersection of people
> satisfying these criteria is sparsely populated.
>
> Cheers
>

Jorge Ortiz
Joined: 2008-12-16,
User offline. Last seen 29 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
I think there's room for both an "academic" Scala IDE and a "boring" one. They need not be one and the same.

Scala's more sophisticated (than Java's) type system allows you to push the envelope on tools and think about what an IDE with access to such a type system could do (that a Java IDE might not be able to). This is a field ripe for novel and non-trivial work.

At the same time, Joe the Programmer just wants to get his code written and working by the deadline. He expects certain (boring) features from his IDE and wants things to work like he expects them to. This is an engineering problem.

Martin's team is (rightly so) more interested in the academic side. It's no surprise that's the direction they took their plugin.

Most of the rest of us are just interested in the boring engineering tool. It's no surprise that's the goal towards which Miles and others have contributed their efforts.

If these two worlds can coexist in one plugin, great. If they can't, I don't think a fork would be a disaster.

--j

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 12:55 AM, Miles Sabin <miles [at] milessabin [dot] com> wrote:
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 7:27 PM, martin odersky <martin [dot] odersky [at] epfl [dot] ch> wrote:
> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
> people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
> wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
> work.

I think this might be a good supplement to a healthy community driven
effort, but to be honest I think the plugin has suffered from being a
vehicle for academic research when what was needed was a more mundane
engineering approach.

PhDs and postdocs are meant to produce work which is novel and
non-trivial. An IDE, even more so an IDE built on an established
platform like Eclipse, should be boring and simple. An open source IDE
also has the constraint that to garner the broadest range of
contributions it should be accessible to more than a lone author. Yes,
there's scope for significant research driven experiment, but I think
that has to be at the margins.

I'm really quite optimistic that the Eclipse plugin is moving in the
right direction now and I'd encourage all interested parties to help
me move it on further and faster.

Cheers,


Miles

--
Miles Sabin
tel:    +44 (0)1273 720 779
mobile: +44 (0)7813 944 528
skype:  milessabin

milessabin
Joined: 2008-08-11,
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 9:41 AM, Jorge Ortiz wrote:
> I think there's room for both an "academic" Scala IDE and a "boring" one.
> They need not be one and the same.
>
> Scala's more sophisticated (than Java's) type system allows you to push the
> envelope on tools and think about what an IDE with access to such a type
> system could do (that a Java IDE might not be able to). This is a field ripe
> for novel and non-trivial work.

Yes, I agree, but,

* A lot of this is not specific to Eclipse as an IDE (which is what
we're talking about in this thread, after all). Most of the
infrastructure to support these kinds of advanced facility belong in
the core of the Scala toolset and should be shared between many tools
... this is one reason why I'm so enthusiastic about David's
dependency computation work.

* These things aren't at the core of an IDE general and an open source
IDE in particular ... there are the basics to get right first and a
community of contributors to build. Research projects based around
that are most welcome but they shouldn't interfere with the
development of the core tool.

> Martin's team is (rightly so) more interested in the academic side. It's no
> surprise that's the direction they took their plugin.
>
> Most of the rest of us are just interested in the boring engineering tool.
> It's no surprise that's the goal towards which Miles and others have
> contributed their efforts.
>
> If these two worlds can coexist in one plugin, great. If they can't, I don't
> think a fork would be a disaster.

I don't think there's any immediate danger of a fork, because for that
there would have to be at least two active lines of development. Right
now there's only one.

But yes, I agree if it came to that ... this is open source and forks
are often a good thing ...

Cheers,

Miles

DRMacIver
Joined: 2008-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
Thanks for the vote of confidence, I can assure you that even if I could stand Eclipse it would not be a likely subject for me to do a PhD in should I choose to pursue one. :-)

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 8:57 AM, Ricky Clarkson <ricky [dot] clarkson [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
If only David MacIver could stand Eclipse.

2009/2/12 martin odersky <martin [dot] odersky [at] epfl [dot] ch>:
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Rafael de F. Ferreira
> <rafaeldff [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
>> This flame war has erupted many times in the past, but there is one
>> issue that is seldom brought up: what is EPFL/LAMP's position
>> regarding the development of the plugin? Most of the work was done by
>> Sean, when he was a member of the lab. As is usual in academia, he
>> went on to research other things elsewhere. His continued
>> participation in the project is commendable*, but it is unreasonable
>> to expect the same level of commitment going forward.
>>
>> If LAMP deems the development of the plugin to be important, it should
>> staff it adequately with new people. Resources are limited, of course,
>> but the issue boils down to priorities. Browsing this list and the
>> commit log we see that quite a few initiatives led by LAMP researches
>> are underway. This suggests that the lab finds a host of issues to
>> have a higher priority than the Eclipse Plugin.  Given the
>> sophistication of the language and complexity of the compiler, I don't
>> think a 100% "community-led" model would have a very good chance of
>> success (where success could be defined as "having a working plugin,
>> with a feature set close to JDT").
>>
>> I understand that, in an academic setting, defining priorities and
>> allocating people are different processes than in the commercial
>> world. I also don't mean to disparage the great work done with the
>> language; no one would be interested in a plugin for a language that
>> wasn't compelling. But I would really like to see more attention paid
>> to the plugin from EPFL.
>>
>>
> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
> people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
> wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
> work. Sean was such a person, but we don't get someone with his
> profile every year. Normally, everyone I propose to work on the
> Eclipse plugin runs away as fast as he can.
> The range of projects we do at EPFL corresponds more or less to what
> people choose to do, not necessarily where I see the highest priority.
>
> So, if you are a very strong researcher and programmer with strong
> expertise in plugins, and fit the profile for either a Ph.D. student
> or postdoc, please consider applying here. Given the false starts I
> have witnessed, you really would need to be able to demonstrate
> convincingly that you can do the job. You also need to be an
> outstanding academic. I am well aware that the intersection of people
> satisfying these criteria is sparsely populated.
>
> Cheers
>
>  -- Martin
>

Ben Hutchison
Joined: 2009-01-21,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

Martin Odersky wrote:
>
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Rafael de F. Ferreira
> wrote:
> . But I would really like to see more attention paid
>> to the plugin from EPFL.
>>
>>
> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
> people.... able to demonstrate
> convincingly that [they] can do the job. ... also need to be an
> outstanding academic.
>

As a Scala and Eclipse plugin user, "the job" I feel most needs to be done
is:

- Working to ensure the plugin can support the latest release of the Scala
language
- Understanding user needs and directing effort appropriately
- Investigating & fixing bugs, and putting in suitable tests to detect
regressions
- Supporting and coordinating users and contributors
- Maintaining documentation
- Thoroughly and properly integrating plugin features with Eclipse
- Following and making best use of the evolving Eclipse platform, including
building links/influence with both the core team and other relevant projects
in the ecosystem

And that list reads terribly like a position description for a good, stable,
committed Software Engineer with both technical and interpersonal skills.

I personally doubt an "outstanding academic" would fit in such a job - it
involves very little research, nor generates many publications, and might be
most attractive as a transitory stepping stone to something else.

If EPFL can only sponsor academic positions, please consider the option of
partnering with another organization that would sponsor a tool-focused
software engineer.

Regards
Ben

milessabin
Joined: 2008-08-11,
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 11:51 AM, Ben Hutchison wrote:
> If EPFL can only sponsor academic positions, please consider the option of
> partnering with another organization that would sponsor a tool-focused
> software engineer.

Well, in a way, that's what EPFL _has_ done ... hence my involvement.

Cheers,

Miles

odersky
Joined: 2008-07-29,
User offline. Last seen 45 weeks 6 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM, Miles Sabin wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 7:27 PM, martin odersky wrote:
>> It's not just a matter of funding, it's a matter of finding the right
>> people. This is difficult because we'd need someone who's really good,
>> wants to come to EPFL, and can do academic research related to this
>> work.
>
> I think this might be a good supplement to a healthy community driven
> effort, but to be honest I think the plugin has suffered from being a
> vehicle for academic research when what was needed was a more mundane
> engineering approach.

I think Miles has a point there, yes. My problem is that as a
university professor, I have some
restrictions whom I can hire. I need to get grants, and grants have a
research agenda that has to be fulfilled.
I wish I could get money just to support a project, but that's not
generally the case. I also have some funding from the university, but
again it comes with strings attached: Only Ph.D. students and
postdocs, no engineers on temporary positions except if they are
funded through a project... and there the cycle closes again.

An alternative which has been proposed to me in private by
lee [at] underneath [dot] ca, as well as others on this list, is to go after
industrial funding instead, like the current effort for the Eclipse
plugin, in which Miles very successful work is supported by EDF
trading. That might be the better alternative. But if I should do
that, I first have to set up a foundation to receive donations. Better
make it tax-exempt. Then do an industrial fundraiser. I could do all
that, but I am afraid that work on Scala proper and its compiler would
suffer, because my time is already incredibly stretched out as it is.
So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
am all ears!

Cheers

mighdoll
Joined: 2009-02-16,
User offline. Last seen 1 year 22 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

It seems like this scala industrial coordinator role would be a valuable role
for a consultancy.

The coordinator would earn deep contacts in industry and a privileged
relationship with EPFL -- seems like a good formula for future consulting
business. To sweeten the deal, the coordinator might also earn a stipend or
% of the funding as a mgmt fee, although that may not be necessary.

If this is the path... and I suppose it's up to Martin / EPFL to pick the
path.. If this is the path, I'd suggest we look for possible candidates for
the role, and approach them directly. I'd look for candidates among the
consultant groups already active in scala, and also reach out to interesting
java / eclipse consultants.

Lee

Martin Odersky wrote:
>
>
> So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
> managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
> ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
> am all ears!
>
> Cheers
>

Meredith Gregory
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
Lee, Martin,

i would certainly love to help with this, myself. The person probably best suited in temperament and community relations for the role of industrial coordinator is David Pollack.

Best wishes,

--greg

On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 10:00 PM, mighdoll <lee [at] underneath [dot] ca> wrote:

It seems like this scala industrial coordinator role would be a valuable role
for a consultancy.

The coordinator would earn deep contacts in industry and a privileged
relationship with EPFL -- seems like a good formula for future consulting
business. To sweeten the deal, the coordinator might also earn a stipend or
% of the funding as a mgmt fee, although that may not be necessary.

If this is the path... and I suppose it's up to Martin / EPFL to pick the
path.. If this is the path, I'd suggest we look for possible candidates for
the role, and approach them directly.  I'd look for candidates among the
consultant groups already active in scala, and also reach out to interesting
java / eclipse consultants.

Lee


Martin Odersky wrote:
>
>
> So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
> managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
> ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
> am all ears!
>
> Cheers
>
>  -- Martin
>
>

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David Pollak
Joined: 2008-12-16,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin


On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 9:05 AM, Meredith Gregory <lgreg [dot] meredith [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
Lee, Martin,

i would certainly love to help with this, myself. The person probably best suited in temperament and community relations for the role of industrial coordinator is David Pollack.

I think my temperament may be best suited on Tuesdays and alternative Thursdays. :-)
My plate is also pretty full and I seem to have recently "agitated" (okay, it's only Monday, but I'm trying to be polite) one of the main constituents in this ecosystem.
I'd much rather be a consumer and pundit of IDE technology than a coordinator.
<random thoughts>On the other hand, I really do think "There's a pony in there" in terms of IDEs and Scala (and perhaps OCaml as well.)  Treating Scala as "Like Java, but a little more stuff" in the IDE does Scala a major dis-service.  Smalltalk had an IDE that was very well geared towards the strengths and challenges of writing Smalltalk.  The Java IDEs with refactoring and automatic code generation both play to the strengths of Java and mask Java's weaknesses.  Scala also overcomes Java's weaknesses (much of Java's boilerplate is gone in Scala) in different ways... ways that render the advances in IDE a whole lot less valuable.
I'd really like to see an IDE that gives the same treatment to types as it does to classes.  I'd like to see an IDE that allows trait navigation and can do code analysis that will find things that can be rolled into traits.  I also think that once an IDE gives that makes types first-class citizens, that there will be a lot of interesting pressure to enhance the type system.  I think there may be PhD kind of research into not just the language, but team-oriented creation of large-scale projects via IDE tools with the language, but then I got the easiest doctorate I could find, a JD, so what do I know? </random thought>
 

Best wishes,

--greg

On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 10:00 PM, mighdoll <lee [at] underneath [dot] ca> wrote:

It seems like this scala industrial coordinator role would be a valuable role
for a consultancy.

The coordinator would earn deep contacts in industry and a privileged
relationship with EPFL -- seems like a good formula for future consulting
business. To sweeten the deal, the coordinator might also earn a stipend or
% of the funding as a mgmt fee, although that may not be necessary.

If this is the path... and I suppose it's up to Martin / EPFL to pick the
path.. If this is the path, I'd suggest we look for possible candidates for
the role, and approach them directly.  I'd look for candidates among the
consultant groups already active in scala, and also reach out to interesting
java / eclipse consultants.

Lee


Martin Odersky wrote:
>
>
> So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
> managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
> ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
> am all ears!
>
> Cheers
>
>  -- Martin
>
>

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Biosimilarity LLC
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Seattle, WA 98105

+1 206.650.3740

http://biosimilarity.blogspot.com



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Joshua.Suereth
Joined: 2008-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 32 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
I'd actually like to see this concept go even further to the point where a "scala support" company could offer commercial support to companies wishing to use Scala.  The company could focus on stability of the language/tools while freeing EPFL to continue to do research and adding next-generation ideas/tools.  Not only would this promote commercial adoption, it may help the existing tools find more "boring" (or not interesting-research project) features.  The real question becomes "Is the time right for such a company to exist and be financially profitable?". 

I've personally been waiting until I beleive the answer to that question is "yes" before attempting to bring about such an entity.


-Josh

On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 1:00 AM, mighdoll <lee [at] underneath [dot] ca> wrote:

It seems like this scala industrial coordinator role would be a valuable role
for a consultancy.

The coordinator would earn deep contacts in industry and a privileged
relationship with EPFL -- seems like a good formula for future consulting
business. To sweeten the deal, the coordinator might also earn a stipend or
% of the funding as a mgmt fee, although that may not be necessary.

If this is the path... and I suppose it's up to Martin / EPFL to pick the
path.. If this is the path, I'd suggest we look for possible candidates for
the role, and approach them directly.  I'd look for candidates among the
consultant groups already active in scala, and also reach out to interesting
java / eclipse consultants.

Lee


Martin Odersky wrote:
>
>
> So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
> managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
> ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
> am all ears!
>
> Cheers
>
>  -- Martin
>
>

--
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Meredith Gregory
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
Josh,

While i agree with your basic value prop, i would like to stress that in my experience, industrial application has rarely resulted in a 1-way communication from technology developer to industry. Usually, this also results in a good feature stream, buglist, use-case generation flowing back to said technology developer. If done right, it has the potential to be a real win-win.

Best wishes,

--greg

On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM, Josh Suereth <joshua [dot] suereth [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
I'd actually like to see this concept go even further to the point where a "scala support" company could offer commercial support to companies wishing to use Scala.  The company could focus on stability of the language/tools while freeing EPFL to continue to do research and adding next-generation ideas/tools.  Not only would this promote commercial adoption, it may help the existing tools find more "boring" (or not interesting-research project) features.  The real question becomes "Is the time right for such a company to exist and be financially profitable?". 

I've personally been waiting until I beleive the answer to that question is "yes" before attempting to bring about such an entity.


-Josh

On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 1:00 AM, mighdoll <lee [at] underneath [dot] ca> wrote:

It seems like this scala industrial coordinator role would be a valuable role
for a consultancy.

The coordinator would earn deep contacts in industry and a privileged
relationship with EPFL -- seems like a good formula for future consulting
business. To sweeten the deal, the coordinator might also earn a stipend or
% of the funding as a mgmt fee, although that may not be necessary.

If this is the path... and I suppose it's up to Martin / EPFL to pick the
path.. If this is the path, I'd suggest we look for possible candidates for
the role, and approach them directly.  I'd look for candidates among the
consultant groups already active in scala, and also reach out to interesting
java / eclipse consultants.

Lee


Martin Odersky wrote:
>
>
> So, ideally, we find somebody else who could take care of this more
> managerial role of organizing work around Scala. If anybody has any
> ideas, which do not require an inordinate amount time I don't have, I
> am all ears!
>
> Cheers
>
>  -- Martin
>
>

--
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Managing Partner
Biosimilarity LLC
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+1 206.650.3740

http://biosimilarity.blogspot.com
milessabin
Joined: 2008-08-11,
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin

On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Meredith Gregory
wrote:
> While i agree with your basic value prop, i would like to stress that in my
> experience, industrial application has rarely resulted in a 1-way
> communication from technology developer to industry. Usually, this also
> results in a good feature stream, buglist, use-case generation flowing back
> to said technology developer. If done right, it has the potential to be a
> real win-win.

With all due respect, this is motherhood and apple pie ...

We could do with a few less platitudes and a bit more investment (time
is money is effort, any of those would do) from the commercial
entities which are benefiting from EPFLs work and the general Scala
ecosystem.

EDF Trading really deserve the communities thanks for the support
they've given me over the last year (even people who don't like or
even use Eclipse should appreciate that it's a significant asset for
the community as a whole). I think it's about time we saw a few more
initiatives along those lines, otherwise they could quite reasonably
conclude that they're being taken for a free ride.

So who's going to step up to the plate?

Cheers,

Miles

Ian Clarke
Joined: 2008-12-18,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: LAMP and the future of the eclipse plugin
On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 2:37 PM, Miles Sabin <miles [at] milessabin [dot] com> wrote:
So who's going to step up to the plate?

I only wish my company was far enough along to contribute funding for a developer or two, if all goes well we may be in 6 or 8 months.  A robust Eclipse plugin would be very valuable to us.

Perhaps this has already been investigated, but the Google Summer of Code is a great way to fund development on open source projects, and a "hot" technology like Scala should have no problem attracting the interests of smart students.

I have had some experience working with Google to fund a non-profit project (last year they donated $18,000 to fund Freenet, a project I coordinate).  If anyone would like introductions to the relevant Google people I'd be happy to oblige.

Ian.

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