Tuesday, March 31, 2009

p2 related projects for GSOC

I have added a few new projects to the Google Summer of Code idea page relating to p2. This brings the count of p2 related projects to 4. If you are a student and want to sign up for any of these topics or submit new ideas, feel free to do so. But don't forget to voice your interest on soc-dev@eclipse.org.
To cut down the search through the proliferation of idea here are the 4 p2 topics:

Web triggered installation
The goal of this project is to develop a mechanism by which the installation of a plug-in can be triggered from a single click on a webpage, thus facilitating the extension of eclipse for non typical users. Some of the challenges of this project are: communication with the running instances of eclipse, identification and presentation of running eclipse instances, "security".

Provisioning OSGi clouds
With very clearly defined boundaries between its different components, p2 offers a lot of possibilities when it comes to set it up in a multi-tiered provisioning system. The goal of this project is to provide a configuration of p2 that can be used to deploy OSGi-based applications on the cloud. This will include the creation of an Equinox EC2 image, exploration on how configurations can be managed, and also how to leverage the cloud storage capabilities.

Power-user p2 views
The current Eclipse p2 Update UI is targeted to both Eclipse SDK users and end-users of Eclipse-based products. Since the UI must support users with less knowledge than the typical Eclipse SDK user, the end result is a wizard-style (modal), task-based approach. Many power users, in particular Linux users, prefer a modeless, "dashboard" style of interaction. The current p2 "Admin UI" is targeted toward p2 developers who need to see every detail of the underlying p2 model objects. There is a need for something in between these two extremes. Users have mentioned Linux package management front ends such as Synaptic Package Manager as appropriate UIs for this audience. If appropriate, this UI could replace the p2 admin UI, but it's not clear if that should be the goal.

Debugging aid for p2 installation issues
Debugging cases where features cannot be installed into Eclipse due to inability to reconcile requirements of existing features and the new features being installed is quite challenging. It would be useful to create a tool for capturing the details of the environment and what was being installed to aid in reporting problems. Once it is possible to generate these dumps, a graphical explorer tool that would allow the developers to trace the dependencies and see the problems would make it significantly easier to debug these problems.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

p2 content at EclipseCon

This year is a good year for p2 content at EclipseCon. Among the 26 sessions that got submitted and mentioned p2 in their abstract 13 of them have been accepted.

The p2 fest starts with our tutorial on p2, Monday afternoon. However I'm sure that Andrew N. will have discussed p2 integration in the build in the context of the Common builder tutorial in the morning. Also Monday afternoon is Kai's RCP tutorial that seems to describe the usage of p2 into an RCP application

Then on Tuesday the party continues with Jeff's talk on the Runtime (r)evolution which I'm sure will mention p2 and also with Richard and Markus who have been busily creating p2-enabled Galileo packages.

However Wednesday is "the" p2 day with:
  1. Henrik and Thomas talk about Buckminster and p2
  2. Darin and zx talk on PDE
  3. My talk on what's new in p2
  4. The short talk session on web-centric technology the newly p2-rebased Yoxos and the EPP Wizard (but I'm not sure how much p2 there will be in those talk).
  5. The short talk session on runtime deployment where server side provisioning with p2 and the complexity of versioning in a provisioned world are discussed.
  6. And finally the p2 BOF.
I would be surprised if by the end of the day I was still able to talk.

Have a safe trip and see you there.