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Architecture Council/Minutes January 15 2009

Meeting Title: Architecture Council Monthly Meeting
Date & Time: Tuesday January 8, 2009 at 1600 UTC / 0800 SFO / 1100 Ottawa / 1600 London / 1700 Berlin
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  • Use the Doodle Attendance Tracking Poll to confirm attendance or send regrets for this meeting. See this message for how to use it. All AC Members are invited.
  • PMC Reps please confirm attendance or list your delegate below. Every PMC is required to name a primary and backup delegate, and to ensure that one delegate attends the meeting.
BIRT: Wenfeng Li Gary Xue
DTP: Brian Fitzpatrick Linda Chan
DSDP: Doug Gaff Martin Oberhuber
Eclipse: Philippe Mulet Mike Wilson
Modeling: Richard Gronback Ed Merks
RT: Jeff McAffer Jochen Krause
STP: Oisin Hurley Antoine Toulme
Technology: Gunnar Wagenknecht Wayne Beaton
Tools: John Duimovich
TPTP: Eugene Chan Oliver Cole
WTP: Tim deBoer Dave Carver
  • Signed-up: John Arthorne, Boris Bokowski, Dave Carver, Linda Chan, Sven Efftinge, Brian Fitzpatrick, Richard Gronback, Mik Kersten, Markus Knauer, Bernd Kolb, Jeff McAffer, Andrew Overholt, Doug Schaefer, David Williams, Darin Wright, Gary Xue
  • Regrets: Eugene Chan, Doug Clarke, Oliver Cole, Adrian Colyer, John Graham, Wenfeng Li, Mike Milinkovich, Mary Ruddy, Georg Schmidt, Mark Vandenbrink

Agenda / Notes

  • Feel free to edit, but not during the call!

Review of Action Items


  • New Members: Linda Chan (Actuate, Bay Area), Sven Efftinge (new Strategic Member, itemis, northern Germany, TMF Lead)
  • New Dormant Members - see Architecture Council/Members and Mentors
  • New Architecture Council/Templates
    • AC Wiki pages are fairly complete now. Martin dumping his knowledge/E-Mail templates for others to use.
    • AI Everyone review the Wiki pages and change anything unclear. Feel free to edit the Wiki!
    • AI Andrew Overholt to chair next month's call (Feb 12)
  • AC Admin via the Portal
    • bug 256318 - Need a page that lists projects and mentors for further processing (query for projects without mentors)
  • IP/Legal Discussions: IPZilla closed group is up, pending bug 214133 for accessing it through the Portal
  • AC Website Revamp - Dave Carver new Category pages:
    • Concept was to organize wiki pages and add categories: Allows us to tag other stuff such that it shows up under AC
    • Always visible on bottom of the page; want to move up and make it more prominent?
    • It's very prominent on the main Wiki homepage now
    • AC homepage: lots of different information right now... better organize?
    • Dave will add links to other pages for review to check which ones we might want to emulate
  • PMC Representation on the AC - backup delegates, 1 attendee required
  • Efficient Communications
    • Many AC members are involved in very many things. Need to communicate efficiently, with low "data to noise ratio"
    • We already have: Bugzilla on creation/close only with opt-in; [URGENT] tag; Doodle for attendance tracking/voting; Wiki for discussions; anything else we could improve?
    • Goal should be that it is easy to track what we are doing without getting spammed, and get notified of urgent matters.
    • Avoid sending response to a meeting invitation / out-of-office back to the list (Mary, Mark, Eugene)
      • It's interesting that some others (IBM'ers) have responded privately to Martin (John A, Darin S, Tom W, Dave W, Kevin H)
    • Note the RSS Feed for the AC Mailing List: helpful for referencing previous postings

News from the EMO & Councils

  • December Board Minutes available?
  • Mik: Are the EPP distributions "products"? Board says No. No clear actions out of that, but it should be reflected on the download pages.
    • McQ: It doesn't matter what we label the EPP packages as... users just treat them as such, especially wrt JDT
    • Much Platform/UI bug triage work goes into things that should really be associated with other projects: a large portion of bugs doesn't have value!
    • Can we label stuff as "limited support" ?
    • Can we do something like redhat (with RHEL / Fedora distros)
    • Jeff: Better highlight that there are supported offerings? Make it clearer what the support level is?
    • In Linux, are bugs reported against the distro or against upstream projects?
    • Martin: "Report a bug" wizard?
    • Boris: Why isn't there a "Services" company interested in creating a distro with a "report a bug" wizard and make money out of that?
    • Jeff: Make it clear in a positive way that stuff is available FOR FREE... and some bugs may be closed "WONTFIX"
    • Firefox and Openoffice are also treated as "products"...
    • Martin: "Expectation" discussion (to be held at planning council?) vs. technical "Low quality bugs" discussion
      • Mik: Help > Report this bug ... button in every distro that includes Mylyn been doing more harm than good so far
      • Kevin McGuire wanted to get bug auto-reported against Distro rather than component?
      • Boris: Platform UI tries to redirect bugs properly, not too big an issue for them
    • Martin: Windows 7 "Report a enhancement request with THIS component"
      • ... they set the expecatation like "We won't respond but your comment is valuable"
      • Mik: new "report bug" wizard allows to select any feature that has UI
      • Boris: "report bug" wizard could show a webpage with (paid) ads of companies for commercial support... commercial products could replace that by their commercial support page
      • Mik: Mylyn has an extension point for registering commercial support
      • AI Mik to propose a date for demoing the feature at EclipseCon
  • StAC 090115 Minutes meeting for funding release train activities: following this meeting

New Topics

  • EclipseCon - AC meeting on Sunday before the conference (Mar 22) afternoon
    • Proposed StAC meeting 3pm-5pm including the AC, PC and RC; but we have some topics (like mentorship) not so interesting for the other councils
    • Official Architecture Council/F2F EclipseCon 2009 from 5pm-6pm, inofficial afterwards (Program Committee get-together after 6pm); want to have pizza dinner
    • Architecture Council/Ask the AC Panel: many questions are important for ourselves to understand and answer consistently
  • McQ - Eclipse Adoption and API Deprecation Policy
    • Platform clients have problems updating to newer Eclipse versions, in spite of remaining binary API compatible. Do others see this too?
    • Is it reasonable to expect API-clean clients?
    • Dave Williams: Semantic differences are hard; in WTP, there are tools for scanning code and reporting back; would like to see PDE API Tools move into usage scanning as well
    • McQ: Want scanners on beyond-bundle-granularity to report usage. Should we do that between projects? Setup a database for the information?
    • Jeff: Low-fidelity / high-fidelity analyzers of usage
    • Martin: are we softening the "You must be API clean" story?
    • McQ: we should still be talking about "you must be API clean", but how can we live with reality? API does change. Take the low-level SWT event mechanism for instance. Can we tag non-API as "you're OK to use it"?
    • DaveW: at this point, we should be collecting information and then decide on what to do with the information.
    • Dave Carver: often, there is no way doing something without going "internal". How many people have actually requested something become API?
    • Report will also be good to find out what non-API should be made API
    • McQ: Formal deprecation policy?
      • Jeff: Setup another call for the deprecation thing? Start up simple and start a scanner for all of
      • Darin: API Tooling currently working on scanners to discover references between plugins, generating report or dumping into a DB
    • How can inevitable migration effort (e.g. due to fixing semantic errors in API) be eased?
      • Tagging change / tools to detect change
    • How can we help clients become API-clean, and how can we help protect investment where API cleanliness is impossible?
      • Tools to report usage of non-API even in closed source
      • Allow clients to contribute unittests for code where they (have to) leverage internal non-API, in order to detect breakage early
    • How can we help clients detect usage of obsoleted features, and migrate to the new replacement feature more easily?
      • API Deprecation Policy / Soft deprecation tag
  • Martin - Architectural Pillars of Eclipse
    • The original AC charter included a task to draw/maintain architecture diagrams
    • With Eclipse based technology in so many and diverse areas, what is it that makes Eclipse Eclipse?
    • Better understanding our Community
    • The License - EPL, the big effort of being IP clean, and awareness of IP
    • The Development Processs - Eclipse Projects are meant to be open, transparent and release by a known plan. Maturity stages. Commercial Open Source. Bugzilla, Newsgroups, Mailinglists.
    • Java - the language of choice for most stuff although there are efforts to allow other languages as well
    • OSGi / Equinox - The component model for everything at Eclipse, differentiates us from other communities (Apache, Netbeans)
    • SWT - Although there are few (runtime) efforts without SWT or with AWT/Swing integrations, SWT still builds a strong foundation for most Eclipse/RCP Apps and with the e4 investment in using SWT for Eclipse in the Browser, it'll likely remain so.
    • Application Model - the "twenty things", mostly UI/IDE concepts already, see E4/Eclipse Application Model
    • Others? E.g. Plugin Registry, our tooling (JDT, PDE), provisioning (p2)? What is it that newcomers need to learn first about Eclipse?

Recent Discussions

  • Mentorship
  • Tom S: Project Proposals - RCP infra for getting them in easily vs. Wiki pages
  • Tom S: Best practice for picking up I-builds - HTTP downloads are slow, installation cumbersome
  • Christian Kurzke (TmL project, DSDP PMC) - recurring scanning of all code for IP issues
  • Martin: Architecture Diagrams -
    • Eclipse is growing rapidly, and it's getting ever harder to understand what projects are available, how they are interrelated and where there is duplication.
    • It was the original AC charter to create an architecture plan
    • Can we auto-generate an architecture diagram? - Some ideas:
      • Scan the project's web pages and CVS Repository and build a semantic web
      • Analyze the MANIFEST.MF dependencies in each project's repository HEAD, generate a dependency graph out of it and use some graph layout / clustering algorithm (could we allow interactive zooming into clusters?)
      • Define some keywords, and ask each project use the Portal to pick keywords that are relevant for their project. Based on keyword association, have some graph auto-generated (clustered by keywords).
    • AI Martin ask on mailing list
  • Denis' blog on dead bugzilla's.
    • bug 256660 What are best practices to keep bugzilla alive and users interested, without taking away too much time from committers?
    • Should it be added as advice for mentored projects? Should the AC engage in the public discussion?

Old items

Action Items

  • (old) Martin to follow up with the m2eclipse and IAM projects regarding duplication
  • (old) Martin to follow up on Architecture Diagrams idea
  • (old) Martin to start a Wiki page explaining what's good about having a mentor
  • (old) Michael to flesh out the Patterns idea and remind the EAC -- started Architecture Council/Top Ten Recommendations#Design Patterns, backed by EclipseCon tutorial proposals
    • While these show how well-known GoF patterns are applied in Eclipse, Michael's idea was more to find and describe new patterns which are specific to Eclipse
  • (old) Michael to draft an E-Mail about the "plugin granularity" idea, searching for people to lead the effort
  • (old) Mik to create initial "architectural walkthrough" material for mylyn -- 1 wiki page not too large, send link to the mailing list (committed until end January)
  • (old) Mike to inform everyone when the IPZilla Legal Closed Group is ready to use
  • Everyone review/edit the various Architecture Council wiki pages, particularly the FAQ and Links collection. Add questions to the FAQ.

Next Meeting

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