Some adventures in road and trail running.
For Running stuff click here. For Eclipse stuff click here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

EclipseCon 2008 Wrapup: It's all about Collaboration

What hit me today as I was biking into work after 4 days at EclipseCon was the collaboration undercurrent running throughout the conference.

Our goal in Jazz is to have a platform designed to be team first and allow smooth and seamless collaboration with your team members and with your artifacts. What does it mean to collaborate with your artifacts? For me this means I can have something like a build result communicate all about itself:
  • who contributed
  • why they contributed
  • when they contributed
  • what they contributed
As well, the build result allows me to exactly reconstitute the state that existed for exploration of any issue. Same goes for the Jazz process enactment. We have to make it easy for the user to explore and understand, to collaborate, with the team process. The team advisor is one of mechanisms for this communication of process.

And it is not just about collaborating with your fellow team mates or work artifacts. It is also about collaborating with your clients and customers. The Eclipse work for p2 and e4 proves this point.

From Pascal Rapicault's talk p2 will make it easier for consumers to discover and install. p2 will make it easier for developers to share their work.

e4 will help to extend Eclipse into new domains beyond the IDE space. People who never have used an IDE and will never use an IDE. These same people understand the web interface. Reuse of our code for a web client just makes sense. We can provide a web client experience, whether it be the same or different experience from a desktop client without duplication of all the effort. The required tooling to achieve this nirvana will be a great addition to the Eclipse tool set. And just the process of creating e4 will necessitate Eclipse and the Eclipse process embracing collaboration at a new level.

Easing collaboration also helps to enable what I am calling mercenary programming. John Wiegand's glimpse into the future was validated via Sam Ramji's announcement of Microsoft supporting / sponsoring Eclipse development but with no interest of having its own committers. To me this means paying committers to wade in and tackle your problems. Short lived and dynamic teams composed of globally distributed members. This just screams for the need of tools like Jazz and beyond. Kevin McGuire and Tim Wagner mentioned the evolution of a team as a driver for trends in UI design and interaction as well.
Also from Sam's talk on Wednesday, we "offend any type of developer at your own peril". If you make it hard for people to collaborate with you, this would seem to be some type of insult don't you think?

Cory Doctorow continued the theme where a key point of his presentation was how we have extended and improved the capabilities of the individual. We have become superhuman as a result of pervasive collaboration and availability of information. Cory also proposed that the ease of collaboration within a company will decide its success. Collaboration cost is no longer a factor with it being a close approximation of zero. This was echoed by the ECF talk where Scott Lewis stated that we need collaboration to work on a system that is outside of the understanding of one person. I think that describes most systems we all work on. The tools just need to keep improving the support for this free interaction and productivity boost.

Finally, I don't think the strong desire for people to come to conferences such as EclipseCon indicates a deficiency of our tools to allow us to collaborate. The tools and the work enable the day to day interactions but I hope we will always crave the face to face :-)
I know I look forward to next year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

EclipseCon Exercise Day 4: Phew...all done

The final day of the conference and we had 15 people roll out of bed. We had 7 or 8 people who ran every morning of the 4 days of the conference. We even had 1 new person on the last day.

I think for many it was the first EclipseCon where they did some exercise to counter things like the perennial chocolate fountain, open bars, and all you can eat everything!

We did get a little more adventuresome today with many doing a short loop out into the wetland sanctuary getting off the paved trail. Some others had the success of running for the full time out on the trail...not that there is anything wrong with walking. Congrats to all!

We never got to doing stair repeats for our cool down. We always ended with taking the easy route by filling up the elevator with all kinds of smelly runners :-)

It was great to see all the runners coming out at different paces and abilities and just having fun while meeting new people. I hope to do this event next year and see even more of you out for the fun. We know the chocolate fountain will be back!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

EclipseCon Jazz Recording Sessions

Yesterday was IBM Developer Day at EclipseCon and the Jazz team "roving" reporters are checking in on the Jazz Team blog with the highlights of the Jazz talk presentations from the afternoon sessions.

The Jazz team blog is here: link.
My roving report from Erich's talk is here: link.

EclipseCon Exercise Day 3: Holding Strong

Another beautiful morning in Santa Clara with 16 hardy souls crawling out of bed early to start the day off right. And Dave S was laying down on purpose in the injuries incurred on the run :-) Some of the runners have been out every morning so far and I believe are planning to make every day!

We "accidentally" ran a little further this morning with the front runners really going the distance and possibly cutting some new trail? :-) We did a short jaunt on a dirt road out into the wetland park to catch a glimpse of San Francisco bay.

Everyone did make it back with a smile on their face and happy to receive the water and towel from the Hyatt door man. As well, I finally remembered to bring down some running goodies: Montrail water bottles, some Nuun samples and Gleukos drink mix. If you were on the run and you liked the stuff fire those companies an email so we can get more running swag for next year. And I know Donald will be working on a corporate sponsor for next year... :-)

I had also proposed a noon run but that seems to be a time when people are just too busy networking or eating. I know for next year.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference, so if you have waiting to join us Thursday morning is your chance!

Now off to the highly anticipated Microsoft talk...who will be the secret guest?

EclipseCon Day 2: Fakin' It

This morning we had the delightfully irrelevant and funny Dan Lyons aka Fake Steve Jobs give a keynote and make fun of pretty much every on in the room.
Besides making us laugh, I found it cool how his blog / job / book evolved over time and Dan adapted to the demands and wishes of his community.

Fake Steve Jobs was created as Dan was bored of covering large IT like IBM and Sun for Forbes magazine. He also had a fear stemming from the perceived attack on the traditional print media from the blogs. So he faced his fear and dove in to learn about blogs. The "fake" blog started as a learning experiment and spiraled from there.

I then attended a talk by Tim Wagner from Microsoft on open source versus commercial platform strategies. The abstract is here: link.
Tim, who used to be heavily involved with Eclipse via WTP did a high level overview of the similarities and differences between how the Eclipse platform is developed and how Microsoft Visual Studio is developed.
There were far fewer differences than you may think and Tim proposed that one key to Eclipse's success is how closely it emulates commercial software development.
I am not sure who is emulating who? Reliable shipping dates over 6 years with a strong development heartbeat driven by community iteration and feedback: I propose all commercial software could learn something from the Eclipse development process.

Once of my last duties as a board member was to spend some time at a Meet the Board Member table in the exhibit hall. Not really sure this idea worked...

The rest of the day was filled with Jazz. I plan to write separate blog entries for the Jazz talks I attended.

In the evening, I participated in Jazz Live! where some of the senior Jazz devs got the chance to demo and explain all the cool things we have been designing and building over the past years. If you missed it grab somebody with a "Talk to me about Jazz" button and ask for a demo of what they think is cool.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

EclipseCon Exercise Day2: In the light

This morning we started running at the much more reasonable 7 am. The time agreed with more people as we headed out the door with a group of 20.
We had some repeat from yesterday with lots of new faces as well. Others must have slept in...or possibly headed out early for extra miles: Chris? PowerSQL?

The paces spread out a bit more today as I think people were less worried about falling off the trail in the dark or getting lost on the way back :-)

We were missing our Sun evangelist, Roman this morning but we did actually see the sun as it poked over the mountains on the return to the hotel. It was also nice today with the doorman giving us water and towels on our return!

I am looking forward to the technical content of the day as well as having the opportunity to demo to people the cool stuff we have been working on with Jazz at the Jazz Developer Day and the Jazz Live! demo event.
Off for breakfast and then the Fake Steve Jobs...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chuckanut 50 km : Trisha's First Ultramarathon

Guest blog from my amazing wife, Trisha who completed her first ultra-marathon Chuckanut 50km on Saturday:

Whose idea was this anyway? I can’t even remember if it was a New Year’s resolution or if I just thought running 31 miles in the woods sounded fun. After this experience though, my admiration for ultra runners has increased tenfold. These races are hard work and I spent the better part of the last three months, running and running and running. Luckily I have had some great people to train with and it’s been fun.

The RACE: Darin, the kids and I headed up to Bellingham to meet Ronda, Kris, Steve and Micheal who were already at Kevin and Carla’s house. Kevin and Carla, friends of ours in Bellingham were enjoying a Hawaiian vacation, and graciously let us crash at their house for the weekend. After a restless night for me, nerves I think, we runners headed for Fairhaven Park, the race start and finish.

After bathroom breaks and package pickup, over 300 runners lined up for the start of the race. My number one goal was to finish and my second goal was to not be last. Darin pulled up just as we were starting and cheered us on.

The first 6 miles was a fairly flat trail with some great views of the ocean. I felt strong and managed to stay with the back pack. Darin, Leah, Cole, and Cole’s Gameboy, were waiting at the first aid station. It was great to see them and Leah announced in a perky voice that she had thrown up! What?? Apparently it all happened in the McDonald’s drive thru, but not to worry, she had managed to roll down the window and most of the barf was all over the outside of the car. As Darin and the kids jumped back into the Barfmobile, I headed onto the trail. The next five miles were switchbacks and fun rollers and my pace was consistent. It was the best part of the race for me. After aid station #2, I did a run/walk up three miles of gravel road with some serious elevation gain. Still feeling good, I refueled, talked a bit to Darin and headed out for the next 8 mile section. This is pretty much where the wheels came off! The first four miles on the ridge trail were fairly technical, so it was almost like hiking for me – avoiding rocks and roots, and a bit of scrambling up boulders. But the trail was beautiful and I’m guessing the view would have been amazing if the clouds had lifted. After an hour and a half, I figured I must be getting close to the aid station, I mean really, I couldn’t be going *that* slow. Well actually I could be going that slow, slow enough in fact to take almost three hours to get through 8 miles. Seriously! Some highlights of my time up on Chuckanut Mountain: I got to meet Robin and talk about kids, Canada and racing; a number of people offered me food and drink as they passed by (did I really look that bad?); and I got to labor up little Chinscaper and reminisce about climbing Mt St Helen’s.

After the final uphill push it was a very slow down hill to the last aid station. Darin met me on the hill and ran about ½ mile with me. I think he was worried about my pace, since the cut off time was 8 hours for the race and it didn’t look like I was going to make it. Luckily at that last aid station, 6 hours and 45 minutes into the race, I set my mind to finishing before the cut off time and kicked it into gear (relatively speaking). At 7 hours and 30 minutes, I saw a city sign that said 2 miles to Fairhaven Park. I literally yelled with joy. I can do this! Half mile later, sure enough the next city sign, 1.5 miles to Fairhaven Park, ok looking good. Another half mile, another city sign, 1.5 miles to Fairhaven Park. What the …. About this time, I started asking random people out walking their dogs and strolling with their kids, Where is Fairhaven Park? How much further to the park shelter? I’m not sure, but I think some people pulled their kids a little closer when the crazy lady started shouting out questions. Somehow I kept moving my legs and with a time of 7 hours and 55 minutes, I ran across the finish line and collapsed. Well ok, I didn’t collapse, I just walked around a little dazed, I ate a bit, talked to friends and spent some well earned time sitting on a bench in the sunshine. Oh, and I wasn’t last!

The next day we were planning to do a quick trip to Canada to see Grandma S who isn't doing well, but on the way to the border, Cole rolled down his window and christened the Barfmobile on the other side. And this adventure called Life continues …

Note: First picture is another great shot from Glenn Tachiyama

EclipseCon Day 1: Goodbye to the board

As I already blogged we started the day off right with a run. I am expecting all those DNSers (Did Not Starters in runner speak) to not hit the snooze alarm tomorrow and be there at 7 am (or noon).

Starting with breakfast and continuing until 3pm was my last Eclipse board meeting where I have been an Eclipse Committer representative for the past year.

As this was my last board meeting, I had a chance to express my thoughts on Eclipse.
I stated that Eclipse has achieved world wide penetration and awareness. We need to ensure the continued innovation and stability that has helped Eclipse achieve this success. Moving forward, all of the various companies committed to Eclipse need to play a role in both the maintenance (Eclipse 3.x) and explorations (Eclipse 4.0, e4) of the future.

I know Ed, Chris, Jeff, Mik and Doug will work hard to keep the board aware and focused on committer issues. Thanks to those who did vote for me. I really enjoyed the challenge and opportunity to work on and with the board.

Then it was time to move to the Eclipse members meeting and Mike M's review of the state of Eclipse.
It seems I love public humiliation with being called out as being in the bottom three of the voting results for committer rep...worse than American Idol :-)
The fun continued where I played a small role in Eclipse Jeopardy before the Eclipse Community Awards. Ed Merks was top ambassador, Chris Aniszczyk was top committer and Eric Rizzo was "Most Prolific Newcomer Evangelist" with Remy Suen being the top contributor.

On to Jazz developer day and Jazz Live! tomorrow....

EclipseCon Exercise: Day 1...Ouch it was Early!

I was unsure of what to expect this morning. 114 people had signed up for the EclipseCon exercise but I fully expected no one to show up this morning :-) With a start time of 6 am and most people flying in from all parts of world, who would blame them!

Starting with inspiration from Bjorn (exactly 2 minutes after the stated start time), we headed out the door at 6:02 am.

The planner (me) neglected to take day light savings time into consideration so it was rather dark this morning. It will be much better tomorrow at 7am. It also made the out and back seem new with more light on the way back.

We headed out with 12 people and more joined us out on the trail. We ran about 4 miles enjoying the early morning out on the bike path and I am happy to report we had no injuries or deaths though I think one cyclist commuter was a little ticked off :-) The route is flat and casual and totally car free.

We had first time EclipseCon attenders and presenters all the way to people, such as myself, who have been to each and every EclipseCon. We had beginning runners to people training for Ironman and 100 mile trail races.

Please come join us at any of the other times for great conversation and exercise:
On Tuesday - 7am and Noon
On Wednesday - 7am and Noon
On Thursday - 7am and Noon

All meeting in the Hyatt Conference Hotel lobby.

Now the conference can officially begin :-)

P.S. For anyone out on the run today leave a comment, send me some email or come grab me during the conference so I can give you some running goodies!

Friday, March 14, 2008

EclipseCon Exercise 2008

This morning I received my last update of the runners who have indicated that they would like to be part of the inaugural EclipseCon Exercise. We have an astounding 114 people who will be doing some running at EclipseCon this year. Awesome!

My plan is to run on each day of the conference: Monday through Thursday.
I would like to invite you to join me on any of the runs that work for your schedule. I am not even sure I will make them all :-)

On Monday - 6 am Early run since tutorials start earlier and lunch is too short.
On Tuesday - 7am and Noon
On Wednesday - 7am and Noon
On Thursday - 7am and Noon

The course (which I have run in past years) is an out and back on a nearby paved trail that follows a river channel. The route map is here. As shown in the picture above, the course is flat.

This makes it easy for all different paces to share the same course while varying the distances to match the amount of time you wish to spend running.

I would encourage us to start together gathering in the front lobby of the conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.
I have some running goodies to distribute as door prizes for each day.
We will be leaving promptly at the stated time so please be 5 minutes early.
Out on the run we can naturally settle into pace groups to enjoy the fresh air, training and conversation.

If you are signed up or still want to join and have any questions don't hesitate to send me an email or post a comment here.

We have people from many different countries and companies and I have no idea how many different Eclipse projects are represented. Things we will have to find out on the run.
Talk about diversity!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Champoeg State Park 10km

Part of my plan towards Boston, I raced the ORRC Champoeg 10km today.
The first mile was too fast but man did it feel good to be racing and to be limited aerobically instead of from some sore nagging ache or pain in my legs!
I tried to hang with the fast 30km women runners Penny McDermott and Wendy Terris. I have ran with both of these great runners in previous races: Penny at Waldo and Wendy at Hagg Lake. There are very strong and are planning to be running in the US Olympic Marathon Trials the day before Boston. Looking forward to yelling really loud when all the Oregon runners loop around at the trials! Today I couldn't quite keep up today but I was happy with my times.
6:22 Finish in 39:39 for average split of 6:23.
6:32 First in my age group (35-39) and
6:32 seventh overall.
Full results are here.

I drove out with our friend Ronda who was also racing today and she pounded out to be first women's master and very close to first overall. All these fast!
Trisha and the kids cheered me up to the finish line which was great!
Other running friends were out there as well: Scotland was fast as always, marathon freak Steve Walters, Beast in his Hagg Lake shirt, and ever present Jeff W from ORRC. I am sure others I am forgetting.

So I am happy that my legs seem to finally be getting stronger and I am on the road to health and most importantly on the road to Boston! Next weekend: Trisha's first ultra race at Chuckanut 50km!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Getting to 0.5%...Eclipse has lots of friends

As of today, 111 people have payed money to indicate that they are a Friend of Eclipse. The list is here.

Does anyone else find this number surprisingly low? I think I could even scrounge up that many friends :-)

Lets be really conservative and say we have 100, 000 happy users. Only 0.1% have given Eclipse the nod with some cash?

Am I just in a mood since my running has not been going all that great this spring? :-)
Is it just that people don't know about this opportunity to contribute to the Eclipse community?

For me the items called out to be purchased with the donations are real:
  • Providing more bandwidth for users and committers
  • Purchasing additional servers to host Eclipse projects
  • Sending students to EclipseCon
  • Sponsoring Eclipse community events
There are lots of other ways to give back that are very important:
  • logging bug reports
  • answering a question in the newsgroup
  • contributing a patch
  • working as a committer
If you have not logged a bug, answered a question or worked some code, or even if you have like most of the existing 111, consider indicating a vote of confidence with your pocket book. A small gesture to ensure the continued vitality of Eclipse. Read up here and consider.

Now to get really crazy! I would like to challenge us to get to at least 0.5% or about 500 friends before the end of EclipseCon.
With over 1500 people gathering at EclipseCon...the math is simple.
Please let me know if I am missing something.

Also don't forget to vote in the Eclipse elections which are open till 3pm EST March 7.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Relaxing and Rumble Running

Since we were up in Sisters, Oregon for skiing and hanging out with friends, I made sure to look up Sean Meissner. I have had the opportunity to run with Sean once before during a Purge and Splurge and it was great fun. We set up to meet Saturday morning so Sean could give me a taste of the Peterson Ridge Rumble race course. One word: delicious :-) I can't run this one this year as it is the week before Boston but in non-Boston years I will really have to give it a spin. We made two mistakes on the run: me not eating enough and forgetting to wear our Black Saturday shirts!

By the time we started running the snow had stopped and there was about 2 inches on the ground. Most of the run we had bright and warm sunshine. I was a little sluggish with my leg and not fueling properly. I really enjoyed the run and the possibility that I saw my first set of cougar prints in the wild!! Glad Sasha was along to protect us.

The rest of the time at Black Butte Ranch was spent swimming, talking or eating...all good times that we will need to repeat. Working the kids hard in the pool with lots of swimming always helps ensure a speedy bed time even when feeding them fresh snow covered in syrup!. We are considering heading back up for Sean's Peterson Ridge Rumble as I think Trisha would really like the course after completing her first ultra at Chuckanut.

I am still fighting some type of bug as I slept most of the ride home and 10 hours last night. Need to get over this general feeling of just being wiped. Planning to race a 10km this weekend out at Champoeg so I need to get the rust out!