>This was my first year sitting on the EclipseCon program committee. I was honoured that Oisin asked me to participate, and felt it was an opportunity to help improve on the past programs. Here are some of my personal thoughts on the entire process.
I was lead on the “Build and Continuous Integration” and the “XML Tools” tags. So if you didn’t get what you wanted here, I’m sorry, but many code sacrifices had to be made. While we have more talks overall we had less overall time, compared to last year. This really affected the Tutorials. Personally I’m more of a hands on person and less of a sit and listen for 50 minutes type person. So while the number of tutorials has been cut down from past years, I also think the ones that are there are the cream of the crop. In the past, I’ve attended tutorials that were no more than just really long talks. The emphasis this year is that the tutorials should be hands on, with labs. It is also a good way to get some much needed documentation for the various projects created.
The Build and Continuous Integration portion was very difficult to select this year. Builds have been very contentious this year, so it was good to see this category added to the program. However, we had to hack and slash here as well. Personally I would have loved to have all these talks be tutorials, so people could get hands on help and experience with them. However, to try and give the community as wide a range of exposure as possible, we had to make a compromise. The talks selected were given equal time so they get equal exposure. There is a proposed panel that should bring most of the leads on these projects into one room for some entertaining discussions.
The XML Tools portion happens to be my personal pet project. Unfortunately we really had to hack and slash in this area. XQuery is going to get some exposure this year, and is an important framework for interfacing with various XQuery processors and XML Databases. With this editor and launching framework, the last big piece of the XML tooling framework is almost complete. Hopefully next year we can get RelaxNG, and Vex added to the program to help finish the puzzle. I’d also love to see an XProc project proposal as well. One of the sacrifices I had to make was to cut experience report on the PsychoPath XPath 2.0 processor (Negotiating with a Demon). Maybe I’ll have something in the evening hours.
For those of you that are curious about what is happening with the XML Editor every time you press a key, check out the talk by Nicholas Sandonato, Down the Rabbit Hole: A Single Character in the XML Editor.
Overall, I think the program is one of the strongest I have seen. The emphasis on more 25 minute talks this year, will force speakers to get to the point and provide the “meat and potatoes” that most of us want from the talks we attend.
My final thoughts are these. If you are looking for a way to contribute to the community and your talk did not get accepted. Consider holding an Unconference Session. Also, if you do not like the way the program was setup this year, consider volunteering to select next years program. The selection process is much more difficult than most people realize, as we have to weigh the needs of the overall community over the needs of our employers, and personal projects as well. Not an easy thing to do but I think the program committee did an excellent job at balancing the program this year.