Thank you to the ALM Connect and EclipseCon Program Committee

The ALM Connect and EclipseCon schedule and sessions have been announced. As you would expect, the content looks excellent and we are set for another great conference.

It takes a lot of time to put together the program, so I would like to thank the PC chairs John Arthorne (EclipseCon) and Dave West (ALM Connect), plus their committee members for all the time they spent recruiting, reviewing and debating which talks to include.  I think the results speak for themselves!

EclipseCon PC Members

  • John Arthorne (Chair)
  • Cédric Brun
  • Doug Schaefer
  • Gunnar Wagenknecht
  • Ian Bull
  • Kevin Sawicki
  • Lars Vogel
  • Sven Efftinge

ALM Connect PC Members

  • Dave West (Chair)
  • Dominique Toupin
  • Kenn Hussey
  • Mik Kersten

As a reminder, this year we have reduced the prices to attend ALM Connect and EclipseCon. If you register before December 31, 2012 it is only $800 to attend. We also have a limited number of non-corporate passes for only $500. If you are paying the fee yourself, we have made it a lot easier for you to attend.

Announcing Eclipse Day at the Googleplex, 2012 Edition

Google is a great supporter of Eclipse and open source in general. Therefore, I am always thrilled to have the opportunity to organize a new Eclipse Day at the Googleplex. This will be the fifth year we have organized the event and each year it proves to be a great learning experience. As always, we appreciate the support and sponsorship provided by the Google Open Source Program Office.

The 1-day event will be held on December 12 at the Googleplex. We have a great line-up of speakers from Eclipse projects and Google projects. This year there is a $40 registration fee that will be a Friend of Eclipse contribution to the Eclipse Foundation. In the past, registration was free but we had a high number of no-shows so we decided to make it a bit more of a commitment than just signing up online.

We are also organizing an Ignite session to showcase what people are doing with Eclipse. If you have some ideas, please send me an e-mail.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Googleplex on December 12. Remember to register today. Each year this event sells out.

Galileo Freshman Project #2: PDT

Next up in my series of projects new to the release train is PDT.  PDT isn’t really a new project but this is the first time it has joined the release train.  They have also created a new PHP package that is currently the second most popular RC4 package on the download site.  PHP developers seems to love PDT.

The project leader for PDT is Roy Ganor.

What does your project do?

Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) provides a development environment, based on the Eclipse platform,  for developing PHP scripts. This project encompasses the required development components for developing PHP, and facilitate extensibility. Eclipse PDT has become the de-facto standard for PHP development these days.

Who are your typical users?

Web developers that adhere to today’s Web standards are probably the biggest audience for Eclipse PDT. Team leaders and product managers also find it useful for prototyping their next generation products using Eclipse and PHP.

Why did you join the Galileo release train? After completing your first release train, what do you think now?

The power of open source projects is exposed when they adhere to industry standards. This is exactly why Eclipse PDT has decided to join the Galileo release train, as it provides an accepted framework which enables projects to commit to a certain level of quality and maturity. In addition we see a great difference in the publicity and visibility of Eclipse PDT this time. I can’t wait for next release to come!

What future enhancements are you planning for your project?

The Eclipse PDT team should always strive for better quality and support standards, hence we are going to focus on stability and usability in the next maintenance versions. We also have plans to open up more and more extensions for PHP framework teams around the world to be able to leverage PDT as the target environment for their developers.

Related

Project #1: Xtext

Launch Plans for Galileo

The Galileo Release is just four short weeks away; June 24 is the big day.   Every year we put together a launch program to help promote the release, this year being no different.  I thought it might be useful to summarize what we are planning.  Feel free to let me know if you have some other ideas.

1. Galileo Twitter Birds Nest. Twitter is all the rage for the social networking crowd, so we want to make sure people hear about Galileo on twitter.   Building on the success of the EclipseCon Birds Nest, we have created a Galileo Birds Nest.  This is the place you can go to find other twitter people that are interested in Galileo and see what they are saying.  If you are tweeting about Galileo, please use the hashtag #eclipse35.

We are also building custom Galileo avatars that people can use to help promote Galileo on twitter.  My hope is that everyone will update their avatar with a new Galilean avatar.

2. Blogging Contest. For the past couple of years we have run a blogging contest to encourage people to blog about the release train.  This has always been a successful program, so we are doing it again.  Simply write a blog about what you like in the Galileo release and we will send you some Eclipse swag.   Details here.

3. Galileo DemoCamp.  I am a big believer that face to face meetings really help promote online communities.  This is why we are sponsoring over 30 Eclipse Galileo DemoCamps in cities around the world.  If there is a demo camp organized in your city, take the opportunity to attend and see what other Eclipse community members are doing with Eclipse.

4. Galileo Virtual Conference. We organizing a virtual conference on June 26.  This will be a series of webinars that highlight different projects in the Galileo release.   Details will be coming soon.

5.  Friends of Eclipse Get it Faster and Sooner. Friends of Eclipse is a program the allows people to make contributions to the Eclipse Foundation to support the Eclipse community.   A benefit of being a ‘Friend’ is that you get access to a special download server that will allow you to get early and faster access to the Galileo release.  Details here.

6. Press Outreach. We will be issuing a press release on June 24.   This is a great way to promote the release to a wider community.  More on the press release later.

Each year a lot of people do a lot of work to make the release train a success.  It is amazing accomplishment for the entire Eclipse community.  I’m looking forward to seeing the result this year.

Your chance to be a Rocket Scientist

Doesn’t everyone want to be a rocket scientist? 🙂   Here is your chance to use your Eclipse skills and work on the development of spacecraft operations software at NASA.  Seems like a pretty cool job.

The guys at NASA have been great supporters of Eclipse.   You can find out more about what they are doing with Eclipse from these case studies and EclipseCon presentation.  I hope they get some great rock star candidates to apply.

Creating a Conference Twitter Community

This year at EclipseCon we decided to use Twitter to create an online community for the conference. Twitter is still relatively new to most people so I thought it might be interesting to write a report about our experiences.  Hopefully other conference organizers can use some of these ideas and results for their events.

Goals

  1. Encourage more people in the Eclipse community to use twitter and follow people in the Eclipse community. The Eclipse community is gradually embracing twitter but it is far from mainstream.  EclipseCon seemed like a great opportunity to encourage more people to start using twitter.
  2. How can we promote EclipseCon to a wider audience than just the on-site attendees? Lots of people can’t make it to EclipseCon but thru blogs and now twitter they can get a feel for the conference. Hopefully this will encourage them to attend in the future.
  3. Can we use twitter to make it easier to connect with conference
    attendees and speakers?.
    Close to 1000 people attend EclipseCon, can twitter be used to communicate with the session attendees and make it easier to connect.
  4. General promotion of the Eclipse community. I am the Eclipse marketing guy, so I am always looking to raise the awareness of Eclipse with the general developer community.

What Did We Do?

  1. Hashtag #eclipsecon. Well before the conference we identified a conference hashtag, in our case #eclipsecon. For those that are new to twitter, a hashtag is something that everyone adds to their tweets to be identified with the conference. This allows you to use twitter search to create a conference stream of tweets. More on this later.
  2. @eclipsecon twitter id. Thanks to Chantal Yang at PageOne, who created the @eclipsecon twitter ID early in the process. This gave the conference an identity on twitter.  It also became the means to join the EclipseCon twitter community.
  3. EclipseCon Birds Nest. We wanted a way to visualize the EclipseCon twitter community, so we created the EclipseCon Birds Nest. This is a web page that shows the avatars of all the people following the @eclipsecon twitter id. It provided a way to find other people in the Eclipse twitter community.   However, we also used the Birds Nest to encourage people to tweet about EclipseCon and their participation.  People were encouraged to tweet if they were a speaker, attendee, exhibitor or follower. We supplied hyperlinks on the Birds Nest to make it easy for people to self identify. We also used special hastags that allowed us to visualize each individual’s participation on the Birds Nest.
  4. EclipseCon Twitter Stream. Using the twitter search api, we were able to create a stream of EclipseCon related tweets. We showed the stream on the EclipseCon home page and the Birds Nest. We also installed a large monitor at the conference site, so on-site attendees could see the tweets.
  5. Updating conference attendees. The @eclipsecon twitter id was used to send out tweets about the daily EclipseCon events, reminders about keynotes, receptions etc.
  6. Final Q&A via Twitter. Twitter was used to submit questions to the panelist at the closing plenary. The EclipseCon Twitter Stream was displayed on a big screen so everyone could see the live questions and banter.
  7. Marketing. We took a very low key approach to marketing the EclipseCon twitter community. The only communications was done via my blog, my twitter id, @eclipsecon twitter id and the EclipseCon web site. We made the decision to not promote it on the eclipse.org web site, since we weren’t really sure if the Birds Nest technology could handle the traffic. We also did not promote the twitter community to the conference attendees via regular conference e-mails or during keynote sessions. Frankly, we just didn’t have time or think about it.

The Results

  1. 250+ people joined the EclipseCon Birds Nest. We set a goal of 200 people, which was achieved by the start of the conference. 50+ people identified themselves as speakers, 14 as attendees and 4 exhibitors. I believe we succeeded with the speakers since they were able to promote their session. They could see value in participating.   I was disappointed that we had a small number of exhibitors and attendees. However, we never actually sent them an e-mail or formal communication asking them to participate.   They needed to find it via my blog or on twitter. Next time I more actively encourage attendees and exhibitors to participate much earlier in the lead up to the conference.
  2. Thanks to Rob Konigsberg we have an analysis of the EclipseCon Twitter Stream. 265 people used the #eclipsecon hashtag and generated a total of 2174 tweets. 50% of the tweets were done by the top 20 people. I am pleased with the results and hopefully they will serve as a benchmark.  Btw, EclipseCon had around 1000 people attending.
  3. We were trending. The ultimate for any twitter campaign is to hit the top 10 twitter trending list. This is the list of most popular terms on twitter at a point in time. The list shows up on twitter search and the twitter web client.

eclipsecon trendingFor any marketing geek, this is the ultimate in reaching a broader audience, since lots of twitter users will see you term, in this case “eclipsecon”. The time eclipsecon started to trend was during the closing plenary session. Obviously the opportunity to see you tweets up on a big screen, in front of hundreds of people, are pretty inviting. The obvious lesson learned is if you want lots of tweets make them very public.

Improvements

  1. Next year I would do more marketing to encourage more of the
    attendees to participate.
  2. Look for ways to incorporate twitter into the Q&A for more sessions.
  3. Incorporate more value into the Birds Nest to encourage a larger
    Eclipse twitter community.
  4. Spend more time thinking how the @eclipsecon id can be used to
    communicate to the attendees during the conference.

Overall

I think we achieved our goals.  More Eclipse people are now on twitter.  I personally have found lots more people to follow and more Eclipse people are following me.  It seemed that people not attending were watching the #eclipsecon and enjoyed the live news.  Finally to have reach the top 10 trending list hopefully exposed Eclipse and EclipseCon to a wider community.

We can do better next year and I am sure we will.  Next up though is how can we use twitter to create awareness for the Galileo release.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

Kudos

Lots of people helped make this happen.  Most everything I have learnt about twitter is by following James Governor at Redmonk.  He innately gets this stuff because he lives it.  Chantal Yang from PageOne had the foresight to setup the @eclipsecon twitter id early in the process and provide most of the content.  Nathan Gervais is the web guy at the Eclipse Foundation.  He took my half-baked idea for the Birds Nest and got it up and running in about 48 hours. Finally, thanks to everyone for participating in the EclipseCon twitter community.

Twitter at EclipseCon

Twitter is the shiny new toy tool that everyone is talking about.  Twitter is a great tool for listening and interacting with a community, like the EclipseCon community.   To make it easier to find the twitter people at EclipseCon, we have created the EclipseCon Birds Nest. [1]

You can join the the Birds Nest by following @eclipsecon.  Then you can participate in four different ways:

1. As a speaker and add a url to your session.

2. As an exhibitor

3. As an attendee

4. As someone who wants to follow EclipseCon via twitter.

Note: It is important to include the hashtags that we have setup since that is how we parse the response.

During EclipseCon, you will be able to check the Birds Nest to find  attendee twitter ids, speaker ids and sessions.

At EclipseCon, we plan to have a big Twitter monitor in the lounge area.   People can watch real-time what people are saying about #eclipsecon on Twitter.     We will also make the same feed is available on the EclipseCon home page and of course anyone can use Twitter search yourself.   btw, if anyone company wants to sponsor the Twitter monitor let me or Donald know.  It will be great; trust me.  🙂

Finally, we have the tweetup on Sunday night.  Let me know on twitter if you plan on coming.

Check out the Birds Nest.  Let us know what you think and how we can improve it.   Kudos to Nathan for putting it together over the last couple of days.

[1] Thanks to @bmuskalla for suggesting the name; of course provided via twitter.

1000 Plugins on EPIC

 We now have 1000 plug-ins listed on EPIC.   This is a significant milestone and we appreciate everyone that has published their products, open source projects and services on EPIC.    I know there are many more Eclipse based products that are not listed on EPIC, so please feel free to add them to the site.

So what was the lucky 1000th plugin?  Xspeaker from Cashware.   Xspeaker is an IDE for the xpeak standard.     A great example of the diversity of the Eclipse ecosystem and especially how prevalent Eclipse is in the device and embedded industry.

Now you can donate to Eclipse

Today, we announced a new program that allows individuals to make financial donations to the Eclipse Foundation. We have hooked up a PayPal account that allows you to use a credit card or PayPal account to make a donation to Eclipse.

We have also started a program called ‘Friends of Eclipse’. For those individuals that donate $35 or more, they will be designated a ‘Friend of Eclipse’ for 12 months. ‘Friends’ will get access to a special mirror site that will hopefully facilitated faster downloads. Friends will also get the privilege of using a special ‘Friend of Eclipse’ logo on their personal blog or web site. Think of it as a friends with benefits…

So why are we doing this? Two main reasons: 1) We at the Foundation would like to do more to support the community, so having additional financial resources will help, and 2) Over the years, people have expressed a desire to make financial donations to show their appreciation and support of Eclipse. This system will now let them do it.

Just to ensure there is no confusion, any donation to the Eclipse Foundation is not considered a charitable donation. Eclipse is not a charity but a not-for-profit organization. Not getting too much into US tax code, this means we can’t issue charitable tax receipts.

This is a new initiative for us, so let us know what you like and dislike. Of course if you like it, I hope you will make a donation and show your support.