Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eclipse Demo Camp in Nantes

Thursday 30/06 in Nantes, AtlanMod, Obeo and Mia-Software will organize an Eclipse Demo Camp.

The program is rich with the presentation of seven projects coming with the Indigo Simultaneous Release.

Four of these projects are developped in Nantes!
  • MoDisco (Model-Driven Modernization)
  • ATL (Model to Model transformation)
  • EMF Facet (Non-intrusive metamodel extensibility)
  • EEF (Model extended editors)

The three other projects which will be presented are

The Demo Camp will start at 6:00 PM at Ecole des Mines de Nantes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Step in Toulouse

This week, I'll be in Toulouse, the aerospace city.

Wednesday (June 22), we will start the Obeo Designer Roadshow, a serie of six steps in six different cities (Toulouse, Brest, Nantes, Paris, Niort and Lille).

Each step of this roadshow will be organized in two parts: the morning will be dedicated to a presentation of the version 5.0 of Obeo Designer, presentations of case-studies by users and a panel to discuss about graphical DSLs.

The afternoon will be more technical with Hands-On sessions: we have asked to each person to come with a case, and we will help them to implement their own graphical designer during the afternoon.

In Toulouse, the case-studies will be presented by Pascal Roques of PRFC and Tristan Faure of Atos Origin.

Thursday (June 23), I will attend Eclipse Party (the Indigo Demo Camp) and give a talk about JavaEE code generation with EEF and Acceleo.

This Demo Camp, will be very intensive with two tracks and a lot of interesting talks (Topcased, Koneki, Closure, Birt, RCP, eGit, SWTBot, e4, etc).

There will also be a specific session about feedback from EclipseCon 2011 (XText, Orion, CDT, Tycho).

Finally, it will end with a panel about Eclipse and its ecosystem, animated by Gaël Blondelle of Obeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to follow Obeo at EclipseOn 2011?

EclipseCon 2011 starts in less than one week from now.

This year, Obeo will be well represented with five of us going to Santa-Clara:
- Etienne Juliot, Vice-president and co-founder of Obeo, member of the Eclipse Foundation Board
- Cédric Brun, CTO of Obeo, member of the Architecture and Planning council, leading several Eclipse/Modeling projects
- Mariot Chauvin, committer on Acceleo, GMF and SWTBot
- Mikaël Barbero, EMFPath project leader
- and me ;-)

The program will be very intensive for us, with seven talks to give:

We are also in competion with five Eclipse Community Awards finalists:

However, we don't forget the most important thing at EclipseCon: sharing ideas (and beers) with other Eclipse fans!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Using viewpoints to edit complex models

Based on GMF, Obeo Designer adds several viewpoint mechanisms which facilitate the edition of complex models.

One of the main difficulties with graphical representation of complex models is the number of nodes and edges visible on a same diagram.

Obeo Designer comes with the concept of layer which allows to select the types of graphical elements to display. Inspired from image manipulation tools, several layers can be defined on a diagram and optionally selected or unselected, depending on what the user wants to see from his model.

Based on the simple Family scenario (detailed in my previous post), this demo shows how to define layers for parental and brotherhood relationships.

Another way to reduce the models complexity, is to use tabular representations. With Obeo Designer it is possible to define custom tables representing elements of the model. The lines and the columns are fully customizable depending on the objects and which properties have to be displayed.

This demo, shows how to define a table representing members of a family. Columns contain the names of the parents and other columns contain the numbers of sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Creation of a graphical designer in 5 minutes

After one month at Obeo, the serious things have started for me ;-)

I have spent the last two weeks discovering Obeo Designer 5.0 and working on the videos which will be available on the new website (www.obeodesigner.com). This new version is going to be officially released in ten days, so each minute counts!

Obeo Designer is a tool which allows to create specific modelers in Eclipse. It is based on EMF, GMF and Acceleo.

I have been very impressed by the ease and rapidity for creating my first designer. Of course I'm familiar with Eclipse and EMF, but I had never developped with GMF before. In one day, starting from scratch, I have been able to create my first designer, with several layers (to optionally show or hide some kinds of relations) and a table (to represent my model with lines).

For the demos, we have volontarily chosen a very simple example to illustrate the Obeo Designer approach. With this example, the concept of Family (men and women related by parental relationships), each Obeo Designer functionality can be easily described.

I have posted the first video today. It is a first overview which explains, in five minutes, how to create a first modeler with zero code and zero deployment.

Other videos will come soon to demonstrate the other functionnalities. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A new start

Friday was my last day at Mia-Software.

I started working at the Sodifrance group fifteen years ago already. And it has been a very exciting experience!

In 1995, I was working in Paris and I was looking for a new job. As I was hesitated between two propositions, I decided to call Jean Bezivin, who taught me Object-Oriented technologies three years before at Nantes. He asked me "Why don't you come back to Nantes? Yves Lennon, a good friend of mine, is developping software engineering tools in Smalltalk there. He is looking for developers like you". I immediately called Yves, we met, and he hired me.

My first project at Sodifrance was for MMA, an insurance company. This project, called SIGMMA, was a very ambitious re-development of the products and contracts management system in Smalltalk. I worked for three years on this project. I was responsible for designing the database schema and its mapping with the business objects implemented in Smalltalk. As these business objects was defined in Rational Rose with the Booch notation (UML was not existing yet), I developped lots of tools to exploit these models and generate Smalltalk code and Oracle queries.

When I left the project, I had the idea to develop a template-based code generator which could facilitate the development of specific code generators. I proposed this idea to Yves Lennon who said "Go!". In the same time, Java was taking off, with tools like VisualAge. I decide to use Java to develop my new tool which I called Scriptor. Thanks to internal projects which experimented the tool and helped me to improve it, Scriptor was selected in 1999 by Transpac, a France Telecom subsidiary, to generate VB code. It was the first one of a long list of other customers (Thales, Banque Populaire, BNP-Paribas, MAAF, Crédit du Nord, SNCF, etc).

In 2004, we created Mia-Software, as a Sodifrance subsidiary, to structure the R&D and to give a better visibility to the product. I took the CTO position. We renamed Scriptor to Mia-Generation. We added two other modules (Mia-Transformation, for model-to-model transformations and Mia-Documentation for documentation generation) and group these tools in a suite called Mia-Studio. We created also a new tool suite called Mia-Insight to package and distribute tools already developped by Sodifrance for application portfolio management and application mining.

In the same time, Sodifrance, which is the french leader in Software Modernization, has developped a new expertise in Software Migration by using Mia-Insight and Mia-Studio. Based on Model-Driven Engineering, the principle is to extract models from existing systems, to transform these models into models of the new system and to regenerate code from these new models. This approach has been used on lots of projects, for example to migrate VB6 code to C#, or Oracle Forms to JEE.

In 2006, we started a new research project called Modelplex, funded by the European Community. One of the partners was AtlanMod, the research lab leaded by Jean Bezivin. He had just created MoDisco, a new Eclipse project dedicated to the extraction of models from legacy systems. I proposed to Yves Lennon to take the opportunity of the Modelplex project to start developping open-source components and to contribute them to MoDisco. The objective was to develop a reference platform for software modernization projects based on Eclipse and OMG standards. Once again, Yves said "Go!".

Last year, MoDisco 0.8 has been released with Helios. We have presented the project to several Eclipse conferences already, and we know that many users are using its components (such as the Model Browser and the Java Discoverer). The Mia-Software team working on this project (Gabriel Barbier, Nicolas Bros, Grégoire Dupé, Fabien Giquel and Nicolas Guyomar) is very motivated, and Sodifrance has started to provide feedback from real modernization projects (for example to refactor JEE source code).

But after all these years working at Sodifrance and Mia-Software, I felt that I needed a new challenge.

That's why I accepted the Obeo proposition to be their Product Manager. I will mainly focus on Obeo-Designer and Obeo-Agility.

It was not an easy decision to take, but it has been well understood at Mia-Software. The transition went very well, and I'm confident that the products (Mia-Studio, Mia-Insight and Mia-Quality) and the Eclipse projects (MoDisco and EMF facet) are in good hands!

Now, I'm ready to take a new start!