vladimir piskarev's blog

Musings on the Eclipse Handly project and software development in general

Month: March, 2014

Handly initial contribution now available

Hard to believe it’s been a month since the creation review for the Eclipse Handly project was declared successful. And quite a busy month, I must say.

Just in case you’ve missed the proposal, Handly is a recently created Technology project at Eclipse. Inspired by JDT Java Model, it aims to provide a common foundation for language-oriented handle-based models. It also includes a layer of integration with Xtext. You can read more about the project proposal in my previous post.

It’s been our stated intention to make the initial contribution available to the community as soon as technically and legally possible. Today, I’m glad to announce that the initial contribution is now available (based on Parallel IP) in the project’s Git repository. You can clone the repository from git://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/handly/org.eclipse.handly.git. Please see the CONTRIBUTING guide in the repository’s root for general information on how to contribute to the project. Also, an architectural overview is available.

Early feedback would be most welcome, of course. It might be a great opportunity to participate and influence further development. We’re listening. Seriously :-)

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Look inside the 1C’s new office building

We’ve recently moved to the 1C’s exciting new office building. Some great photos of the interiors can be found here.

Alan Kay on delight in complexity and the joy of simplicity

It seems that I’m in the mood to paste some quotes on the blog. I hope that the reader will forgive this weakness of me; my purpose is not to amuse you per se (though I would be happy if you’re amused), but rather to leave some reminders to myself on what can be important to think about in general.

This quote is from Alan Kay’s Turing Award talk at OOPSLA ‘04:

An ancillary problem is that our field and people in general take great delight in complexity. If you go to schools, it’s remarkable how much work they make the poor kids do, when if they taught the math better and differently, the kids would be doing much less work. But in fact, people delight in complexity and think that putting immense amounts of hard work in, even if there’s an easier way, is actually — there’s something morally good about it.

And so I think for our field, one of the hardest things is the delight in complexity. Because of many levels of structure in computing, and difficulty of going from one level to another, pretty much everyone who gets interested in computing and successful at it is a person who has mastered staggering amounts of complexity. I believe that most of this complexity is absolutely unnecessary, and I believe it can be proved that it’s unnecessary.

So what we really want is to find the joy of simplicity… All the projects I’ve been involved in have been successful, successful because the people who worked in them put quite a bit of effort into keeping things simple, and this community of ARPA and then Xerox PARC was outstanding at being simple.