Eclipse in Motion: San Diego and Dallas Debrief

We wrapped up the first leg of our Eclipse in Motion roadshow last week with stops in San Diego (Tuesday) and Dallas (Thursday). I had a great time and I’m pretty sure everybody who attended did. One thing that I’ve noticed about Eclipse events that are different from most other events in my history: folks tend to stick around for the entire event. In both cities, in all sessions, hardly anybody left early. Those who did leave early felt compelled to give us excuses. They were good excuses.

One of the cooler things about San Diego is the Midway aircraft carrier/floating museum in the harbour; clearly visible from the event hotel. While the aircraft carrier has almost nothing to do with Eclipse, I still think it’s really cool. Drooling over huge military hardware is a hobby of mine…

The seminar was pretty cool too. We had the same speaker line up for both San Diego and Dallas in the morning session. The day started with a bracing introduction by the Eclipse Foundation’s own Donald Smith. The real fun started with the invited speakers who included Carl Zetie from Forrester Research, Fima Katz from Exadel, Jonathan Baker from Sybase, Gary Cernosek from IBM, Brian Carroll from Serena, and Cliff Schmidt from Apache. Topics ranged from adopting Eclipse as an enterprise scale development environment, success stories, extending Eclipse in commercial products, contributing to Eclipse projects, and handling the legal issues faced in open source software development. Like I said before… nobody left early. It was riveting stuff.

I did manage to take a couple of pictures, but didn’t get anything really good. The lighting was pretty bad (for photography) in the seminar room. At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I did take one of Cliff that’s pretty bad, but here it is anyway…
I ran the afternoon sessions. They were advertised as a code camp, but didn’t quite work out as we had planned. We advertised the afternoon session as a “roll up our sleaves and do some actual work session”. We even brough experienced Eclipse committers to work through issues. Alas, only a few who attended actually brought real Eclipse issues with them, so the afternoon turned into more of a technical seminar than a code camp. At the end of the day, everybody seemed pretty happy with what we did (which was to spend about four hours talking about Eclipse Rich Client Platform and WebTools). We managed to turn the sessions into pretty interactive discussions which was great. A few folks did manage to wrangle (being in Texas, it seems appropriate that there was some wrangling) some quality one-on-one time with the committers which is also great.

For those readers who have managed to keep up this far, I know what you’re thinking… What about the cookies? Well, the cookies in San Diego were great. Dallas… not so great.

The funniest thing that happened during the trip occurred on Thursday night in Dallas. We had a great meal at a great Mexican restaurant. About halfway through the meal, Donald started bouncing on his seat, giddy with excitement. A lot like a 10 year old girl with Hillary Duff tickets. Very excited.

We were all a little mesmerized by a camera crew jetting around the place. A little odd and a little out of place, we thought. But Donald was the first of us to spot the reason the cameras where there. He was muttering something to the effect of “it’s her” and “she’s here”. My first thought was that it must be Gina Gershon. It turns out that Rachel Ray was doing a piece on the restaurant for a show of hers on the Food Network. Donald’s a big fan. Anyway… he settled down a bit (just a bit) and then went and got a picture with her. Fortunately Chris had his camera with him. It’s a nice picture.

So for me, the first leg of the Eclipse in Motion seminars was a great success. I got a chance to talk with a bunch of interesting folks (and managed to convince a few of them to pursue RCP for their projects), got to hook up with some of my favourite committers, got to see an aircraft carrier up close and personal, and I got to see Donald giggle like a child. If only Megan Follows was at the restaurant. Then my life would be complete. There’s always Atlanta and Raleigh

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2 Responses to Eclipse in Motion: San Diego and Dallas Debrief

  1. zx says:

    Rachael is surprisngly hot.Maybe we’ll run into another celebrity in Raleigh.

  2. Wayne says:

    Steady now.

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