Eclipse Ecosystem

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EclipseCon 2010 Program Update

The EclipseCon 2010 Program has been selected by the program committee, and we're getting ready to later this week (maybe even today with some luck) to send out all the emails with accepts, rejects and all the extra details that speakers need like agreements, registration information, etc.

I'd like to extend a great thanks to the Program Committee led by Oisin Hurley for their relentless hard work meeting the deadlines under very tight circumstances. It's ultimately a thankless job, but absolutely critical to producing a great event year after year.

When you look at the program this year, I want to point out a few things different than you may have seen in past years.

First, there are three main themes -- Making with Eclipse, Making for Eclipse, and Making Community. There is a pretty even split between "with Eclipse" and "for Eclipse" -- meaning there is a good balance of content interesting to those looking at specific projects, versus application developers looking for more horizontal, integrated or end user perspectives. And then there a good set of talks focusing on building community, and how the Eclipse community relates to and works with others.

You will notice a vast variety of content as usual spanning dozens and dozens of projects, technologies and perspectives. But there was a conscious emphasis on three topics -- e4, Modeling, and Runtimes (and OSGi DevCon content of course!) That's not to say someone from Reporting, or Embedded, or Tools, or Build, or SOA, or whatever won't have an incredibly busy week as usual -- it's just that e4, Modeling and Runtimes were given a bit of extra attention this year in the allocations. This is particularly for the enterprise application developers who frequent EclipseCon. I also like the emphasis on sessions that cross various technologies. For example, there's a tutorial that's going to touch a variety of runtime projects at Eclipse to tell a compelling browser-to-database story.

This year there are 5 parallel tracks in the conference program in larger sized rooms -- in previous years we've had 8 parallel tracks in smaller sized rooms. There are a few reasons for this change -- first, it helped reduce some of the budget risks faced when running an event of this size. But second, we found that in past years there were sessions where just a handful of people (I was at one last year with 6 audience members) were interested. With all due respect to those sessions, we felt those topics might be better served in a small BOF or unconference time. It is critical those niche conversations still happen, so we're going to be doing our best with the Poster, BOF and Unconference time. And third, frankly, sometimes the quality of talks wasn't up to attendee expectations. Going from an 8 track conference to 5 track felt brutal at times, but I feel really good about this program, and I hope you will too.

To help ensure we continue to get lots of perspectives and varied content we made the standard talk 25 minutes. This means more topics in the same time period to help address fewer tracks. I'm incredibly proud of the program committee for sticking to their guns and limiting the extended (50min) talks to just 10, and then keeping room for 90 standard (25min) talks, and 40 lightning (12 min) talks. This means a lot of speakers who were used to 50 minutes to get their point across are going to have to buckle down and be much more concise, and focus just that much more on the quality of their talk.

The schedule (detailed scheduling is still going to be a few days away) is also getting a bit of a makeover. We've shifted the conference to be 4 full days with tutorials, sessions, and unconference content from Day 1. This will allow attendees to go to even more tutorials and sessions than in the past. The big question is -- can attendees keep up with us this year?

Finally, I'd just like to issue an apology in advance to those of you whose sessions we could not accept. We know some of you will be disappointed, but I believe very strongly that we have the best overall program to date.

- Don


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