Monday, December 19, 2011

Active JDT Committers

In my talks on JDT I generally include a slide with the above image. I thought I should also write a post and include the following bits of (interesting) information about the committers.
  • JDT committers are spread over 3 continents, 4 countries and 5 cities.
  • More than half (6 out of 11) of active committers are based out of Bangalore, India.
  • Dani and Olivier have been there since the very beginning of Eclipse, and Markus has been a JDT committer since 2003.
  • Srikanth has been working on compilers and related technology forever.
  • In all eight to nine languages can be spoken in the team. Even the commiters in Bangalore speak many different languages, for instance I can communicate in my mother tongue, Hindi, only with Ayush. Hence, we pretty much communicate in English :-)
  • Unfortunately the team is dominated by men with Raksha being the only member of the fairer sex.
  • Ayush at 24 is the youngest committer in the team and I come a close second at 25. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Annotation based null analysis with JDT

Eclipse Juno M4 includes support for annotation based null analysis. To take advantage of the feature enable the preference shown below and start using the default annotations mentioned in the text fields.

You will also notice that all the null analysis related options have moved to a new group on the preference page.

As usual feedback is extremely welcome especially in form of bug reports :-)

UPDATE: JDT provides default annotations which are shipped in org.eclipse.jdt.annotation bundle with the Eclipse SDK. However you are free to use your own annotation types, just specify the custom annotations in the preferences.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CodingSpectator: Research study on Eclipse

These guys have been contributing to JDT by reporting a bunch of bugs based on their findings, so I thought I should talk about them :)
The aim of CodingSpectator project is to study how developers interact with the Eclipse IDE, by collecting and analyzing usage data. CodingSpectator has been developed at Ralph Johnson’s research group by the following graduate students: Mohsen Vakilian, Nicholas Chen, Stas Negara, Roshanak Zilouchian and Balaji Ambresh. Ralph is a co-author of the seminal book on design patterns (GoF) and his research group has a history of important contributions to IDEs. CodingSpectator monitors programming interactions non-intrusively in the background and periodically uploads it to a secure server at UIUC.
They have presented some of their findings in this technical report - Use, Disuse, and Misuse of Automated Refactorings. Based on the same report they have reported a number of insightful bugs against JDT and also provided suggestions on how some of the refactorings can be improved. A few bugs have already been fixed. In addition their technical report also improved my understanding of an average JDT user's behavior. Thanks guys! 

Probably the biggest challenge with a usage study is finding a good number of participants. They are looking for more participants in order to continue their research study. If you’re interested in helping the researchers out, you could install CodingSpectator