What do you do?
My parents bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer when I was thirteen and kick-started my passion for writing computer software. Since then, I've been fascinated by how easy computers make it to transform mental models into something executable that has observable value. Less than ten years later, in 1991, I founded my own small consulting company "ES Computersysteme" in Germany, which I still run to help my customers get the best out of their computers and their software. These days, I'm specialized in Eclipse Modeling with a particular focus on the CDO Model Repository, which I had the pleasure to author and lead at Eclipse.
How long have you been using Eclipse?
I have been using Eclipse since 2003, when I found that the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) is a perfect front-end for the model repository that I had formerly developed in C++ and later ported to Java. One year later, I contributed the first version of CDO as the first component in the newly created EMFT project at Eclipse. During the following decade, I spent almost all my time maintaining and evolving CDO, as well as growing its community. Luckily that included attending all EclipseCons and all Eclipse Summits that took place since 2006. I regard the awesome Eclipse community as my second family. It gave back to me in form of the Eclipse Top Committer award that I was very proud to receive in 2010. Two years later, in 2012, I was given the chance to become a member of the Eclipse Architecture Council.
Quite early in my technical career, I developed a strong affinity to writing my own tools to automate many of the tedious tasks that I had to do more than twice. Last year, that culminated in the development of a small release engineering tool that helped CDO contributors automatically set up a development environment and workspace for CDO. What initially seemed like a minor convenience turned out to attract quite some attention, first of all from my best friend Ed Merks, who wanted to have the same thing for his EMF project. When we had spent the effort to make that setup tool more flexible to cover EMF as well, we realized that nothing prevents it from being applied to any project in the open source or even in private enterprises. So we kept working on it and created a new Eclipse project called "Oomph" earlier this year. Today Oomph is a complete model-based installer for Eclipse products and workspaces and I'd like to encourage everybody to have a look at it and try it.
Name five plugins you use and recommend:
It might be more politically correct to name the plugins of others (and in fact I do use tools like XMLBuddy, AnyEdit, etc...) but, given the chance, I'll recommend the following self-made plugins that I can't imagine living without during my daily work:
- Oomph Setup to install Eclipse packages, provision my workspaces, and manage my personal preferences
- Oomph Windows Exlorer to quickly open my file system browser for everything that adapts to IResource
- Oomph Project Copier to create more cool plugins that have the same consistent settings as a template
- Oomph Manifest Opener to open plugin or feature manifests from everywhere in Eclipse
- Oomph Version Management to verify and fix my plugin and feature versions in addition to PDE API Tools
What's your favorite thing to do when you're not working?
As with probably most of the previous spotlight users, there's very little of that kind of spare time. I used to be a passionate inline skater, but that became less pleasant since we moved to the eastern part of Berlin; the side walks are just not made for skating. I love to watch science fiction movies of all sorts and actually that has led to my current big passion: whenever I hear a term in a movie that I don't know I google it and one day that brought me to the wiki pages about the Standard Model of particle physics (SM). Since then, I spend much of my free time reading books about theoretical physics and physical cosmology.