Honestly, this title sounds offending but I’m definitely not a guy who likes to start a flame war. It’s just a funny title we came up with in a typical EclipseCon night.
Well, I’m referring to the BOF yesterday held by John Wiegand, Erich Gamma and IBM Rational. Jazz is a technology that wires all the processes, artifacts, policies and systems involved in software development into Eclipse.
It really simplifies the whole process greatly. It also uses ECF technology to enable live communication between developers. Other technologies involved where Tomcat, Cloudscape, EMF, GEF (Draw2D) and CruiseControl. They also explained that they imported tasks/bugs from Bugzilla. However, it’s not tight to these technologies because Jazz is extensible and everybody – commercial software vendors as well as open source developers – are invited to extend it and to integrate it with their technologies.
IMHO this is one of the key features of Jazz. Jazz doesn’t force you to throw away your existing systems. The demo they gave showed that Jazz will solve many, many issued that the Eclipse Platform and JDT developers currently have. No need to manually edit and update a milestone plan anymore, reports of your project health inside Eclipse, no need to leave Eclipse for working with Bugzilla, always recognize what your team is working on and instant “blaming” and reporting when a build fails and a lot more stuff.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me. It’s just too much to describe. But there is one feature that I also like to introduce. You ever had the cased when working on a feature in your workspace and a bug comes in? Sometimes you have changes that you can’t commit at this time. But your workspace is not clean. What to do?
Usually, I create a second workspace for this but now guess how Jazz is handling this. It allows you to suspend your work. If you suspend your changes they are moved out of your workspace and your workspace is back in a clean state. You can now work on the bug and resume to your changes after that. I don’t know how they’ve implemented it but I think it can be done using storing diffs in a database.
According to Kai-Uwe Maetzel they are already self-hosting. But we should really NOT expect anything before the end of this year. John Wiegand mentioned that there eventually can be a technical preview ready by the end of this year but we can not expect it.
Although it’s based on open source technologies it is IBM Rational technology. But no decision has been made yet how this is going to be released. Hopefully, we will be able to use it in open source communities without paying for it. But believe me or not. I think Jazz will greatly influence the way how we develop software collaborated in teams.
I met Jean-Michel Lemieux at the Hyatt Bar. He is one of the Team CVS guys in Ottawa and clarified things a little bit. I’m very thankful for his comments and insights. Jazz comes with its own SCM and tracking system. However, the demonstration showed that it comes with a clean migration path for existing technologies like Bugzilla and CVS.