Hot Jazz vs. Cold Beans

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.

Update (2006-03-23)

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.

10 thoughts on “Hot Jazz vs. Cold Beans

  1. Unfortunately I missed that “BoF” session but I am very curious if they managed to abstract the access to CVS in a way that really makes it possible to plug-in other SCM systems. I think this has been tried with Team support in Eclipse and I don’t think that it was really that successful since CVS is quite different from other SCMs. Don’t get me wrong, I think team support in Eclipse is great, however there are lots of things that you have to re-implement if you want to integrate a different SCM.

  2. Yes, I know what you are talking about. I’ve developed a lot stuff for the Open Source ClearCase integration. 🙂 I think Jazz is also based on the Eclipse Team API but they started to bring this into a context (for example, client side merges).

    Working with ClearCase is different than working with CVS or SVN. But I think that it doesn’t have to be. I did some research and IMO it is possible to integrate every repository with the Eclipse Team way. The only problem left is that existing users not familar with the Eclipse Team processes have to adapt to them.

    However, I don’t think that Jazz is limited to this domain. You should start thinking of Jazz as a technology in whole not limited to the domain of software development only. There are a lot industries that practise change management and processes in the context of their domains. Now think of bridging all this into one technology that is extensible and customizable to adapt to every each of these domains and their underlying systems and technologies.

  3. Gunnar you tease, tell us about how great it is but no movie!
    Hopefully they will make a screen cast 🙂

    I think between Jazz and ALF the way we develop software is going to be really getting better!

  4. Hi Gunnar,

    I/ECF team appreciate the positive words in your blog…unfortunately, I don’t believe the Jazz team are currently using ECF.

    I/we certainly would like them to, and believe using ECF would add to their interoperability story for Jazz (i.e. being able to interoperate with existing servers/services), but my understanding is that they are not doing this yet. I will be interacting with the Jazz team to ask them to consider doing this, as I think it could/would be to everyone’s mutual benefit.

    For those that agree that Jazz should have greater support for interoperability with multiple server-based services, any words in support of that notion to the Jazz team and leadership would be most appreciated. It’s not a technical stretch to use ECF, and ECF’s openness and protocol agnosticism would be of benefit, I believe, to Jazz users and Jazz development.


    Scott Lewis, ECF project lead

  5. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your feedback. I talked with Chris Aniszczyk about this at EclipseCon and according to his comment they are useing ECF or at least parts of it. But I don’t know.

    Cu, Gunnar

  6. BTW, for those who want something immediately and still deal with Bugzilla from inside of Eclipse I’d suggest to look at Mylar project, which has nice Bugzilla integration and much more to support entire work process starting from bugzilla/jira issue up to CVS commit when issue is resolved.

  7. I’m a Jazz enthusiast and it’s really cool see how this project started and how it evolved over the years.

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