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[epf-dev] Evolving the OpenUP Family

Hi all, sorry for the long email, but I think it's an important topic for our planning meeting tomorrow.

We've got some user feedback expressing it would be much easier to assemble libraries with various plug-ins as needed, meaning the OpenUP library by default should contain base_concepts and openup plug-ins only, then any additions could be download from Eclipse web site. In other words, one wants to download OpenUP without having to deal with other plug-ins they don't plan to use on near or long term.

As this is simple to solve from the user perspective, it may pose some challenges from content development perspective.

- From user perspective, EPF Composer offers today the capability for exporting and importing plug-ins. We can simply provide OpenUP library with openup and base_concepts plug-ins only, then users pick and choose any OpenUP/xyz from EPF web site and import it to their library. The web site download area would be populated with these plug-ins. For user's convenience, we can periodically publish these various configurations and make it readily available for download.

- From development perspective, every extension to OpenUP plug-in should *ideally* be created in the OpenUP library itself, because it makes it easier from the version control perspective to handle the various xmi files individually. If you separate plug-ins in different libraries, plug-in authors will have to keep copies of OpenUP in a sandbox location, develop their plug-ins as extension to OpenUP, export those plug-ins from time to time, add them to CVS as a zip file, them make available for download by users. We loose granularity in our version control, and are obliged to keep local copies of OpenUP library.
UNLESS these sandbox locations are also in CVS, in a different branch than the main OpenUP library. Authors can work on their plug-ins and commit individual xmi files to CVS - the only caveat for plug-in authors is to keep this sandbox OpenUP up-to-date with most current main OpenUP. Exports of their plug-ins would occur as part of periodically builds, so plug-ins can be made available in the download area.
That approach tries to solve the fact that EPF Composer does not work with multiple projects from different workspaces.

Conclusion: I don't believe separating the OpenUP extensions from the main OpenUP library in CVS will harm the concept of OpenUP Family. Moreover, that makes it easier for plug-ins to evolve at different pace than the OpenUP library itself is evolving, and multiple authors can work their solution in parallel. Also, those authors can take the responsibility of uploading their plug-ins and updating the web site themselves- sort of sharing web master's responsibilities :-)

What is your take on this? We can discuss it during our planning meeting tomorrow.


Ricardo Balduino
IBM Rational Software (www.ibm.com/rational)
Eclipse Process Framework (www.eclipse.org/epf)