Interview with Tim Verbelen by the OSGi Alliance Team

Tim Verbelen's talk, Run OSGi on your robot and teach it new tricks, is this year's early bird pick for the OSGi track. He was interviewed by the OSGi team to learn more about his talk and his robot.

Alliance: Your “Run OSGi on your robot and teach it new tricks” abstract describes an OSGi service for controlling a robot. What is the purpose of the OSGi service?

Verbelen: We have been using OSGi in our research lab for quite some time, so the most convenient way to integrate things for research/demos is to write an OSGi service for it. Currently, we are looking into how to process sensory information (e.g. LIDAR, camera, etc.) and translate this into robot control (e.g. to execute a certain task). The goal is to use self-learning techniques that allow the robot to be trained to do the task, instead of hard-coding it. The talk will cover the two subjects, first how we integrate the robot into our OSGi framework and next how we can "teach" it.


Alliance: Please describe your experience with OSGi.

Verbelen: Since I started my PhD in 2009, I've been using OSGi, mainly for developing distributed systems. During my PhD I met Jan Rellermeyer and I started contributing to his Concierge project, a slim OSGi framework implementation. In late 2014, I had the opportunity to become an Invited Contributor of the OSGi Alliance. Since then I try to participate in the expert groups, and I was mainly involved in the upcoming R7 Clusterinfo spec and the OSGi demo at the two past OSGi community events.

Alliance: You mention your work with OSGi Alliance expert groups and pending R7 specification, expected later this year. Can you describe how specification features, Promises and PushStreams, affect your development?

Verbelen: When programming a robot you basically have two options: you issue a command to the robot and then block until the command is executed, or you immediately return after issuing the command and let it up to the caller to find out when the command is done. Promises allow you to have the best of both worlds. You immediately give a Promise after issuing the command, which gets resolved when the command is executed. This results in a very nice asynchronous programming model to control the robot. I haven't yet used PushStreams myself, but from what I have already seen, this seems a very powerful concept to, for example, publish sensor information, for which I currently still use an Observable pattern.

Alliance: The OSGi Community Event program, including your talk, is open to both Community Event and EclipseCon Europe attendees. What is your connection to Eclipse?

Verbelen: Since 2013, I have been a committer of the Eclipse Foundation, contributing to the Concierge project, which is a very slim implementation of the c

About Tim Verbelen

Verbelen received his Ph.D. degree with his dissertation "Adaptive Offloading and Configuration of Resource Intensive Mobile Applications” in 2013. In October 2014, he joined iMinds IoT lab working on distributed intelligence for supporting the next generation IoT applications. As of October 2016, he works as senior researcher at imec on deep learning in distributed and resource-constrained environments.


Preview what's in store: Early Bird Picks 2017

Thank you for a great response to the early submission deadline. The program committee had its work cut out for them to select just a handful of early selection talks. Congratulations to our early bird speakers!

More on this year's tracks

by Jonas Helming

The call for papers for EclipseCon Europe 2017 has opened, and it is time to get your submissions in. I have been given the honor a second time to serve as the PC chair and the first job for the program committee was to decide on the tracks for 2017.

There are some notable adaptations to the last years. First of all, we extended the Java track to "Java & JDT". Since they are closely connected the combination made sense. For the upcoming Java 9, (no matter when it will actually be released), and also for previous versions of Java, we hope for a lot of interesting submissions in this central track. For any other tools not directly related to Java, we rephrased and focused the categories into "Tools, IDEs, & DevOps" as well as "Web & Cloud Development". The latter has played a significant and growing role on the last EclipseCons. While Eclipse is a lot about tools, we expect a strong track about runtime technologies in "Eclipse technologies".

One particular request we heard from the audience is to have more talks about existing solutions based on Eclipse. Other projects' success stories and lessons learned are a great way to benefit all projects based on Eclipse. Therefore, we introduced the track "Built on Eclipse" and encourage all adopters of Eclipse technology to show their great solutions there.

Speaking about learning: last year, we created a new track for introductory talks, which we extended this year to "Introduction to the Eclipse ecosystem". EclipseCon is a great place to get into the Eclipse world, but newcomers need help. So we encourage experienced members to submit in this track!

The second new track is about Eclipse working groups, which addresses the increasing variety of the Eclipse ecosystem, in  IoT, LocationTech, LTS (Long-Term Support), OpenMDM, OpenPASS, Papyrus IC, PolarSys, or Science. We hope that EclipseCon will be a perfect place to get an overview of all these areas.

Finally, we are happy to co-host the OSGI Alliance Community Event, the IoT Day as well as the Project Quality day. And if this is not enough, consider the category "Cool stuff" for anything else which you'd like to bring to the conference audience.

Looking forward to to your submissions and a great conference!

Jonas Helming


Testimonial: Carsten Ziegeler, Adobe Research Switzerland

The OSGi community event in Ludwigsburg is the number one place to go if you want to learn about Java modularity and OSGi technology. I'm always thrilled to attend this great conference and the special venue. In addition to the interesting and inspiring technology sessions, it's essentially a community event where you can meet and greet like-minded developers. Especially the combination with EclipseCon Europe brings together a large and diverse community who cares about modularity and OSGi. The exchange and discussions are what makes this an invaluable event and I'm always amazed at the openness and friendliness of this community. Don't miss this opportunity.

Carsten Ziegeler

It's time to submit!

The Call for Papers is open. See what the program committee is looking with this year's updated tracks. Consider participating in the theme days for IoT and Project Quality.

The early-bird deadline is June 30, with all submissions due by July 17.

Meet the Program Committee

The program for EclipseCon Europe / OSGI Community Event is chosen by an independent program committee made up of volunteers from the Eclipse and OSGi communities.

This year's group includes both new and returning members. Visit the About the PC page to learn more about them, or send in a question.

Save the Dates!

We look forward to seeing the community for another great event in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Be sure to save these dates:

Monday, 23 October, 2017: Eclipse Unconference

Tuesday through Thursday, 24 - 26 October, 2017: EclipseCon Europe / OSGi Community Event

Submissions will open in mid-May. Follow @eclipsecon on Twitter for updates.

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