Koneki

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Koneki

The Koneki project is a proposed open source incubator project under the Eclipse Technology Project.

This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process) and is written to declare its intent and scope. We solicit additional participation and input from the Eclipse community. Please send all feedback to the Eclipse Proposals Forum.

Background

  [Wikipedia] : Machine-to-Machine (M2M) refers to technologies that
allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices
of the same ability.
	

When first faced with the assignment of setting up a remote management and supervision system for devices scattered over a large geographical area, a developer faces miscellaneous and usually tricky engineering problems.

  • Embedded application development complexity - Because it is very close to the underlying hardware, embedded development can turn out to be a complex task, especially considering the fact that people developing M2M solutions are domain experts (healthcare, smart grid, …), not necessarily software specialists.
  • Variety of M2M embedded modules - There are many M2M-capable devices available on the market, and they all come with different operating systems (although Linux seems to become the norm), different APIs to communicate with a distant server (over HTTP, TCP, or whatever) or with a "local" asset (serial protocol, Modbus, ZigBee®, …). This fragmentation makes it very difficult to come up with reusable, portable, software.

Scope

The main goal of the proposed project is to provide Machine-to-Machine solutions developers with tools easing the development, simulation, testing/debugging and deployment of such solutions.

More specifically, Koneki aims at:

  • Enabling M2M development
    • support for languages and runtimes used to develop M2M applications, with a specific focus on Lua (ligthweight language, very well-suited for M2M applications)
    • support for communication protocols used in M2M applications
    • smooth integration of M2M servers
  • Establishing an M2M application model
  • Providing tooling built on top of this application model to improve M2M development experience.

As detailed in the Background paragraph, there are many flavors of M2M modules, vendor SDKs, communication protocols, etc. ; the proposed project will therefore define and expose the APIs needed to support M2M development in the large.

Description

The Koneki project goal will be to deliver a first-class development environment for M2M solutions developers.

Here are the key features that the Koneki project aims at providing:

  • M2M Embedded Development
    • Language tools — Koneki will rely on existing language development tools (CDT, JDT, DLTK-based editors, …) to give the M2M developer access to usual editing features (syntax highlighting, content assist, outlines, …).
    • M2M embedded runtimes — Koneki will ease the use of M2M embedded runtimes: remote configuration, remote application deployment/debugging, shell access, …
    • M2M application generation — Koneki will provide an extensible generation infrastructure built on top of the M2M application model.
    • Application examples — Machine-to-Machine solution developers are not necessarily skilled embedded developers (e.g. a solution to remotely control an industrial equipment will likely be developed by a control engineer), the Koneki project will therefore focus on providing the developer with embedded application templates and examples.
  • Protocols
    • Koneki project will provide the user with utilities to manipulate M2M & industrial protocols: encode/decode binary frames, perform bandwidth usage simulation according to different communication scenarios, etc.
    • Simulation — Koneki will provide extension points enabling the creation of a consistent UI on top of existing protocol simulators/emulators.
  • M2M Server Development
    • Koneki will define an abstraction (a la WST Server Adapter) of what an M2M server is. It will allow M2M services providers to implement their own connector, and developers to easily configure the server-side model of their application, discover the Web Services exposed by the server, etc.
    • Simulation — Koneki will provide a generic simulation infrastructure to allow developer to test different communication policies (and their consequences on bandwidth consumption), monitor data transfers, simulate communication failures, etc.
    • Application examples — Koneki may package exemplary end-user applications to illustrate the use of M2M server APIs.
  • M2M Model
    • Application model — Koneki will implement an M2M application model allowing an M2M solution developer to create an abstract definition of the capabilities of an M2M application (communication capabilities, exposed variables, communication policy, supported remote commands, …).
    • Application editors — Koneki will provide high-level editors (forms, diagrams, DSL-based editors) of M2M application models, assisting the developer with the design of his/her embedded application.

Why Eclipse?

The Koneki project has relationships with many Eclipse projects and the Koneki team will closely collaborate with these projects since:

  • Lua tooling relies on DLTK 2,
  • “EMF Forms” (PDE Incubator) is used for easing the development of form-based editors,
  • Tools TM (Terminal and RSE components) is used to communicate with embedded devices,
  • Modeling projects (EMF, EMF Transaction, GMF) support the M2M application model,

Koneki will work even more closely with eTrice (MDT project) and Yakindu (EclipseLabs project at the moment) teams to establish an M2M application/component model.

In addition, an Eclipse M2M Industry Working Group will likely be created to help industrial partners and tool vendors to come up with a reference environment to develop M2M solutions. Having Koneki at eclipse.org is the best way to ensure a good collaboration between the Koneki team and the members of the Working Group in charge of identifying M2M tooling requirements.

Initial Contribution

The Koneki project will be seeded with an initial contribution from Sierra Wireless in the form of the following tools:

  • A set of plug-ins to suppport the Lua language: editor, content-assist, packaging, …
  • A set of plug-ins to ease Linux target communication: remote project copy, remote application launch, debugging …
  • A packaging mechanism of M2M applications examples,
  • A prototype of a component model for M2M applications, based on a dataflow paradigm,
  • A graphical editor on top of this component model to give the developer the ability to visualize and modify its application structure, and perform type and consistency checks.

Legal Issues

No legal issues are anticipated although all 3rd party bundles used in the initial contribution, and that are not already made available via the Orbit project, will need to go through the standard Eclipse IP process.

Committers

The following individuals are proposed as initial committers to the project:

Benjamin Cabé, Sierra Wireless (project co-lead)
Benjamin is a long-time contributor on many Eclipse projects (Eclipse, PDE, EMF, ECF, …) and committer on e4 and PDE (inactive though). He loves spreading the good word about Eclipse awesomeness at various conferences and writing blogs and articles.
Gaétan Morice, Sierra Wireless (project co-lead)
Gaétan leads the Embedded Tooling Development team at Sierra Wireless. The tools his team is developing will be built on top of Koneki components. On a side note, he is passionated by modern programming languages, and especially Clojure.
Simon Bernard, Sierra Wireless
Simon is the lead developer of Sierra Wireless Tools for Embedded Development. He has 5+ years of experience with Eclipse development (RCP, EMF, GMF, CDT, …).
Kévin Kin-Foo, Sierra Wireless
Kévin is the developer behind LuaEclipse 2, which he has developed during an internship at Sierra Wireless, and improved on his spare time. He has been hired by Sierra recently and will be the lead developer for the Lua Development Environment.

We welcome additional committers and contributions.

Mentors

The following Architecture Council members will mentor this project:

  • Bernd Kolb, SAP AG
  • Martin Oberhuber, Wind River

Interested Parties

The following individuals, organisations, companies and projects have expressed interest in this project:

  • Kai Kreuzer, openHAB project lead
  • Kévin Kin-Foo, LuaEclipse 2 project
  • itemis AG (Yakindu project)
  • Protos Software GMBh (eTrice project)
  • Joe Biron, Axeda

Tentative Plan

  • May 2011 – Sierra Wireless initial contribution
    • “Enablers”
    • Lua tooling
    • Modeling environment prototype
  • June 2011
    • Convert Koneki's build to Tycho
    • Make Lua Tooling available at Eclipse Marketplace
  • Q3 2011
    • Call for community participation to define an M2M application model
    • Improve Lua Tooling: LuaRocks support
  • Q4 2011
    • Communicate at EclipseCon Europe
    • Setup M2M server simulation infrastructure
    • Lua Tooling component to be moved to its own Technology project
  • Q2 2012 – First release of an “end-to-end” M2M IDE

Changes to this Document

Date Change
24-February-2011 Document created
09-March-2011 Added Kai Kreuzer from openHAB to the Interested Parties
14-March-2011 Added Kévin Kin-Foo from LuaEclipse 2 to Interested Parties
07-Apr-2011 Added new Interested Parties and Mentors
20-Apr-2011 Detailed the functional architecture.
Refined the project plan and relationships with other Eclipse projects.
Added Kévin Kin-Foo to initial committers list.