Who is (really) driving Eclipse? November 16, 2007Posted by Sacha in IT, JBoss.
There’s recently been a lot of interesting news about Eclipse.
First of all, the Eclipse Foundation has been elected on the SE Executive Committee of the Java Community Process (JCP). A few years back, nobody would have guessed such a thing could happen (not simply that of being elected – but that they would actually run for the election in the first place). It is going to be interesting to see what role the Eclipse Foundation intends to play on the JCP-EC given that more than half of the existing EC members are already members of the Eclipse Foundation (BEA, Borland, Fujitsu, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, SAS), and 8 of them are … Eclipse Strategic Members (8 out of 20!). What is the agenda that the Eclipse Foundation wants to promote that existing EC+Eclipse members don’t? What is the disconnect that Eclipse intends to address?
Then, there is this “Eclipse Runtime Summit” taking place next month in SFO. The proposed goal of the summit is to “Define a strategy how the Eclipse Foundation will deliver runtime technology”. Runtime technology? That’s very interesting. I thought Eclipse was about tooling, not runtime. At least, that’s what I remember was communicated in 2001, when they formed their first board:
Chicago—Nov. 29, 2001–Borland, IBM, Merant, QNX Software Systems, Rational Software, RedHat, SuSE, and TogetherSoft today announced the formation of Eclipse.org, an open consortium of providers of development tools that manages the Eclipse Platform, which is being made available in open source under the Common Public License1. These companies, each of which plans to release Eclipse Platform compatible product offerings, form the initial Eclipse.org board of directors. The bylaws and operating principles of the organization are published at http://www.eclipse.org.
Many companies have participated to the success of Eclipse and helped build its brand and credibility. They did it to solve a specific pain-point this industry was facing at that time: the lack of a common platform on which to build tooling. Now, it seems “some” think that the Eclipse Foundation should move in the “runtime and platforms” space. I find it surprising and wonder if this is really its mission and the reason for what its founding members intended it.
Now, if some companies wants to step up to build and fund a new “runtime&platforms” Foundation, work on building its brand and credibility, that would be a very different story. But hijacking the Eclipse Foundation for this is a pretty aggressive move that seems disconnected from its members.