Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for May 2009

Some New License Flexibility

I have been remiss in updating our website with information regarding some decisions made by the Board late last year. Totally my bad.

So here is some good news:

  1. Projects can license their example code using the Eclipse Distribution License (EDL) as well as the EPL. The advantage to this is that it is clearer to Eclipse users that they can start with EDL-licensed example code when they are developing their products or applications. Because the EPL is a copyleft license and the definition of derivative works can be fuzzy, there can sometimes be confusion as to whether something which started its life as a piece of example code needs to be EPL-licensed or not. You can find details on how to apply this to your project in our policy document.
  2. Contributors of “non-code content” such as articles, whitepapers, etc. are now allowed to use two variants of Creative Commons licenses. This should make it easier for people to contribute their works to the Eclipse Resources library and other places on the Eclipse website.

If you have any questions on how to make use of these policy changes in your project, please drop us a line at “license at”.

I hope these improvements help!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Foundation

Time Flies

Today is a bit of a milestone for me, as it is exactly five years since I assumed the role of Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

I had an inkling that this was going to be a different kind of role when a few days before I even started a journalist by the name of Darryl Taft called my home to ask me if it was true I was taking the job. Being totally caught off guard, I think I said something dumb like “no comment”. Not an auspicious beginning for a very public position.

It is hard to over-state the early challenges we had getting the Eclipse Foundation up and running. Five years ago we had about fifty members, no staff, no bank account, no offices and the heat was on to take over the creaking IT infrastructure that was still hosted at IBM. The development and IP processes existed in paper form but had never even been tried for real.

Today we have over 170 members, seventeen wonderful staff in three locations and great IT infrastructure. Our development and IP processes have been refined through several iterations and are demonstrating real value to the committers, members and ecosystem at Eclipse. These processes are definitely not perfect, but they get the job done.

But the true excitement of being part of Eclipse has been seeing the original vision of a vendor-neutral open source foundation at the centre of a commercial ecosystem coming to fruition. That was the original vision of people such as Skip McGaughey, Dave Bernstein, Danny Sabbah and John Swainson. I am sure that there are others, and I apologize for not listing everyone. Those “founders” if you will deserve a lot of credit for getting the Foundation created and the Bylaws, etc. written.

Sure, we have no shortage of challenges, but today there exists a multi-billion dollar ecosystem with hundreds of companies and millions of developers using Eclipse. The growth in projects at Eclipse has been awesome to watch as well. The breadth of technology being developed at Eclipse would have been hard to even imagine five years ago. That is awfully darn cool.

This is a pretty tough job. It involves dealing with many different interests and trying to find workable solutions. Anyone who has known me for a long time will tell you that I am not a natural politician. But this has been the single most exciting job I’ve ever had and I look forward to the challenges of the next five years. We are not resting on our laurels here at the Eclipse Foundation. The best is yet to come.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 20, 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized