Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for January 2011

OpenJDK Governance

On Friday, Mark Reinhold, mentioned that I have recently spent some time helping to help flesh out a draft governance model for the OpenJDK community. As John Duimovich described it, our goal is for OpenJDK to be “…an open, transparent, and meritocratic project that can be run in a lightweight and efficient manner”. I think we’ve largely succeeded in getting there. But it is important to recognize that when the document is (soon!) made public that it is a draft. I expect that many people will have comments and feedback, and I look forward to hearing them.

I do not have a prior history of involvement with the OpenJDK community, so being asked to contribute to this process was both an honour and a pleasant surprise. But given that Eclipse is also a community which involves participants ranging from individuals to some of the world’s largest corporations I believe we have some experiences which are helpful and relevant to the governance of OpenJDK. I hope that I’ve made some useful contributions which help the OpenJDK community off to a great (re)start.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Open Source

Introducing Orion

Sometime later today some very exciting new code is going to show up in the e4 git repository at Eclipse. “Orion” is a brand new adventure for Eclipse, and one which we hope will interest and excite a whole new community: web developers.

Orion is not a set of Java plug-ins which run in the existing Java IDE. It is browser-based open tool integration platform which is entirely focused on developing for the web, in the web. Tools are written in JavaScript and run in the browser. Unlike other attempts at creating browser-based development tools, this is not an IDE running in a single tab. Links work and can be shared. You can open a file in a new tab. Great care has been taken to provide a web experience for development.

Orion’s server-side is currently a simple OSGi-based Java application using Jetty as its web container. But the communication with the client is through a fairly simply RESTful interface, and we definitely hope to see implementations in other languages and technologies.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this is not the same old same old from Eclipse. Orion is a new code base, whose client-side is written in JavaScript and provides the foundation for a new and different web tooling platform. We hope that a new ecosystem of web tools will emerge that make it easy to link together a web developer’s toolset.

Another key point is that Orion is not finished. It is not, for example, a complete JavaScript IDE. This is the very beginning of a new project, and everyone involved knows that we have a lot to learn. Unlike the early days of the Eclipse project itself, the team from IBM is contributing a relatively modest — but very useful — piece of code to spur the creation of whole new community of contribution and participation. We invite everyone who is interested to try the code, join the mailing lists and forums, and figure out ways to both adopt and contribute to the work that has been done. Even more importantly, we are looking for people and organizations to get engaged in Orion in meaningful leadership roles for everything from adding code to defining the project to prioritizing the roadmap. We know that this needs to be a community-led process.

The team is going to be blogging about the details of the technology, so I won’t steal their thunder. But hopefully the screen shots will spur your interest. Certainly we think there is a very interesting and highly scalable editor tool which a lot of web developers are going to be interested in both using for their code and embedding in their applications. Update – you can now download the Orion code.

So today is the very beginning of something new. But there is a lot of work to do, and first and foremost we need you the community to provide feedback and to get involved. For those who can make it, we are going to have a face-to-face meeting in Ottawa the first week of March to discuss where we can collectively take Orion. The output of this meeting will be a first draft of a project proposal for the community to review.

So to set expectations, here are a few key dates to keep in mind.

  • This week we are going to get the initial code contribution into Eclipse’s git repository and some initial documentation into the wiki.
  • Next week we are going to start inviting a small number of people to try out the technology hosted on our servers.
  • By the end of January we will have a much broader trial available on our servers, and we will be inviting the entire Eclipse committer population to try it out.

We are awfully excited about the potential of the work done to date. Stay tuned!

Update: Changed the screen shots to show the Orion wordmark, rather than Eclipse.
Update: Added links to the wiki pages and Boris Bokowski’s blog post.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

Posted in Open Source