Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

A Little Open Recognition

The last few weeks have seen two great articles discussing the openness and transparency of the Eclipse community. The two reports were completely independent of one another, but both highly valued the open and transparent data we make available about our projects, and the vendor-neutral governance model that helps sustain Eclipse.
451 Group: Eclipse Diversity
The first was a blog post from Matt Aslett at the 451 Group that uses Eclipse to illustrate the strong corporate backing and involvement in open source, while also noting that “…individuals are prominent in many Eclipse projects as well”.

I was particularly happy to see Matt’s recognition of the great work Wayne Beaton has been doing in freshening up our project summary pages (example here) to make it even easier to find information about the past, present and future of each project at Eclipse.

Earlier this week, Vision Mobile published an EU-funded study that gave Eclipse very high marks for its openness. In fact, it rated the Eclipse community as the most open of the eight open source project communities evaluated. You can read a summary of the report on their blog, or download the full report for free in exchange for your email address. You can also read Florian Mueller’s excellent summary on his blog.

Open Governance Index
I waited to comment on the report until I had a chance to read and digest it. We were obviously very happy to have Eclipse #1, but were frankly surprised that it ranked Eclipse ahead of open source stalwarts such as Linux and Mozilla. As with all such analyses, the methodology determines the outcome. And although I disagree with the approach in a few places, generally I found it consistent and fair. In particular breaking down each community by: access to the code and transparency of decisions, transparency of development, control over the downstream use of the software, and community structure seems pretty reasonable.

I was particularly happy that Vision Mobile’s report also recognized the value of the project summary pages (example here) and of in providing full and transparent information about the projects at Eclipse. The Eclipse Foundation staff and all of the projects put a lot of effort into making all of that valuable information easily available, and it is nice to see that hard work recognized.

We continue to see lots of interest in the Eclipse model of open source development from industry, as you can see from our recent automotive announcement. We truly believe that we have mastered the best practices for openly governed, vendor neutral open source. It is certainly nice to see that recognized in these articles.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

August 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

4 Responses

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  1. One organization I would have liked to see in the VisionMobile survey, would have been the Apache Software Foundation. Of the ones listed in that analysis, none really come close to the way that the Foundation governs multiple projects. Sure they are all large open source projects, but Apache is the closest sibling to the Eclipse Foundation, so a a comparison of the openness of the two foundations would be very interesting.


    August 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  2. I agree. But interestingly, I think that given VisionMobile’s criteria there is a very good chance that Eclipse would still have come out ahead. The reason is that their approach placed value on reporting which companies were contributing to which projects. That is counter to Apache’s focus on individual, rather than corporate, contribution. In addition, although Apache definitely sets the standard for openness and transparency, I think Eclipse does a better job of organizing the project summary pages and providing meaningful information. That was another attribute that appeared to have value under their methodology.

    Mike Milinkovich

    August 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm

  3. Congratulations!

    It’s unfortunate that they sorted it in reverse so that visually, Eclipse comes out “at the bottom” đŸ˜¦
    (a lot of people are visual, not me though)

    Also sad that Apache isn’t included. I believe the results would be almost head-to-head were Apache there (slightly behind Eclipse)

    Hendy Irawan

    August 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  4. […] the open and transparent data we make available about our projects, and the vendor-neutral… Read more… Categories: Eclipse     Share | Related […]

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