Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for January 2012

It’s Going to be an Exciting Year

Welcome to 2012 folks, its going to be a busy and exciting year. There will be a number of important new projects, programs and initiatives across the Eclipse community. When we’re done Eclipse and the Eclipse Foundation is going to be quite a different – and even more interesting – place. So in no particular order, here is a sampling of some of the big things I see coming.

  • As of the Juno release, Eclipse 4 is going to be the base platform for the Eclipse ecosystem. This means that our download page will only have Eclipse 4.2-based packages. Eclipse 3.8 will also ship as part of the Juno release, but currently there are no 3.x releases planned after that. Although an enormous investment has gone into the backwards compatibility layer for Eclipse 4, it is obviously going to take testing and effort by the Eclipse projects and the many Eclipse adopters to migrate to Eclipse 4.2. So if you haven’t started testing with the Juno builds, now’s the time to start planning for it. Eclipse 4 is a complete re-write of the platform user interface, and brings a lot of value to the ecosystem, including a lot of improved APIs, more flexibility and a refreshed user interface. And its API is 100% binary compatible with the 3.x platform.
  • The migration of the Eclipse community to git is going to be a significant event during 2012. Shutting off CVS in December will be a major milestone. And we are almost done getting the Gerritt code review tool up and running for all Eclipse projects. To make all of this happen has been a ton of work by the webmaster team, the IP team, and you, the community. We’re hoping that using git will make it easier for our community to experiment with, and contribute back to Eclipse projects.
  • A Common Build Infrastructure for Eclipse projects is a new service we plan to provide for projects at Eclipse. It has long been a complaint that getting builds working and running reliably is one of the biggest PITAs in running a project. The goal of the CBI is to reduce that effort, and to provide a core hosted service on infrastructure that all of our projects can use. As part of the initial proof of concept, we’re tackling the toughest build of all: the Eclipse platform. Admittedly, CBI is going to take a lot of work, but we are actively recruiting for a full-time staff member to manage this, and to act as a resource for our project community. This is definitely one of the biggest and most exciting new services we’ve worked on for our committer community. So please get involved, and provide your feedback and your requirements.
  • We will also be launching a new service for members – providing Long Term Support for Eclipse releases. There is a fundamental mismatch between the maintenance window for Eclipse releases and the enterprise products that are built and ship on top. Eclipse release trains at least offer SR1 (September) and SR2 (February) maintenance releases on a regular basis. But an SR2 eight months after a major release is small solace to anyone with a requirement to offer support or maintenance on a product or application for five or more years (as many organizations do).

    As we are rolling this out, it is important to note that the Foundation is not going to be providing support or maintenance directly. Rather, we will work to connect organizations seeking support for Eclipse software with those offering it in order to cultivate a vibrant ecosystem. To help service providers be more efficient and effective, the Eclipse Foundation will provide the infrastructure for the code repositories, bug trackers, build farms, test farms, software signing, intellectual property management, and governance for managing the projects. We will be the trusted organization doing the drudge-work so that others do not have to. In other words, in classic Eclipse style, the Foundation will be acting as an enabler for the ecosystem.

  • Orion is going to ship its 1.0 release later in 2012. There is a ton of work still to do, but there is no doubt in my mind that Orion is an important new technology for the Eclipse community – a whole new tooling platform for the web, in the web.
  • EclipseCon is moving to Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. We hope to attract a lot of new attendees from the East Coast. In addition to the new location, we’re also adding an entirely new co-conference: Agile ALM Connect
  • And last but not least, we will be creating a number of new Industry Working Groups. IWGs such as Polarsys and M2M are going to be a large focus area for the Eclipse Foundation. But what is an IWG? Basically, they complement Eclipse open source projects with more support from the member companies that are interested in working on them and adopting them.

I see 2012 as a year of significant, and positive, change for the Eclipse community and the Eclipse Foundation. We are certainly not resting on our laurels! I encourage everyone to get involved and contribute to these new initiatives.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 6, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source