Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for May 2020

The Eclipse Foundation Is Moving to Europe

Today we are announcing that the Eclipse Foundation is transitioning itself to become a European-based organization, specifically a Belgian international nonprofit association. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our plans for the transition and what the announcement means to our community.

Let’s begin with some context. The first quarter of 2020 was the most successful in our organization’s history, as measured by the addition of 40 new member companies, five new working groups, and 11 new project proposals. Over the last few years, our community has expanded to create new projects in technology areas such as cloud and edge applications, IoT, artificial intelligence, digital ledger technologies, open processor designs, and many others. Combined with our roots in Java, tooling and rich client platforms, and modeling, this has made Eclipse Foundation the home of an incredibly diverse range of exciting, commercially-focused open source technologies.

Our goal is to continue this growth and diversification, and to continue to establish the Eclipse Foundation as an institution enabling global open collaboration and innovation. We believe that this strategy makes the Foundation, and by extension your investments in our open source projects, more secure and sustainable.

We believe this “move to Europe” is the most effective way for us to achieve this goal.   The reason is straightforward – while we support a diverse, international ecosystem, most of our growth has already been happening in Europe. With 170 of our member organizations and more than 900 of our committers based in Europe, the Eclipse Foundation is, by those measures and others, already the largest open source organization in Europe.

Which brings me to today’s announcement. By creating the Eclipse Foundation AISBL, an international non-profit association based in Brussels, we are furthering our vision of the Eclipse Foundation as a global institution that builds on our existing membership base, active developer community, and strong institutional relationships to enable the free flow of open software innovation. We believe that our transition to Europe will help to advance toward this goal, for the benefit of industries and developer communities worldwide.

Here are the highlights of our action plan:

  • We expect to create the Belgian international non-profit association by July 2020.
  • In parallel, we will establish a modern open source project development forge based on GitLab and physically hosted in Europe. We expect the forge to be operational this summer. This will provide our projects and committers a third option for their development forge.
  • The Eclipse and Eclipse Foundation names, trademarks, and brands will be controlled by the new Belgian entity, as will the core policies such as antitrust and intellectual property. Going forward our membership dues will be stated in euros.
  • The Eclipse Foundation, while currently a USA incorporated not-for-profit organization, already manages its operations split between Canada and Europe, so there will be minimal to no impact to the Foundation’s operations.

So, what does this move mean for our members? For our corporate members, there is no immediate change.  Our projects and working groups will continue operating exactly as they are.  Once we have the Belgian entity up and operating, we will reach out to you with more details, but do expect your engagement with the Foundation to remain largely unchanged.

To our Committer members, as well as our project committers and contributors, the message is two-fold. First, thank you for your commitment and participation. Second, keep doing what you’re doing. In the near-term, it will be “business as usual” for committers and contributors of Eclipse projects. In the medium term, we are standing up a new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe that will be available as a choice for any projects that would like to use it.

And, critically important as it is the main driver for the move, as we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new opportunities for our global community members to participate in innovative new open source projects.

Read the full text of the announcement here. Additional resources and information on the Eclipse Foundation’s plans and how interested parties can get involved at Resources include:

I hope that this has helped clarify our motivations and the way forward for the next exciting phase of our community’s expansion. More details will follow over the coming weeks as we quickly execute on these plans, but if you have questions in the interim, feel free to reach out to me, or to our team at

I look forward to this exciting next chapter together – thank you for your continued support!


Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 12, 2020 at 4:00 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

The 2020 IoT Developer Survey Goes to the Edge

Our 2020 IoT Developer Survey is open until June 26, and for the first time, the survey includes questions about how developers are incorporating edge computing technologies into their IoT solutions.

With your input, everyone in the IoT ecosystem — original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software vendors, hardware manufacturers, service providers, enterprises of all sizes, and individual developers — will have a better understanding of the latest IoT solutions and service development trends and how these trends impact their strategies and businesses.

Completing the survey also gives you a unique opportunity to influence the roadmaps of the Eclipse IoT Working Group and the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group. IoT and edge technologies are intrinsically intertwined, and your choices for development tools, architectures, deployment technologies, security, connectivity, and other aspects will help ensure our working groups continue to focus on your top priorities and requirements for cloud-to-edge IoT solution development.

This is the sixth year for the IoT Developer Survey, and every year the survey results provide valuable insight into the requirements, priorities, and perceptions in active IoT developer communities. In 2019, we received more than 1,700 survey responses, including more than 1,100 responses from developers who were working on IoT projects in a professional capacity — a clear indication the IoT ecosystem recognizes the value of the survey results.

With your input, we were able to identify relevant IoT technologies, leading architectures, applications, and standards on a global scale. The 2019 survey also revealed that IoT development is expanding at a rapid pace, fueled predominantly by increasing investments in industrial markets. The results highlighted developers’ focus on IoT platforms, home automation, and industrial automation.

The IoT Developer Survey is distinct from, but complementary to, our IoT Commercial Adoption Survey. The IoT Commercial Adoption Survey goes beyond the developer perspective to find out what organizations are doing with IoT and their plans for production deployments. With the results from this survey, stakeholders including software vendors, IoT platform vendors, IoT solution providers, and manufacturing organizations gain critical insight into the right next steps for their businesses.

Take a Few Minutes to Complete the IoT Developer Survey

The IoT Developer Survey is the IoT industry’s largest developer survey and I encourage all developers in the IoT ecosystem to add their voice. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

You can access the survey here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Eclipse Theia and VS Code Differences Explained

After we announced the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0 and published a blog about it, we received a number of questions about the differences between Theia and Visual Studio (VS) Code and why we’re calling Theia “a true open source alternative” to VS Code. Here are some clarifications I hope will help people understand the differences between the two and the value of Theia.

In the Words of Microsoft

I want to emphasize that VS Code is a great product that is loved by many developers. This is the primary reason Theia adopted many of the VS Code user experience features.

But, VS Code is not truly open source. Microsoft explains it well in their VS Code FAQ: “…it is more accurate to say that Visual Studio Code is “built” on open source, rather than “is” open source…”


The first thing to understand is that, at least for this release, Theia is not intended to be a tool that developers download and use directly. There isn’t even a developer tool download available from the Theia project.

Theia 1.0 is intended as a production-ready platform that any company (e.g. ARM, D-Wave, Gitpod, Google, Red Hat) or community (e.g. Arduino) who wants to provide their adopters with a modern developer experience can build from. The easiest way to see Theia in action is to try products such, or Red Hat Code Ready Workspaces, or ARM’s mbed Studio.

Licensing and Data Collection

Eclipse Theia is built, distributed, and used under the Eclipse Public License, a commercial-friendly open source license approved by the Open Source Initiative.

The VS Code repository on GitHub includes code that is licensed by MIT, but the VS Code distribution is released under a proprietary Microsoft product license. For most developers this is not an issue, as the tool is free, as in free beer. However, this approach means that it is difficult for companies and communities other than Microsoft to use VS Code in their own products. They require an open source platform which is free, as in freedom.

The Microsoft VS Code license also indicates the software may collect information about how the software is used and who is using it, and then send that data to Microsoft. The license makes it clear you can opt out of many telemetry data collection scenarios, but not all.

Vendor Neutrality

Eclipse Theia is freely available to everyone who wants to use it. There are no obligations to, or dependencies on, any company that has contributed to the code base or that uses it.

VS Code is a Microsoft product that is largely developed as open source, but is controlled by Microsoft. Anyone who relies on VS Code is then dependent on the future investment of Microsoft to continue supporting on-going development of the product. Theia is one of the most active and diverse projects at the Eclipse Foundation with steady contributions from ARM, Ericsson, Red Hat, SAP, TypeFox, and others.


Theia builds on top of many of the core open source pieces of VS Code such as the Monaco editor, the extension model, Language Server Protocol and the Debug Adapter Protocol. But Theia and VS Code are architecturally different in two main ways:

  • Eclipse Theia allows developers to create desktop and cloud IDEs using a single, open source technology stack. Microsoft now offers VS Online for cloud development environments, but like VS Code, it cannot be used in open source initiatives such as Gitpod.
  • Eclipse Theia allows developers to customize every aspect of the IDE without forking or patching the code. This means they can easily use Theia as a base to develop desktop and cloud IDEs that are fully tailored for the needs of internal company projects or for commercial resale as a branded product. VS Code is a developer IDE only. It was never intended to be used as the base for other IDEs, extended, or further distributed.


Theia uses the same extension model as VS Code, so any extension that works with VS Code will work with Theia. Unfortunately, the terms of use for the Microsoft Marketplace can only be accessed from Microsoft products. Because of that, Theia uses the open source extensions in the vendor-neutral Eclipse Open VSX marketplace. These extensions can be used by anyone, with no restrictions, whether they’re developing in Theia or in VS Code. Better yet, the code that implements the Open VSX marketplace is open source, and enabling self-hosted repositories within your organization is one of the stated goals of the project.

Get More Information

For more insight into the differences between Eclipse Theia and VS Code, read the Jaxenter interview with Theia project co-lead, Sven Efftinge.

To learn more about Theia and start using it, visit the website.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 5, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Open Source