Life at Eclipse

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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

An update on the Eclipse Foundation’s move to Europe

In May we announced that the Eclipse Foundation is becoming a Belgian international nonprofit association. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress of the transition, the next steps, and what it all means to our global community of developers and diverse membership base.

Let’s start with where we are in the process. At time of writing, all of the incorporation and related documents have been filed with the Belgian authorities, and we are waiting for the Royal Decree which will formally create our new entity, the Eclipse Foundation AISBL. This normally takes on the order of sixty days and we expect the process to be finalized by early-to-mid October.

In parallel, the Board of Directors of the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. have approved a series of changes to the Bylaws and Membership Agreement of the existing Delaware, USA-based entity and we will be seeking the approval of the membership-at-large for those changes. To our members and committers, please stay tuned for your voting credentials in late August. In addition, some revisions have been made to our IP Policy and Antitrust Policy to enable both our US and Belgian entities to have exactly the same policies.

Once the new Belgian entity Eclipse Foundation AISBL is created and the approvals are finalized to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc.’s Bylaws and Membership Agreement, all members will be required to update their Membership Agreement and related other agreements. You will be asked to join Eclipse Foundation AISBL, and to resign your membership in the existing US organization. At the same time, we will be asking you to re-sign your Member Committer and Contribution Agreement (MCCA) and any Working Group Participation Agreements.

So exactly what’s changing?

As part of moving to European-based governance, effective October 1st we will be restating our membership dues for both the Belgian-based Eclipse Foundation AISBL and the existing Eclipse Foundation, Inc. in euros while retaining the same numeric value. So if you are currently paying $20,000, the dues in the new organization will be 20.000€. We understand that due to currency exchange rates this represents an increase in  dues. To help mitigate that, all members who renew between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 will have their euro-based membership fees discounted by 10%. This modest increase is the first fee increase we have had in almost 15 years, and we hope that members appreciate the merit of stating all fees in euros as we complete this transition.

As part of the European transition, we are changing the name of the Solutions Members membership level to Contributing Members. We feel that this will better reflect the current, diverse group of organizations who participate and contribute to the Eclipse ecosystem in many ways, including, but not limited to, leading and contributing to our open source projects, and offering products and services based on Eclipse Foundation technologies.

Working Group Participation Agreements (WGPAs) will be updated to reflect the change of the corporate domicile to Belgium, as will the working group charters once approved by the respective Steering Committees. There are no fee changes to any working group participation associated with this transition, though some working groups may decide to restate their fees in Euros at some point in the future, similar to membership fees. As always, the budgets and fees established for each working group are determined by the Steering Committee of the working group.

For our committers, if you are an individual Committer Member you will be asked to execute the new Belgian Membership Agreement. If you have previously executed a committer agreement with the Eclipse Foundation as an individual, then you will need to re-execute the new version of the Individual Contributor Agreement.

For committers who are employees or consultants of a member company who has a Member Committer and Contributor Agreement (MCCA), your employer will be asked to execute the new MCCA, and no actions will be required on your part.

Our new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe is operational and available as a choice for any projects that would like to use it. As we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new exciting opportunities for our global community members to participate and contribute in new open source projects. More announcements on this front will be coming soon.

What’s staying the same?

As far as day-to-day interactions with the Eclipse Foundation, nothing will change for member organizations or committer members. Our projects and working groups will continue to run as is, and the recently modified IP Policy and Antitrust Policy of the Eclipse Foundation AISBL are identical to those of the US organization. Eclipse Foundation AISBL will become the steward of the Eclipse Public License and govern our community’s license going forward. The bulk of the Foundation’s operations will continue to be split between Europe and Canada, and you can expect your engagement with the staff of the Foundation to remain unchanged.

When is this all happening?

There are a lot of moving parts with this corporate restructuring, and we ask in advance for both your patience and your active engagement and support. Here are some upcoming key dates that members and committers need to be aware of:

  • August 31, 2020: Voting begins on approving the necessary changes to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. (EF-US) Bylaws and Membership Agreement. Voting will go until September 29th. The new EF-US Bylaws and Membership Agreement will go into effect as soon as practicable after the completion of the membership vote.
  • October 1, 2020: The new dues structure stated in euros will go into effect. Renewals for existing members will receive a 10% discount for the following twelve months.
  • Soon after the Royal Decree which legally establishes the Eclipse Foundation AISBL we will be contacting all of our members and committers to update their agreements with the new Belgian entity. This may include your membership agreement, committer agreements, and working group participation agreements as applicable.

I hope that this post has helped update you on the execution of the transition and the way forward for the next exciting phase of our community’s expansion. If you have questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to me, or to our team at eclipse-europe@eclipse.org. Thank you for your continued support!

 

Written by Mike Milinkovich

August 20, 2020 at 6:03 am

Real-World IoT Adoption

The results of our first IoT Commercial Adoption survey tell a clear story about what organizations are doing with IoT right now and their plans for production deployments. The goal of the survey was to go beyond the IoT Developer Survey we’ve conducted for the last six years to gain insight into the industry landscape from the point of view of a broader spectrum of IoT ecosystem stakeholders.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • IoT may well live up to the hype, if somewhat slower than expected. Just under 40 percent of survey respondents are deploying IoT solutions today. Another 22 percent plan to start deploying IoT within the next two years.
  • IoT investment is on the rise, with 40 percent of organizations planning to increase their IoT spending in the next fiscal year.
  • Open source pervades IoT as a key enabler with 60 percent of companies factoring open source into their IoT deployment plans.
  • Hybrid clouds lead the way for IoT deployments. Overall, AWS, Azure, and GCP are the leading cloud platforms for IoT implementations.

The Commercial Perspective Is Crucial

The survey asked respondents to identify the requirements, priorities, and challenges they’re facing as they deploy and start using commercial IoT solutions, including those based on open source technologies. The survey ran for two months last fall and received responses from more than 360 individuals from a wide range of industries and organizations. You can read the full survey results here, and I would encourage IoT ecosystem players to do that.

IoT Ecosystem Players Must Focus on Real-World Requirements

As our survey results revealed, each player in the IoT ecosystem has an important role in driving IoT adoption. Here are some key takeaways broken down by stakeholder group.

  • Software vendors should incorporate open source technologies into their solutions to give customers the flexibility and control they need.
  • IoT platform vendors should build offerings that support hybrid cloud environments to become more responsive to customer requirements. At least part of the reason multi-cloud adoption is still in its early stages is because — not surprisingly — the leading cloud providers don’t offer their IoT platform services on other cloud platforms.
  • IoT solution providers should be prepared for extensive and intensive proofs of concept and pilot projects before they get to the stage of full production rollouts. With companies reluctant to invest heavily in IoT before they’re confident in the return on investment, these practical and tangible demonstrations will be key to encouraging broader adoption.
  • Manufacturing organizations should implement IoT solutions that tie automation, asset management, and logistics together. The most innovative organizations will also rely on IoT technologies to improve their value proposition to customers, for example, by including preventive maintenance features on manufacturing equipment.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT

It will take a diverse community co-developing a uniform set of building blocks based on open source and open standard to drive broad IoT adoption. If you’re interested in participating in the industry-scale collaboration happening at the Eclipse IoT Working Group or contributing to Eclipse IoT projects, please visit https://iot.eclipse.org/.

As an added benefit of membership, Eclipse IoT Working Group members receive exclusive access to detailed industry research findings, including those from the annual IoT Developer Survey, which are leveraged by the entire industry.

The 2020 IoT Developer Survey is coming soon. If you’d like to contribute questions or provide feedback, join the working group mailing list here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

The Internet of Things Will be Built on Open Source

This post was originally published on the Bosch Connected World Blog.

The Internet of Things is poised to become the next wave of technology to fundamentally change how humanity works, plays, and interacts with their environment. It is expected to transform everything from manufacturing to care for the elderly. The internet itself has — in twenty short years — dramatically transformed society. This scale of change and progress is about to be repeated, in perhaps even larger and more rapid ways. New ventures will emerge, existing businesses will be disrupted, and everywhere the incumbents will be challenged with new technologies, processes, and insight.

It is important to recognize that the internet is successful because it is one of the most radically open technology platforms in history. The fundamental protocols of the internet were invented in the 1970’s, and put in the public domain in the late 1980’s. The world-wide web was invented at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which made it free for everyone. In subsequent years, open source technologies such as Linux, the Apache web server and the Netscape / Firefox browser ensured that the basic infrastructure for the web is based on open source. The technology behemoths of our day such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are only able to scale their infrastructure and their business models by relying on open source. In short: our modern digital world is built on open source software.

The Internet of Things will be implemented using open source software platforms. There is utterly no alternative to this outcome. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves.

There are four reasons why this is true.

  1. Scale: Depending on which analyst you prefer, the next decade will see between 50 and 70 billion sensors being deployed on Earth. This will require tens, if not hundreds of millions of routers, gateways, and data servers. There is simply no way to achieve those levels of scale without relying on open source software to drive the vast majority of that infrastructure. Any other approach will simply be unaffordable, and will be out-competed by the economies of scale achievable by the open source alternatives.
  2. Freedom to Innovate: Open source software allows permission-less innovation. In particular, open source allows innovation by integration, where developers create new and novel systems by combining freely available open source components. This approach is somewhere between difficult and impossible for proprietary software stacks, where the vendor has to drive all of the invention.
  3. Inter-operability: I am a big believer in open standards, and firmly believe that they will be an integral part of the IoT. However, it has been proven time and again that the best possible way to have a new technology achieve rapid adoption is by combining open standards with a robust open source implementation. OSS implementations provide an easy adoption path, near-perfect interoperability with others, and reduces the cost of entering the market. In a world where developers are becoming one of the most precious of commodities, it makes no sense to waste them on implementing a standard. They should be focused on building software which provides the firm with product differentiating features that customers value.
  4. Developers: Lastly, recruiting and enabling developers is a key, and often overlooked part of any IoT strategy. By the end of this decade the number of IoT developers needs to grow from a few hundred thousand to over four million. Today’s developers demand open source solutions and tools. Even a decade ago, technology acquisition was largely a top-down process. Now technology choices are largely made bottom-up, by developers experimenting with open source components and integrating them into a solution.

For these reasons, IoT is rapidly becoming a strategic area of focus for the Eclipse community. From three projects two years ago the Eclipse IoT community has grown to seventeen projects, implementing protocols, device gateway frameworks, vertical frameworks, and tools for the needs of IoT developers.

Bosch has been an active member of the Eclipse Foundation since March 2010. Their initial focus was on the Automotive Working Group, which has been working on tools and methods for automotive embedded systems. Its subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations (BoschSI) is one of the world’s thought leaders in driving open source platforms for the Internet of Things. They have recognized its importance, and with contributions such as the Eclipse Vorto project are helping to make it a reality. The Eclipse Foundation values the partnership that we have with the development teams, and look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.

The digital world we have today is built on open source technologies. The Internet of Things will be too. Come join the Eclipse IoT community to help make that happen

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 28, 2014 at 3:50 am

Introducing Eclipse Labs

Back in December, I discussed a number of initiatives that the Eclipse Foundation was going to be working on in 2010. The one that attracted the most feedback was “Eclipse Labs”. Well, we are very happy to announce that thanks to Google, this idea has become a reality. Better yet, Google has already released a cool new project “Workspace Mechanic” on Eclipse Labs.

The Eclipse community has a large and vibrant ecosystem of commercial and open source add-ons to the Eclipse platform. In the open source world, there are two options if you want to start an Eclipse oriented project: 1) propose a project with the Eclipse Foundation or 2) start a project on one of the existing forges, ex. Google Code, SourceForge, Codehaus, etc. For some projects, the IP due diligence and development process expected of Eclipse projects is not warranted. However, creating an Eclipse project on a forge makes it difficult to gain visibility in the Eclipse community. Can we find a third option that allows projects to start and prosper without the process of the Foundation but at the same time gain some of the visibility Eclipse projects often get by being at the Foundation?

Last year, we started a discussion with the people running the Project Hosting on Google Code service to see if they would be interested in creating an Eclipse area on Google Code. They had already been thinking along the same lines and were very receptive to the idea. Therefore, I am excited to announce the availability of Eclipse Labs, a third option for Eclipse oriented open source projects.

What is Eclipse Labs?
If you have ever created a project on Google Code you will quickly recognize Eclipse Labs. Eclipse Labs allows you to very quickly create an open source project with access to an issue tracking system, source code repository (Subversion or Mercurial) and a project web site. The default license is EPL but you can change it to the other licenses available on Google Code. Anyone can create a project on Eclipse Labs at any time. (Assuming you agree to the Google Code terms of use and the Eclipse Labs guidelines.) Eclipse Labs projects are encouraged to use the org.eclipselabs namespace, but are not required to do so.

Eclipse Labs project owners will also be encouraged to create tags/labels to describe your project. We have pre-populated a set of Eclipse specific labels that will be displayed on the Eclipse Labs search page. Eclipse Labs will also have an API that allows people to search on these labels. My hope is that Eclipse projects will begin to highlight on their own web site Eclipse Labs projects that are relevant to their own project. For example, Eclipse BIRT could list all the BIRT add-ons created on Eclipse Labs. We also want to populate Eclipse Marketplace with the projects from Eclipse Labs. The API is not yet available but it should be in the next couple of weeks. I think this will present a lot of opportunity for cross pollination for Eclipse Labs projects.

What is Eclipse Labs Not?
Remember, this is a third option. Projects hosted on Eclipse Labs are not official Eclipse projects. Therefore, they can’t be called Eclipse projects, use the org.eclipse namespace or be included in the Release Train or Packages. If an Eclipse project wants to include an Eclipse Labs project they will need to go through the normal IP process. If a project wants any of these benefits they must become an Eclipse Foundation project. The details have been specified in the Eclipse Labs Guidelines.

Moving Forward
Eclipse Labs is open for business now. It is still in a beta form, so please provide your feedback.

Our hope is that Eclipse Labs quickly grows to a larger number of projects than are already hosted at the Eclipse Foundation. We need to make it as easy as possible for someone to open source their awesome Eclipse based technology. Not all projects need to be hosted at the Eclipse Foundation and in fact I am hoping more projects will start at Eclipse Labs and then, if they choose, graduate to the Eclipse Foundation.

Big Thanks to Google
The people at Google have been great during this process. Google has once again shown their commitment and support for the open source community. Obviously without this support Eclipse Labs would not have been possible.

Thanks also goes to Ian Skerrett for driving this from our side!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

It’s a Dessert Topping and a Floor Wax

Last week we saw probably more conversation than any of us wanted about the notion that Eclipse is a trade association and therefore not an open source community. I believe that perspective to be misguided as it implies those two states are somehow mutually exclusive. They are not. And it is our community’s embrace of both that makes Eclipse unique.

The Eclipse Foundation is and always will be a trade association. It is also and always will be an open source community. This duality is built into our bylaws, our organization and, I would assert, our DNA. Consider the following sentence from the first paragraph of our Bylaws:

The purpose of Eclipse Foundation Inc., (the “Eclipse Foundation”), is to advance the creation, evolution, promotion, and support of the Eclipse Platform and to cultivate both an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities, and services.

That sentence captures the very essence of the Eclipse Foundation. Our mission is to both move the technology and community forward and to work on its commercialization. The “trade association” of member companies financially support the operations of the Eclipse Foundation. Over 70 of them also provide committers who work on projects. There are relatively few obligations that an Eclipse member company undertakes when they sign the membership agreement, but one of the most important is to create a commercial offering based on Eclipse technologies. It is that obligation which completes the loop from open source to commercialization to trade association and back. Those trade association members are not strangers: they are companies that are intimately involved in and committed to the success of the entire Eclipse community.

There is no doubt that the focus on commercialization places added burdens on Eclipse projects. Our development and IP processes require real work to comply with. But there is value in that labour, and the value is in the added use, adoption, commercialization and plain old respect that the Eclipse brand brings to a project. Not every Eclipse-based open source project needs to be hosted at the Foundation. For some projects, our processes may be too heavyweight. But those projects are still a valuable part of the broader Eclipse ecosystem.

The Eclipse community is also an open development community. I strongly believe that our development process has all of the attributes of openness, transparency and meritocracy that open development requires. Our unique approach to open source development is what enables things like the annual release train, which is arguably the best run, most predictable feat of software engineering on the planet. And let’s not forget that although many projects at Eclipse are supported by developers working at member companies, there are many also projects with active participants who are here as individuals.

But there is also no denying that we have our challenges. Every project would love to have more resources and more community involvement. We need to make it easier for newcomers to contribute. There are projects who frankly don’t do a great job of welcoming contributions. We have to attract more resources committed to evolving the core platform. We have a major new release of the platform coming next year. The staff and the Board of the Eclipse Foundation recognize all of these challenges and are working very hard to address them.

The balance between a trade association and an open source community makes Eclipse unique in the software industry. We have always been both, and that has always been an important part of our success. We are different, and in my mind that is a very good thing. I believe that we should all be very proud of the organization that we have created.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

December 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in Foundation, Strategy