Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dear Bjorn: Go away


Your latest post deserves a clear response.

Your former colleagues at the Eclipse Foundation have tolerated your public abuse quietly because we are professionals, and we honestly thought that you would tire of it. Apparently we were wrong. But the time has come to say it: You are a jerk. Please go away. You quit the Foundation, you have zero commits since April, and we tire of your sniping from afar.

It is no secret that the Eclipse Foundation is a 501(c)6 and is supported financially by members. But to say that the Foundation does not care deeply about the open source community is a pure fabrication. It attacks the personal and professional reputations of all of us who work hard at the Foundation for the entire community.

Since you left, the team has made great strides in pulling together a number of wonderful, committer-oriented prgrams for 2010. Included amongst the items already committed to the Board is a branded Eclipse forge hosted elsewhere (e.g. IP Policy free), Git support for the whole community and major improvements in hosted build and test at All initiatives that you failed to make much progress on in four years on the staff here.

If you want to go create your own forge somewhere, go ahead. Your steady acid drip of negativity will serve your new community well.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

November 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Some (Ottawa) Holiday Cheer

Calling the Eclipse Ottawa community!

The Eclipse Foundation would like to invite everyone in the local Eclipse community to join us at Marshy’s on the afternoon of December 18th. If you can make it, please add your name to the meetup page.

We hope to see you there!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

November 26, 2009 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized


I just received an email out of the blue that really reminded me of how important it is for all of us in the Eclipse community to help our users and adopters.

I just wanted to express my appreciation for the help Scott and the ECF team have been providing me as I explore using features of the EquinoxRT. Some of my questions have been off the beaten path (unicast/WAN bonjour discovery of update urls etc.) and these guys always knew where to point me – and in some cases had existing code samples. What surprised me was how quickly they responded (like in minutes) to my questions.

The success of our projects and community is not just about writing the code. It’s about engaging the community and seeing the technology become successfully used in action. So congratulations to Scott Lewis and the ECF team. Very nicely done indeed!

This also reminded me about how important a heartfelt “atta boy” can be to a team. If you’re reading this and you have been helped by an Eclipse committer, project, or staff member please remember to say “thanks”! It is certainly appreciated.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Differentiating Communities

I was asked earlier today if I could describe “…the Eclipse community and its differences between other traditional commercial open source communities say like Sugar’s and non, or less pure commercial communities like Apache.

Darn good question. Off the top of my head here are a couple of key differentiating points. I would certainly be interested in hearing the views and comments of others. Both from Eclipse and from other communities.

  • I actually don’t think of the likes of Sugar or MySQL as “traditional” open source communities. I think of them as corporately owned communities. Yes, there are vibrant communities there, but the intellectual property is owned by a single vendor backed by investors with an expectation that a profit will be made and that an exit will be had.
  • Communities such as Linux, Apache and Eclipse are distinctive in that they are either not-for-profit or non-profit and have a legal requirement to be vendor-neutral and a community requirement to respect the principles of openness, transparency and meritocracy. They are not motivated by their own profit, but are motivated to see the businesses of their stakeholders be profitable. As such, they are trusted agents at the centre of the business ecosystems that they create, in ways that a for-profit vendor could never be.

Eclipse is differentiated from Apache in many ways. But here are a few to think about:

  • First, our interests in creating a commercially profitable ecosystem are more overt. Obviously, there is a very vibrant ecosystem that has sprung up around many of the Apache projects and the Apache folks are happy about it. But at Eclipse it is a stated directive for the staff of the Foundation to help foster that commercial success, rather than a side effect. We work every day to attract companies to use technologies from the Eclipse projects.
  • Secondly, the Eclipse community is working on a single technology platform, so every Eclipse project can inter-operate with the others at some level. Since we are using a common technology platform (Equinox OSGi) and since many of our developers are paid to be full-time Eclipse developers we can do things like ship an annual release train where dozens of Eclipse projects release simultaneously. (This year there were 37 projects that shipped together.) These release trains form the technology platform for the Eclipse ecosystem to build products on for the next year. We now have a track record of shipping six years in a row with the release train on schedule to the day.
  • Thirdly, as a matter of culture Apache uses “community before code” as its mantra. We don’t run around saying this but the reality is that at Eclipse we value “code before community”. Diversity and community are one measure of the health of an Eclipse project but in the end we really care about the code quality and commercial adoption of an Eclipse project when we think of it as a success. The Eclipse projects that manage to do both are the ones we consider our home runs.

So vive le difference!

There are obviously some gross generalizations in the above, but I think I successfully captured some of the key points. Anything I missed? Anything blatantly dumb?

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Releasing Galileo

Denis pushes the Big Red Button

Denis pushes the Big Red Button

It was smooth as silk this morning as our esteemed Webmaster Denis Roy pushed the “big red button” to unleash Galileo. He had his moment of trepidation, but so far everything has gone very smoothly.

Thirty-three projects, 380 committers, 24MLOC+…this is a major software release no matter how you measure it.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone in the Eclipse community who contributed.

I would like to also take a moment to thank the people at the Eclipse Foundation who helped make it happen:

  • Wayne Beaton, Bjorn Freeman-Benson, Anne Jacko and Gabe O’Brien for helping run the development processes over the past year. Supporting the Planning Council, getting the Reviews done and keeping the portal running are just a few of their contributions.
  • Janet Campbell, Barb Cochrane and Sharon Corbett for getting all of the IP reviews completed. Eclipse’s well deserved reputation for care of our community’s IP is a big part of our success.
  • Denis Roy, Matt Ward and Karl Matthias for keeping the IT infrastructure up and running flawlessly. Not just for the deluge of downloads, but keeping CVS, SVN, Bugzilla, etc. working throughout a year of development.
  • Nathan Gervais for doing some very cool web design for Galileo. The look of the landing page, download pages, etc. is the best yet by far.
  • Ian Skerrett and Lynn Gayowski for helping with the marketing launch for Galileo. Lining up the press interviews, etc. is a big job. Helping organize 30 democamps around the world is an even bigger job!
  • Donald Smith for organizing a very cool Member Distro Download program.

Helping the community ship the release train is an all-consuming task for the staff here at the Eclipse Foundation. Each year sees incremental improvement, and this year was by far the best job yet. Congratulations and thanks to the team!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

June 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized