Tuesday, July 19, 2005

An Exclusive Interview With Mike Milinkovich Of Eclipse Foundation

Source: Linux Business News

Summary:


JDJ: Overall, how's the independence from IBM going? Since most of Eclipse's committers were IBM employees when you first went independent, how is building a community around Eclipse that is not so IBM focused going?

MM: It's going really well. Frankly, it's going much better and much faster than I had originally anticipated when I started the job. In many ways we have accomplished in the past year what I had expected would take two years or more.

First, the importance of adding companies such as BEA, Borland, and Computer Associates to our board cannot be overstated. Each of these companies competes fiercely with IBM in the marketplace. Each is making million dollar plus investments in Eclipse ($250,000 per year in dues, plus a minimum of eight developers). Each did their own analysis as to whether the Eclipse Foundation was truly independent. And each joined.

Second, the number of projects led by non-IBMers has increased dramatically over the past year. In terms of top-level projects, we have gone from three projects in which two were led by IBM to a total of eight projects with two still being led by IBM.

Third, the number of committers working on Eclipse projects who are IBM employees has steadily dropped over the past year from roughly 75 percent to just over 50 percent. The number will soon drop below 50 percent. This decrease has been mostly the result of increasing the total number of committers. We certainly do not turn away good people from IBM!

In fact, I would also like to recognize the investment that IBM has made in Eclipse. They started this adventure and their continuing investment remains impressive. I also think that the Java community as a whole should recognize the wisdom and strategic thinking shown by IBM in working to establish the Eclipse Foundation as a separate entity. IBM has truly demonstrated how to create a community.

Eclipse is truly really completely fully and utterly independent. Anyone who says otherwise has an agenda.


JDJ: How has the assimilation of so many new strategic developers after EclipseCon gone? Is the "plumbing" in place to handle this influx? Are you making adjustments to better handle large groups of people coming on board?

MM: I don't want to sugar coat things. We are having our growing pains as we start up all of these new projects. We need to help get these projects off to a good start and our processes and people are stretched in doing so. However, it's not just the new strategic developers who are causing growth. We have been receiving project proposals from many different directions.

The reaction from the Eclipse community has been outstanding. People with experience within the Eclipse community are stepping up to help us refine our processes and work with the new project leaders and committers to help them get started.

Back in May we had our latest round of Eclipse Council meetings and it was by far the best set of meetings we've had. We were actually debating hard topics like what does it mean for a project to achieve "Eclipse quality," how can we work toward being an even more stable and predictable open source community to further encourage commercial adoption, and what are the tangible things that existing projects can do to help new projects get started. I think it's a very good sign when our community leaders are constructively discussing the tough issues.

Read complete interview. . .

1 comment:

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