Bringing the Eclipse IDE forward

How do we do it?

We tax for committership!


Let’s charge 300 bucks!


On one hand, the investment into the Eclipse IDE of existing, long-time contributors is declining. There might be plenty of reasons for that. But over time, this decline in investment has become visible to the users of Eclipse – developers that use it every day to get their job done. Personally, I’m missing innovation in things that really makes up a great IDE. Well, some might say that innovation happens in the web these days. Desktop IDEs are boring.

Really? Because on the other hand, there are many companies out there which are spending quite a bit of money on licenses for commercial desktop IDEs every year! Thus, I’m wondering if some of those companies would rather spend a similar amount or a bit less on Eclipse? Do you care about developers? Imagine there is a team of experienced people with a great vision on the Eclipse IDE available that is seeking for funding. Imagine that with your funding, you can not only contribute to a sustainable future of the Eclipse IDE but also participate in making decisions on how this future should look like. Now I’m telling you, that you don’t even need to hire developers for that!

This idea of leveraging an industry working group for bringing the Eclipse IDE forward has been circulating around for some time now. I finally sat down and put together a proposal for an Eclipse IDE industry working group.

Industry working groups at Eclipse are an easy way for companies to efficiently work together on a common goal. I’m looking for feedback and interested parties! Does that idea sound interesting? What aspects of the proposal do you like and which not at all? How much would you be willing to spend? What kind of participation do you like? What is missing and should be covered?

There are plenty of questions. Please don’t hesitate and reach out to me (@guw or gunnar at wagenknecht dot org) or subscribe to the ide-dev mailing list and join our discussions! There are also two interesting sessions at EclipseCon Europe that you should join: Making the Eclipse IDE fun again and an Eclipse IDE BoF.

Time to vote!

It’s the time of the year again when the Eclipse Foundation calls all committers to cast their votes. Each year members of the board are elected for representing two very important groups of the community at Eclipse!

Important Dates 2013

IMO this is one of the best ways to allow the community to participate and make its voice heard. Topics such as committer tools (Git, Bugzilla & co) and improvements to the IP process (such as parallel IP, incubation) are discussed at the board resulting into plans/directions for the Eclipse Foundation to implement.

My vision and my goals for 2013 are available online on my candidate page. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate and send them to me.

Two days ago webmaster sent out an email to all committers with voting credentials.



Please don’t miss this chance to make your voice heard and vote now. I would be pleased to receive yours.



On my way to JavaOne 2012

For the first time ever I’ll be attending JavaOne next week. I’ll speak together with Shaun Smith from Oracle about Polyglot Persistence with EclipseLink JPA.

Polyglot Persistence: EclipseLink JPA for NoSQL, Relational, and Beyond
(Tuesday, Oct 2, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Parc 55 – Cyril Magnin I) 

Yes, there will be a demo running EclipseLink on Gyrex OSGi connecting to MongoDB. :)

I’m currently in Frankfurt  waiting at the gate. I’ll arrive Friday night in San Francisco and will stay till next Friday (Oct. 5th). If you are around, interested in a chat (about runtimes, OSGi, other stuff that matters) and/or want to grab a beer please ping me!

Eclipse 4 – Uh Oh! Trouble’s brewin?

Recently I was approached by someone I worked with in the past about Eclipse 4. Apparently, he read Andrew’s blog (Something is really broken with Eclipse foundation) and was really concerned. I’ve been very quiet in the whole debate that was going on but I had my thoughts. So I crafted a response that I’d also like to share with the public in this blog.

It’s no secret that IBM’s investment into the core platform is declining. From looking at the stats today, they still have 80+ active Eclipse committers. However, only three (according to this mail) are working on the core platform (Platform UI that is).

Another issue is attitude. There are a lot companies out there using and building on the core platform. However, most just take the investment by IBM for granted. A lot also simply underestimated the effect of a new major release. Eclipse 4 is a complete rewrite in terms of Platform UI. Of course it’s not as stable as 3.x yet. However, I heard statements like “oh it (any Eclipse release) always worked for us“. So some just didn’t care a lot about testing on 4.x. That valuable testing feedback is painfully missed these days.

Frankly, I’m curious myself how this will turn out because developer tools are still necessary. I just can’t believe that no one of the large companies with hundreds and thousands of developers realizes that. I actually thought about making a business out of that, i.e. getting paid for working on the core of Eclipse by selling maintenance/support contracts/features. However, I also think that this will be a challenging business to develop. It’s hard to convince companies of certain sizes to spend money on something they either get for free or invest money into someone that is too small for their business.

BTW, I know of at least a few companies in the Eclipse ecosystem that tried. But they never became a significant contributor to the core platform. Not sure if it was a matter of lack of business or lack of focus. They are making money with Eclipse, though. Their business is also based on the core platform. Wondering what they will do.

It’s also hard to convince members who are already paying membership fees to spend additional money for developing Eclipse.  Paying twice sounds unfair. So another intriguing option is to change the Foundation by-laws so that it will be allowed to hire rock star core platform developers. Maybe they just need to hire a complement to Linus for Eclipse. Well that would be me or course. 😉

I also do have an issue with people complaining very loudly about something. It’s not that there weren’t any previous chances to chime in and speak up when previous decisions were made. But those complaining the loudest do not necessarily represent a majority. Note, I’m not denying any of the Eclipse 4 problems here. Just saying something I observed during my excursions in politics.  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

Luckily, Google not only noticed that discussion but carefully paid attention for an immediate need. Their Open Source office donated $20.000 to buy new performance testing hardware. Thank you Google! 

BTW, Eclipse 4.2 runs fine on my new notebook. I did not observe the performance issues so far. However, I remember I had issues with the new animations on my old notebook. I showed them to Eric at ECE 2011 . But that was on a development build and turning off animations solved my performance issues back then.

I really wonder how this will turn out. I recently learned that SAP is the 3rd largest contributor to Eclipse these days. I hope they will start investing into the core platform. The guys in the SAP Open Source office (although not officially named as such) are smart. But it would mean for IBM to give up control and let others play an important role in the strategic future of the core platform.