Thursday, September 18, 2008

September Board Meeting

The Eclipse Board just completed our Q3 face-to-face in Dallas. We covered the following topics:

  • Miscellaneous general business, including welcoming Genuitec, Obeo, Sonatype to the Strategic Member roster.
  • Update on the Eclipse Strategy
  • Discussion on Industry Working Groups
  • Continued discussion on the dual licensing of runtimes
  • Sustainer and Committer Member representative issues
  • The usual KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) and status on upcoming Eclipse conferences

If you're plugged into the Eclipse community, you'll know Genuitec from their MyEclipse and Pulse products. Obeo and Sonatype were new to me. Obeo is a modeling company that specializes in software migration of legacy code to new languages, among other things. Sonatype is the company behind Maven and the m2e project.

The Eclipse Strategy update was very interesting. You may remember from my last board post, that the Board kicked off a strategy discussion in June under the leadership of Ricco Deutscher from SOPERA. We spent a good portion of that 2-day meeting outlining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) facing our community. In this Board meeting, the Strategy Committee presented their vision, strategic goals, and initiatives for the SWOT's. We made several changes, and we hope to finalize the document by the December face-to-face board meeting.

With the new membership classes in place thanks to the overwhelming support of the Eclipse membership, the EMO has been working on initiatives that add demonstrable, additive value for Strategic and Enterprise level members. At this Board meeting, we discussed two initiatives: Industry Working Groups and the Custom Delivery Installer Program.

Working Groups have been around at Eclipse for a while, but Industry Working Groups are a new concept. Put simply, and Industry Working Group is like a mini-consortium organized under the Eclipse Foundation that will bring companies in similar Industry Verticals together to chart and staff a strategic course for eclipse technologies related to their Industry. (Hmm, was that simply put?) These working groups will help provide cohesive direction to various projects in Eclipse. Nokia and Motorola are already proposing the first such group: the Mobile Working Group. Stay tuned for more specifics on this new group, but suffice it to say, I expect this working group will help provide vision and staffing for several of the mobile projects in DSDP. Industry Working Groups have a two-tier membership structure: the Steering Committee (made up of Enterprise and Strategic members) and Participants (open to all Eclipse members.)

The Customer Delivery Install Program turned into a somewhat contentious discussion, as evident in the bugzilla on this topic. This program has two purposes: to improve the download experience for users of Eclipse projects and also to provide additional value to Strategic Members who want to offer downloads of their technologies on top of a standard package. If you're interested in this topic, please comment on the bugzilla.

Jeff McAffer continued a dual licensing discussion that I started at the June Board meeting around dual licensing of runtime components. As you may recall, the RTSC and TM projects in DSDP have small runtime components that needed to be licensed under EDL and EPL in order to encourage commercial integration of the runtimes with both Linux and commercial real-time operating systems. Jeff, as head of the RT project, is running into similar deployment situations with parts of the runtime technology. While we still envision the need to discuss dual licensing on a case-by-case basis, the IP Advisory Committee is going to examine the dual licensing policy and better document options that new projects have in choosing licensing.

Finally, the KPI's covered the usual information about membership, website traffic, financials, etc. Nothing terribly important to note. We did get an update on Eclipse Summit Europe 2008 and EclipseCon 2009, both of which are on-track to be excellent conferences. ESE is especially challenged right now, with 210 talk submissions for only 60 available slots. It's a testament to the strength of Eclipse in the European community, and I expect ESE will need to grow in size in the years to come.

That's all for now from your friendly neighborhood committer reps!


Ed Merks said...

Thanks Doug for being so amazingly well organized! Your excellent management skills are greatly appreciated. The committers are fortunate to have you representing their interests and keeping them so well informed about what's happening at the board.

Darin Swanson said...

Thank you for the update guys...and all that Ed said :-)