Friday, March 07, 2008

Just one more word about E4

There's been some hot discussions around the recent announcement of "E4", a new component as part of the Eclipse Platform Project to host code and infrastructure for prototyping ideas towards planning Eclipse 4.0.

I've been both excited and surprised - like others - about this announcement. Excited because some great people finally get together doing some real work for the future of the best Open Source Platform I know. Surprised because I had expected more visibility of those efforts in earlier stages. And despite an excellent background post by Ed Merks and a plead by zx to just have things coming and contribute, there's three "Why"s that I just can't push aside:
  • Why all this secrecy? Why wasn't there more ideas and discussions on the corresponding bugzilla plan item? A lot of people made suggestions there or were listening to what ideas others might have.
  • Why wasn't there a call for a workshop like the provisioning workshop last year? The P2 effort seems to run excellent, why not make a similar announcement again?
  • Why is it mostly Wind River people challenging the process? Don't the other strategic Eclipse members care about innovation and the future of Eclipse as we do, or are we just too young and passionate?
I don't want to over-analyze or over-discuss this. I'm truly thankful for the effort and energy that some of the most talented people are putting into some demos I definitely don't want to miss at EclipseCon. I can't wait to learn more about what's baking, and I'm burning to get involved into an effort that's destined to become the most innovative and powerful platform to come.

If you think that the Wind River guys are the bad guys just nagging, forgive our passion and probably misformed words. Give us a chance to get together - there's a lot of ideas and patches just waiting to get applied, and a strategy that just wants to drive innovation.


Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

I think a workshop is in order after EclipseCon.

Doug Schaefer said...

+1 on p2 being the most open project in the platform. Pascal and Jeff and the others have done a great job of reaching out to the community and involving them from day one.

And, yes, chrizx, a workshop is how most new work at Eclipse get started. And this should be no exception.

Ed Merks said...

Martin, a lack of openness is not the same as secretiveness. Obviously the two are likely to be perceived as the same, but to actually be secretive, there must be a conscious effort to withhold information. I don't think that's been the case.

I often spend my weekends working on some cool idea and if that pans out, I end up committing it. Someone might accuse me of furtively working in secret behind closed doors, when in fact one of my primary motivations is the hope that what I produce will be useful for others.

A workshop is a great idea. There's certainly enough interest for one. I wonder if the cost of traveling for a workshop is a filter that will tend to leave out those with less funding. I.e., is a workshop ideal only for the wealthy elite? It's clear that most good intentions can all too easily be cast into doubt.

Could it be that the Wind River people are more whiny and have a bigger ax to grind than others? Just a little joke! I'm glad the Wind River folks have spoken out. I think this will help ensure that something like this never happens again.

You raise the issue of the strategic members' opinions which to my thinking begs the question of whether the information shared at the board was a topic of discussion at Wind River? I suspect it was and that you folks planned to get involved once the issue was made public to the general pubic rather than just to the board-confidential public. I can imagine that the announcement which so glaringly excluded you was seen as a slap in the face.

I'm encouraged to see that the folks at Wind River are indeed so passionate on this topic. It bodes well for the success of an e4 effort, whatever it turns out to be. I would encourage you to put the unintended slight behind you.

Kevin McGuire said...

Its great that Wind River folks have pushed this openness discussion. Its a healthy discussion for our community to have with the usual caveats of it being respectful and professional of course.

Now that we're post-EclipseCon I'm hoping that the original miscommunication is now seen as such. This effort will be judged by the degree to which others step up to participate, and the degree to which the existing committers are open to that. We all need to have faith, approaching this with a new, and hopeful, mindset.