Mar 31, 2014

Eclipse is changing and that is a good thing

After missing a few years, I have attended the EclipseCon NA 2014 this year.  I am not sure if it is because I missed a few of these but I felt a deep change in Eclipse. I think the change roots from the fact that Eclipse foundation nowadays, has almost no restrictions on the type of projects that it hosts. I am not sure when this was actually relaxed. Back in the day, it was required that all Eclipse projects to use OSGi as runtime, hence be developed with Java. Nowadays, any project regardless of the runtime, development language is welcomed as long as it agrees to adhere to eclipse way. I believe this has triggered a slow shift on Eclipse from being a tooling community to a larger scoped open source community. I expect to see this change to accelerate in coming years as Eclipse's perception as a tooling only community slowly fades.

Looking at the interest and attendance from project committers, I am sad to report that Eclipse WTP project is terminal. There are a couple of reasons why an important project such as WTP is not dead yet. First, it has a large user community as indicated by download numbers. Also, it has a lot of commercial, and open source products that depend on WTP or parts of WTP. One would imagine that this dependency would create a lot of contributions to upstream. However, most of these products, for one reason or another, prefer to build around WTP and not contribute. I do not think we will be seeing new features on WTP anytime soon if ever.

I did receive a good amount of attention to my Hybrid Mobile development talk and the new Thym project proposal. I have started listing some of the interested parties to the proposal. And also was able to recruit Doug Schaefer and Chris Aniszczyk as mentors to the project. If you would like to be listed as an interested party and show your support, it is not late, please do let me know.

I am continuing my great open source community conferences tour with ApacheCon. It will be my first one, so I am not sure about what to expect. I will be speaking about building Cordova applications with Eclipse IDE on Tuesday. April 8, which should be fun.