Eclipse Board Elections voting opens

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Voting is now open and it’s time for Eclipse committers to cast their votes. The list of nominees is an impressive collection of people whose passion has been making a big difference in Eclipse, so we should be in good hands for the coming year. Last year the committer representative list was dominated by IBMers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and IBM’s contribution to Eclipse continues to be key in bringing us the amazing platform that we work with today. One thing that’s interesting about this year’s election is that Equinox guru Jeff McCaffer and I represent small Eclipse-based startups. I see this as a very good thing because innovation is critical to the continued evolution of Eclipse, and startups are a great mechanism for driving innovation. My vision statement is focused on tool support to make committers’ lives easier:

I have been an Eclipse committer since early 2002 when I co-created the AspectJ project. Like many others at the time, I was hedging my bets and developing extensions for multiple IDEs. But after a few weeks of experience building on it, it became clear to me that Eclipse was going to be the platform for innovation in the tools space. At that time I based this judgment almost entirely on the modularity and openness of the Platform. Since then, I have learned a lot about the critical part that collaboration tools and community involvement play in fostering a successful ecosystem. If elected, in addition to fulfilling the usual obligations of Committer Representative, my first priority will be evolving the tool support that facilitates collaboration in our community, and my second priority will be helping committers improve the cross-project usability of the tools that we produce.

Tools and Community

Being an Eclipse committer is a challenging task, due to the amount of input that comes in through project planning and community channels. In addition, the Eclipse frameworks that we work with daily add up to millions of lines of code. As an Eclipse committer, one of my motivations for creating and contributing Mylyn was to facilitate development and collaboration within the Eclipse ecosystem. To date Mylyn has been successful at enabling many committers to work more productively on their projects and to process much more community feedback than was previously possible. This has been a key factor in the success of the Mylyn project to date, since it has enabled a small number of committers to resolve thousands of bug reports.

The Eclipse Foundation has been doing an amazing job in providing the infrastructure and web services that are the backbone of our community. As Committer Representative I plan on coordinating improvements to the tool support that we use to make us more productive when using these services. Key areas I see for improvement include :

  • Better integrating facilities for committers, including and IPZilla integration with the IDE. We spend a large portion of our time using these repositories, and the easier it is for us to use them within Eclipse the more productive we become.
  • Ensuring that there is an EPP distribution that supports committers and contributors. This used to be the Eclipse Classic download, but thanks to innovation within Eclipse there is an increasing number of other projects and tools that are now relevant to committers.
  • Coordinating additional tool support for facilitating Eclipse project development. This can include things such as include IRC integration from ECF, easier applying of patches and sharing of Mylyn contexts, as well as default configurations for PDE’s API Tools.
  • Improving the user community feedback channels. This includes better integrated support for bug reporting (e.g. EPP distribution specific reporting) and usage monitoring.

While I have put some effort into each of these areas already, as Committer Representative I will drive additional progress via contributions, getting help from the Eclipse Foundation and coordination of community resources (e.g. a summer of code project on improving tool support for committers).

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