There’s been some interesting points on the Planet following the “Eclipse is You” post by Bjorn. It has always rubbed me the wrong way when people criticize the committers for not meeting their requirements. And it is not just with these posts, we get it sometimes on the cdtdev list and bugzilla too. But as I mentioned in my last post, I do appreciate the feedback as it helps me understand what I need to do to grow the community.

But people keep forgetting one thing about the committers. They don’t work for the Eclipse Foundation. They are not contractually obligated to do anything, really. I work for QNX Software Systems. They pay me to work on the CDT because it is a fundamental piece of our MomenticsIDE. Any work I do beyond that is on my own initiative and if my time is needed elsewhere by my employer, I have to drop those things.

So when people say that the Foundation, or the Eclipse Board for that matter, should get the projects to do this or that, they can’t. There is no mechanism in the governance model for Eclipse to make that happen. It just doesn’t work that way.

That’s why Eclipse is You. Because if you want something done in Eclipse and no one wants to, you have to do it. And, unfortunately, simply submitting patches doesn’t work all the time. Because it requires committer time to apply and as I’ve mentioned, the committers are at the whim of their employers whether they have the time. Not only that, but you may have to persuade the committers that you are doing the right thing.

So we do the best we can and we try to go beyond the call of duty to make sure the community is happy. And most of the time, it works out. But sometimes it doesn’t, and I understand the frustration. Remember though that Eclipse is a meritocracy. Submit a number of great patches and help the community out, i.e. go beyond the call of duty yourself, and a committer would be happy to nominate you in as one too.