Ian hinted at it in the recent flurry on Planet Eclipse and Mike just offered an extra teaser. For me, the concept of an Eclipse forge, or “Eclipse Labs” is set to change the way open source developers see, consume, and contribute to Eclipse, and more importantly, to dramatically change the culture at Eclipse.
Everyone seems to be looking for a technical solution to keeping Eclipse relevant, e4 case in point. In the end, that’s not enough. We need to grow the Eclipse community beyond it’s traditional realm of corporate engineers, into what we more traditionally think an open source community should be, free. Free to work on what you want, free from someone saying no to your contributions (within reason, of course). To be free as you are when working with SourceForge, but still be a member of the Eclipse community.
I’m still waiting to hear the details on the rules and mechanisms for the Labs. But if it turns out like I think it should, ;), then I’m super pumped. Pumped enough to bring Wascana out from the freezer and make the real Eclipse C/C++ IDE for Windows that should rightfully be an Eclipse community project, not hidden out on SourceForge. That will require the Lab to ship GPL’ed software, i.e. the GNU tools, and LGPL libraries. Is Eclipse ready for that? I’m hoping.