The community gets it

I just read Mike Milinkovich’s post and it summarizes really well what Eclipse is all about. I’m going to use it as a reference whenever someone asks. And I’m going to add Cory Doctorow’s quote to my list of mantras. “Ideas are cheap. Execution is hard”. How true is that!

I often hear people wonder why the Eclipse Foundation staff doesn’t step in and “fix” all of our conflicts. Well, that’s not their job. That’s not what Eclipse is all about. The Foundation is there to provide an environment that (hopefully) enables communities to succeed. They are facilitators. No, if there are conflicts happening it really is up to the community itself to do the heavy lifting to resolve those conflicts. And if there are projects that are dying, or suffering from a lack of diversity, it is up to the community to step in and fix it.

And the great news is that I really saw last week at EcilpseCon in the many discussions I had with members of the community, they get it. One guy asked me and I have no idea who he was, “so is AGR really dead“? I said, “yeah, as far as I know”. Then he said back, “even if I try to contribute to it?” Wow. He gets it.

I passed Mike in the bar and he was talking to some of the guys and he was noticing that there were many more conversations happening in the hallways than in previous years. I have first hand experience at that. And I really think it’s because the community is coming to EclipseCon to work. In previous years, many were coming just to see what was going on, maybe see what fancy new projects people were working on that they could use. I’m not saying that they are now coming to see how they can contribute. But they are realizing that if there’s something that needs done, they have the power to step in and help make it happen. And that’s an exciting trend.

The area that still has me concerned though is with the Eclipse Platform and the new e4 initiative. And, maybe a surprise to some, my problem isn’t with the Platform committers. They worked very hard last week to make me feel at home and to push me to contribute to the platform, especially with the flexible resource model that we have been working to resolve in the CDT. And for that I am truly grateful.

No, my problem was with some of the questions and “ideas” that came up from the audience at the e4 BOF. We have been blessed with the Platform team’s great work at providing us with a technology base that has enabled this rich community to grow. So much so that we’ve grown accustomed to receiving gifts of new features and fixes on a regular basis. That’s got to stop. The feeling that I brought home with me is exactly what I had hoped. The Eclipse project is the same as any other project and needs to be treated as so. “Ideas are cheap. Execution is hard.” If we as a community need things from the platform, it is up to us to do the heavy lifting to make change happen. We do have the power if we do the hard work necessary to make it happen.