You're Running for What?

I guess if you look through the history of this blog, I’ve complained the odd time about how frustrating it can be to work in the Eclipse environment. Now don’t get me wrong, the frustration is incredibly minor compared to they success I’ve had in helping create a successful C/C++ IDE in the CDT. We’ve been able to put together a solution that has been very well received by the community and is having good commercial success as well. It’s all good, well at least for the most part.

But there are things that I think need to be fixed to make life easier for the committers. With the committer rep Eclipse Board elections coming up, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring. It’s not an easy decision. I wonder how successful I’ll be at representing the committer community at the board level. And I wonder how the sometimes competing forces between the committer community and the strategic members plays out. But I think it’ll be a great personal challenge that will help me grow professionally, and if things work out, will help improve the ability of committers to do their job.

So what are the kind of things I’m talking about? Well, the foremost is the ability for committers to mold Eclipse as a whole into something that their customers can be happy with. There are a lot of interdependencies starting to emerge amongst projects and, of course, we have the big one between everyone and the Eclipse Platform. I’ve seen a lot of frustration but I think the solutions are available and don’t require that we institute anarchy in the projects. Ensuring good inter-project communication channels is the main thing and really requires that projects be diverse and open. All projects need to be as transparent as much as possible so that committers can tell what’s going on and can figure out how to influence and contribute in order to get their jobs done. There are guidelines set out by the board for this and I’d be interested in finding ways to ensuring that these guidelines are respected.

Of course I have other things that I’ve mentioned in this blog before. I still am saddened that we can’t have complete IDE solutions hosted and branded as Eclipse distributions. I’d love to find a way to bring GPL/LGPL and other non EPL-licensed code into these solutions in such a way as to minimize the legal risk by adopters and the Foundation itself. I really hope that total prohibition isn’t the only solution here.

And, of course, being a committer representative means just that, representing committers. I have a great relationship with the committers on the CDT, DSDP, PTP, Photran projects. These guys have been under-represented at the board level in the past and I hope to rectify that. And at the same time I seek to represent all committers and that means ensuring I have an open door policy to their needs. And I look forward to working with them to get a real sense of the diversity of Eclipse.

I am certainly honored to have the opportunity to participate in this election. As I said being a board member would be a great challenge that would help me focus my passion for Eclipse in new ways. The election itself will be a challenge as there are 7 other very strong candidates. No matter who ends up winning, you can be assured that the committers will be well represented.