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Eclipse Community Survey 2012

AnnaKent
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Eclipse Foundation’s call to arms and comments from a recent blog post by Wayne Beaton

This week the Eclipse Foundation released a call to arms to encouraged members to participate in the Eclipse Community Survey. The annual survey is designed to help document the requirements and trends within the Eclipse developer community and what matters most to members looking into the future. As Wayne Beaton discussed in a recent blog post, there have been many trends and pursuits over the last couple of years.

Beaton highlights that it has been a goal to get Eclipse committers out of the build business through the creation of a Common Build Infrastructure (CBI). This will mean that more time can be focused on actually writing software. The “process of taking source code and turning it into a form that adopters and users can download and consume. Building software in general – and building Eclipse plug-ins/OSGi bundles in particular – is a relatively hard problem” according to Beaton.  

This is why the annual survey is an important part of figuring out what to try and what will possibly work better for developers in the future, for example the “original CBI at Eclipse used a combination of PDE Build, black magic, cron, and manual intervention in the form of pulled hairs” – – Eclipse have certainly come a long way since then.

Recent attempts have come in the form of Athena Common Build, Hudson, Buckminster, B3 project, Maven and finally Tycho. Beaton highlights the usefulness of Tycho:

Tycho facilitates a couple of useful things: first, it allows you to do manifest-first builds in which your Maven pom leverages the OSGi dependencies specified by an Eclipse bundle; second, it enables Maven to resolve dependencies found in p2 repositories.

Even though Tycho is successful in many ways, there still isn’t a way to track the rate of migration. Through the input from the community and the ever evolving CBI, we don’t doubt that projects will start implementing continuous build strategies. 

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