Proposed Changes to the Eclipse Development Process


On March 22, Wayne Beaton will submit his revised edition of the Eclipse Development Process (EDP) to the Eclipse Board of Directors.

Beaton is proposing three major changes to the document.

Firstly, he wishes to remove the distinction between Container- and Operating-Projects, and simply have ‘projects.’ This grants all projects the freedom to have code, downloads, builds, websites, and whether they want to do roll up builds of sub-projects. A project will have whatever resources it chooses to have – and still just be classed as a ‘project.’ With the current EDP, an operating project must become a container project before it can have a subproject. In reality, this means the existing project must move its code into another separate subproject. With the distinction removed, any project can have a subproject, because ‘container’ and ‘operating’ projects will cease to exist.

Beaton also wants to define what exactly a ‘project’ and a ‘sub-project’ is. To Beaton’s way of thinking, a sub-project is simply a project that has a parent.

Secondly, he proposes changes to the Incubation phase, most notably ‘Perpetual Incubation.’ Projects in Incubation can currently make releases, but these must be pre-1.0 releases. However, Beaton sees the Incubator as a potential place to explore new ideas without any intention of ever taking the project out of Incubation, although that functionality may one day be ported into a mature project. Although the current EDP doesn’t expressly forbid perpetual incubation, it does implicitly forbid it. Beaton wants to acknowledge that projects may wish to remain in Incubation, and proposes the new moniker of Eclipse Labs. These projects will not have formal releases and will not be included as part of the release train, but they will have builds and downloads. They will not graduate.

Beaton hopes that formally allowing projects to stay in the Incubator permanently, will mean little more than re-tweaking the current EDP and the Incubation HOW TO document, and that no new Incubation processes will have to be designed and implemented.

The third change is his most controversial. He wants to formally acknowledge and permit the loophole that allows new projects to be created directly from a project restructuring review without the projects submitting themselves to the proposal and creation phases.

There are other, less major changes. Beaton’s full annotations are currently viewable at the revised document, by selecting to view the document ‘with comments.’

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