Profile 1 - Eclipse Software Foundation


Eclipse is something that I've had a lot of interaction with, the main Eclipse project was one of the first IDEs I ever used.

Organizational Details

  1. Is the subject of your profile a corporate entity?
    • Yes
  2. What type?
    • A Not-For-Profit
  3. When was it founded?
    • November 2001, it was then reorganized in 2004 to become a not-for-profit organization.
  4. By whom?
    • Ericsson, HP, IBM, Intel, MontaVista Software, QNX, SAP and Serena Software.
  5. Original founder(s) still active?
    • The original founders are no longer active.
  6. Publicly Traded? Since when? Initial Stock Price? Current stock price?
    • No it is not.
  7. Has the company made any acquisitions? If yes, which companies, and what were their core products?
    • No
  8. Has the company made any investments in other companies? If yes, which ones.
    • No
  9. Number of Employees?
    • 19
  10. Where is HQ?
    • Ontario, Canada
  11. Does it have any other offices or locations?
    • No
  12. Website?
  13. Wikipedia?
  14. Does your organization file any annual reports? Please include links to any relevant documents (i.e. 990, Annual Report, Year in Review, etc...)
    • Yes they do file annual reports. These reports can be found at Annual Reports


  1. Does your subject participate in social media? If yes, please list a URL for each account, and reach within that community.
  2. What communication channels does your subject use to reach their public? Briefly describe and include a URL for each.
    • Public facing webpage. There is a news feed for both Community related events and one for Announcements.
  3. Does your subject organize or participate in any conferences? If so, list them here, and provide links to any relevant sessions, keynotes, or content.

Communications for the Eclipse Project

Community Architecture

  1. Describe the software project, its purpose and goals.
    • The unfortunately named "Eclipse Project" is the project dedicated to producing the Eclipse SDK. This name made sense back when there were only two or three projects at Eclipse, but now it is frequently referred to as the "Eclipse top-level project" to reduce confusion (or just "The Platform" when we're feeling grandiose).
  2. Give brief history of the project. When was the Initial Commit? The latest commit?
    • The most recent release was on June 26, 2013.
    • The initial Commit was in 2003.
  3. Who approves patches? How many people?
  4. Who has commit access, or has had patches accepted? How many total?
    • PMC Leads
  5. Has there been any turnover in the Core Team? (i.e. has the top 20% of contributors stayed the same over time? If not, how has it changed?)
  6. Does the project have a BDFL, or Lead Developer? (BDFL == Benevolent Dictator for Life)
    • Mike Wilson has been at Eclipse since it’s founding.
  7. Are the front and back end developers the same people? What is the proportion of each?
  8. What have been some of the major bugs/problems/issues that have arisen during development? Who is responsible for quality control and bug repair?
    • Everyone is responsible for QA and bugs. every project has a bug forum where everyone can post and contribute to bug fixes.
  9. How is the project's participation trending and why?
  10. In your opinion, does the project pass "The Raptor Test?" (i.e. Would the project survive if the BDFL, or most active contributor were eaten by a Velociraptor?) Why or why not?
    • I think it would pass the Raptor Test. There is a hoard of people behind Mike Wilson, and while he will be missed, i’m sure someone could step up to be the team lead.
  11. In your opinion, would the project survive if the core team, or most active 20% of contributors, were hit by a bus? Why or why not?
    • Development would obviously be a little halted, but I believe it would be able to continue. Eclipse is backed by many big name companies, like IBM.
  12. Does the project have an official "on-boarding" process in place? (new contributor guides, quickstarts, communication leads who focus specifically on newbies, etc...)
  13. Does the project have Documentation available? Is it extensive? Does it include code examples?
  14. If you were going to contribute to this project, but ran into trouble or hit blockers, who would you contact, and how?
    • If you’re on a sub-project, the developers are very active on their IRC channels.
  15. Based on these answers, how would you describe the decision making structure/process of this group? Is it hierarchical, consensus building, ruled by a small group, barely contained chaos, or ruled by a single or pair of individuals?
    • Hierarchical. Sub groups approve what patches get sent to the higher up groups, and the higher up groups determine what gets patched into the main project.
  16. Is this the kind of structure you would enjoy working in? Why, or why not?

Technology/Product (Section adapted from EFF Worksheet)

  1. Who invented, created, or sponsored the technology?
    • The Eclipse Foundation was created in Feb. 2004 with a reorganization of the Eclipse Consortium. The Consortium had sponsors of HP, IBM, MontaVista, Intel, QNX Software Systems, SAP, and Serena Software. Today, the Eclipse Foundation’s sponsors are Actuate, IBM, Oracle, SAP, CA Inc and Google.
  2. What is the technology designed to do? How is it used?
    • The Eclipse Foundation was created to be the steward of the Eclipse IDE and software development environment. The foundation was works to create new technologies that work with or compliment Eclipse.
  3. Who would benefit from using this technology?
    • Any developers looking to make plug-ins for Eclipse, software that uses Eclipse or reach the large audience that uses the IDE would want to work with the foundation to integrate well into the Eclipse ecosystem.
  4. What kinds of companies or organizations (stakeholders) might have been concerned about the development of this technology? Why?
    • As the technology is an old IBM project that is now open source, IBM cares deeply about the project as they started it in a way. Google’s mobile operating system, Android uses Java as its base language and many Java developers work in Eclipse, so Google is also interested in the well being of the IDE and thus the foundation.
      Does/Did an aspect of copyright law play a role in controversies about the technology? How? There weren’t any issues that our team could find relating to copyright law.
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