The core-platform, e4 – some random thoughts

At the Eclipse Summit there’s was a special symposia where discussion about Eclipse Foundation 2.0 happened. I’m not going into detail but as others already also found out (e.g. Bjorn) the investment into core platform is decreasing and too few people understand that without a properly maintained platform-core their business will be broken sooner than they imagine.

One of the problems I see from the point of an indivual committer (I own my company so individual might not be the right term here) is: Making money from working on those low levels of the Eclipse Ecosystem stack is nearly impossible whereas gaining revenue from things up in the stack e.g. getting payed for adding features to Nebula for example is easier. This is the reason I had to reduce (=stop) my work investment in the 3.x (though I’m still fixing severe bugs when found it code I introduced into the repository).

Looking at e4 the situation is similar because we are here also developing something which is at the bottom of the whole stack – well e4 is a new application runtime platform.
The difference to 3.x is that:

  • I can at least justify my investment with an academic interest
  • I believe with e4, eclipse is prepared for the future and without it other platforms will outpace it in the short-term and make it obsolete in the long-term when we talk about RCP/RIA-Applications (for IDEs it might be a bit different) which will make my Java, SWT, Eclipse, … know-how obsolete as well

but without an immediate use case or customer who needs certain features in e4 I can only spend my spare time into this.

I still hope that I can find a customer or a business use case which makes it possible to also invest work time (1-2 days a week) into it (I think my in depth knowledge about the core design is something others might cause some trouble to get started) but at the moment it’s not looking very promising because like it is with 3.x people take the core for granted.

Anyways Eclipse is with e4 getting once more an innovative core-platform and I’m proud to be and stay part of it – especially e4.

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4 Responses to The core-platform, e4 – some random thoughts

  1. Lars Vogel says:

    Good points Tom. BTW: Do you know how many people are actually working on the Eclipse core?

  2. David Pérez says:

    That’s a pity. Let’s hope to improve this in the future.

  3. Lars, Dash has commit logs and viewers that should help you figure that out.

  4. Pingback: e4 – some random thoughts (2nd iteration) « Tomsondev Blog

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