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IBM shadow looms over next Eclipse

Visibility, independence concerns on e4

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The question of whether IBM wields too much influence over Eclipse is again in the air, with Foundation members critical of the first steps towards the platform's next release.

Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich has responded to concerns over an apparent lack of diversity and of a railroading of technical decisions for the next version of Eclipse, e4, which appears to be dominated by IBMers.

The Eclipse Foundation ignited concerns when it announced a list of e4 committers, or contributors, ahead of next week's EclipseCon in Santa Clara, California.

Seventeen e4 committers appear to be drawn from IBM, three from Innopract and one former IBMer now working for tiny Code 9. Among those complaining are two Eclipse members from Wind River - Martin Oberhuber and Doug Gaff.

The beef is based on two elements: a lack of diversity in the design team for e4 and an assumption that it is OK to deliver a bunch of code as the basis for discussion rather than putting forward ideas and suggestions in the form of a proposal or cultivating community discussion.

Milinkovich has responded to Gaff's original email. "Anyone who has the ability to make the very serious time commitment to becoming a committer on e4 should step forward," Milinkovich said.

"IBM, Innoopract and Code 9 have indicated that they are going to make highly skilled people with significant time commitments available to move this project ahead. It would be wonderful if others, including Wind River, find themselves able to make the same commitment."

IBMer and Eclipse evangelist Chris Aniszcyk, meanwhile, was quick to defend IBM's role in e4.

Despite reassurances that IBM is not trying to hijack Eclipse 4.0, the criticism and concern looks set to continue over the way code has been contributed. You can follow the debate and catch up with the e4 team's justification of its decisions during this presentation at EclipseCon.®

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