Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The awesomeness of Eclipse Development Process

The Hudson proposal to move to Eclipse started a big discussion about the Eclipse Development Process, IPLog/IP team and etc. A lot of people are complaining about the amount of work they have to do but having done few Eclipse Linux Tools releases I don't find this work that much, probably it hasn't costed me more than a day with non technical issues.
Now I plan to explain why is to so awesome to follow this process and respect it (note that I'm a Linux distro guy so I'm heavy biased):
  • every single bit is properly licensed - One can not imagine how many times we(Fedora) have reported/asked upstreams to at least put some license to their work! And this is a blocker for inclusion in the distribution and we have spend a lot of time patching out such bits and dealing with the consequenses of these actions. +1 for the Eclipse process here
  • incompatible licenses are not used/shipped together - One might think that this is just to make lawyers happy but this is only half the truth. It is also about respecting authors wish - if I choose to license my work under BSD I want people to use my work whenever they found it possible but if I choose to license under GPLv3 my primary goal would definetely not be the same and I would care most for people giving back. Most probably library developers would not gonna sue you for using incompatible licenses but this is pure DISRESPECT TO THEIR WORK. I can name a huge number of Java projects that don't even understand that. +1 for the Eclipse process too
  •  reduce duplication (side effect) - One of the recent reviews of the IP team made one project remove code that was already done in one of its dependencies. Most probably just to not bother with getting it IP clean. I don't know what would readers think but this is pure technical win!
  • remove unneded dependencies (side effect) - Same review as the previous point - a number of unneeded dependencies were removed just to not bother with getting it IP clean (if possible at all - read the first point). And the build was failing without these deps despite them being unused/unneded. Another pure technical win thanks to the IP team!
There are a lot of other benefits that can be mentioned but just the first two are making us - Java packagers(I'm sure I speak for at least few others) want every Java project to go through similar process. This would make packaging Java software a lot easier, a lot more acceptable and not that allien on Linux systems.

Kudos to Eclipse's IP Team 

Everyone actively working on some Java project - think whether you want your software to be included/shipped to a lot of users. You may achieve that yourself but having a team helping you in this is definetely helpfull.

P.S. Links and people/project names are intentionally not used to prevent someone getting it personal. :)

1 comment:

Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

I think having a concrete example with links would be a great idea, we all work in the open so there shouldn't be any hard feelings. It would serve as an example to other foundations imho