Have you noticed that ever since EclipseCon, Sun has turned up the noise and FUD level with respect to Eclipse. I am disappointed that Sun is taking the low road but it seems they are a bit panicked about some of the success Eclipse is enjoying. I am a big believer in positive marketing. Talk about the good things of a product or community and people will listen. People just tend to turn-off the negative messages.
Unfortunately the latest blog posting by Tim Boudreau has some factual errors that just need to be corrected. Let me set the record straight on some of the more blatant items in his post.
1. First and foremost, it is absolutely false that anyone has to pay any money in order to contribute to Eclipse. If you want to come and make the best tool platform better, come and contribute to one of over forty Eclipse projects. Anybody can contribute to Eclipse. Here is just a small sampling of projects at Eclipse which are being contributed by people who have no connection to a paying Eclipse member: Parallel Tools Platform (Los Alamos National Labs), Eclipse Communication Framework (Scott Lewis), Eclipse Trust Framework (socialphysics.org) , Eclipse Community Education Project (Espirity) , Buckminster (ObjectWeb), Lepido (Anyware Technologies), Mylar (Univ. of British Columbia) and Photran (Univ. of Illionois). Ed Burnette has done a great blogging about these projects.
Companies pay membership fees to support the Eclipse Foundation so that we can provide a website and other services for our community. The fees also pay the salaries of the Foundation employees, including myself. This allows the Foundation to be completely independent. Unlike NetBeans, we are not controlled and paid for by a single for-profit company.
2. re: “…if you contribute to NetBeans, you share copyright – you still own what you write. Last I knew that was not the case with Eclipse.” This is completely wrong, and has never been the case. If you contribute to Eclipse, you retain 100% of the copyright ownership. You don’t even share ownership with Eclipse. It’s yours. The Eclipse Public License simply provides a vehicle by which you license your code so that it is freely available to the open source community.
3. Tim seems to likes to believe that there is a conspiracy that IBM is controlling Eclipse. He uses the rather lame example of IBM distributing software CDs at EclipseCon. As I have explained before on JavaLobby, anyone could have chosen to distribute CDs at EclipseCon. It is too bad that he continues to try to create FUD with this example. Does any actually believe that BEA, Borland, CA, SAP, Sybase would actually pay to join the Eclipse board if it was controlled by IBM.
There are a number of other factual problems with his blog but it is great to see that other people have already responded to his posting. I actually agree with Martin Perez that less ranting and more work is much more productive and with Stephen O’Grady that we should should be working to reconcile the divide in the Java tools community.