I read this morning an interesting blog entry by Bob Foster entitled Eclipse is not Apache.
I certainly agree with Bob’s conclusions, which I summarize as:
(a) it would be exceedingly hard to use Eclipse as a dumping ground for code (you can also see my post on TheServerSide on the topic. Look for “We’re not a dump”)
(b) Eclipse does a pretty decent job of managing the scope and overlap in its projects.
(c) Eclipse should never attempt to pick winners in the projects. It’s a Darwinian ecosystem, and the best projects will rise to the top. In the end, it’s the consumers who will decide which projects are best.
Yep. Makes good sense to me.
But often I think that the whole “Apache is a dumping ground” or “Eclipse is a dumping ground” conversations are usually just plain wrong. Or at least misinformed. Both of these communities have pretty stringent development processes that weed out the wheat from the chaff early.
There is nothing inherently wrong with a company wanting to contribute existing code to an open source project. But the real test in our minds is always whether there are committers and contributors who are willing to form and support a vibrant project. Frankly, we would not take a wad of code that did not come with a development team, because code without developers is not an asset, its a liability.
But a code contribution accompanied by its developers and a commitment to continue to invest in its evolution is a pretty decent start for a project.