Why Communities Win
One of the interesting phenomena about working at the Eclipse Foundation is the intelligence and strategy attributed to us. Take for example David Berlind:
For Sun, perhaps the big win will be on the developer tool front where, whatever Google comes up with, all Sun will have to do is retool the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment to support it. And clearly Sun is doing that. But so too will NetBean’s nemesis; the Eclipse Foundation (you knowwwwww that Eclipse won’t sit this one out). Meanwhile, regardless of what Sun does with NetBeans to support Google’s mobile Java initiatives, I’m sure the developer community would appreciate a reconciliation of the license situation. Sooner or later, that situation will come to a head.
While the common assumption is that Eclipse adoption happens because of incessant background conversations between the Eclipse Foundation and industry players, the fact of the matter is that at least half of the decisions are made without ever talking to us. Eclipse adoption is massively beyond the point where our small team at the Eclipse Foundation can direct it. So although David is correct that the Eclipse Foundation is not going to sit this one out, the decision wasn’t made or even influenced by us. Instead, it was made by Google. Without our knowledge. We were just as excited as everyone else to find out that the Android SDK was shipped with a plug-in for the Eclipse SDK.
And that is the key point: an open platform is one which people adopt because it is in their own best interests to adopt it. The developers working on Android made the call on their own, and not because of any talents of persuasion we may have at the Eclipse Foundation.
Open governance leads to open communities which leads to open platforms which leads to open adoption. Hmmmm maybe we’re onto something here at Eclipse?