BOARD DRAFT Eclipse RoadMap v5

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Strategic Goals
  4. Future Directions
    1. Eclipse 4.0
    2. cloud
    3. eclipseRT
    4. Web Development
  5. The Road Map Process

Introduction

As required by the Eclipse Development Process, this document describes the 2010 Eclipse Roadmap.

There are three main sections to this document:

  1. This Preamble provides some background on Eclipse and the Foundation, and identifies the strategic goals of Eclipse. It also provides a brief overview of the scope of future projects
  2. The Themes and Priorities which has been developed by the Eclipse Councils.
  3. The Platform Release Plan which has been developed by the Eclipse Planning Council.

The Roadmap is intended to be a living document which will see future iterations. This document is the fifth version of the Eclipse Roadmap, and is labeled as version 5.0. In order to preserve this document while the underlying information evolves, the pages have been frozen by copying them from their original project hosted locations.

The goal of the Roadmap is to provide the Eclipse ecosystem with guidance and visibility on the future directions of the Eclipse open source community. An important element in this visibility is that the Roadmap help the EMO and the Board of Directors in determining which projects will be accepted by Eclipse during the life of this revision of the Roadmap. In other words, new projects must be consistent with the Roadmap. This does not mean that every new project must be explicitly envisaged by the Roadmap. It does mean that new projects cannot be inconsistent with the stated directions of Eclipse. In particular, Eclipse expects that incubator projects created in the Technology PMC will cover areas not explicitly described in the Roadmap.

New in the version 5.0 iteration of the Road Map is a focus on projects that are part of the next planned release train code named "Helios" with a release date of June 2010. For example, project plan listings are plans for Helios from the projects that are part of that release train.

Background

As defined on our website, the role of the Foundation is:

Eclipse is an open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit, member supported corporation that hosts the Eclipse projects and helps cultivate both an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products and services.

As defined in our Bylaws the Purposes of the Eclipse Foundation are:

The Eclipse technology is a vendor-neutral, open development platform supplying frameworks and exemplary, extensible tools (the "Eclipse Platform"). Eclipse Platform tools are exemplary in that they verify the utility of the Eclipse frameworks, illustrate the appropriate use of those frameworks, and support the development and maintenance of the Eclipse Platform itself; Eclipse Platform tools are extensible in that their functionality is accessible via documented programmatic interfaces. The purpose of Eclipse Foundation Inc., (the "Eclipse Foundation"), is to advance the creation, evolution, promotion, and support of the Eclipse Platform and to cultivate both an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities, and services.

Strategic Goals

The following are the strategic goals of the Eclipse Foundation.

  1. Establish Eclipse as a leading provider of open source runtime technologies. At least since 2004, Eclipse projects have been shipping innovative runtime technologies such as Equinox and the Rich Client Platform. The last several years have seen steady growth in runtime technologies at Eclipse. At the same time, there has been rapid growth in interest in OSGi, which is the standard upon which the Eclipse plug-in model is based. Moving forward, we expect to see rapid growth in both the projects building and the adoption of Eclipse runtime technologies.

  2. Maintain global leadership in open source tools platforms. As an open development platform, Eclipse provides support for multiple operating environments and multiple programming languages. The goal of Eclipse is to define for the industry a development platform which is freely licensed, open source and provides support for the full breadth of the application lifecycle, in many disparate problem domains, across the development and deployment platforms of choice. In particular, as Rich Internet Application development becomes more mainstream, we anticipate new projects at Eclipse to address the needs of that community.
  3. Create value for all its membership classes. The Eclipse Foundation serves many members whose primary interest in leveraging Eclipse technologies in commercial offerings such as products and services. The Eclipse Foundation will focus its energies to ensure that commercial opportunity exists within the Eclipse ecosystem. Look for continuous improvements to Eclipse Marketplace, and other initiatives for the benefits of members.

    Committers are also members of the Eclipse Foundation and are in many ways its backbone. The Eclipse Foundation and its staff will continue to look for opportunities to continually improve services to its project community throughout 2010. Look for enhancements to our web, download, code management, build and other key components of project infrastructure in 2010.
  4. Foster growth of the ecosystem, particularly in verticals. The creation of a large community of commercial and open source organizations which rely on and/or complement Eclipse technology has been a major factor in the success of Eclipse. Each time Eclipse technology is used in the development of a product, service or application the Eclipse community is strengthened. Our goal in 2010 is to focus our attention on the creation of industry working groups and new Eclipse projects which focus on particular industry segments such as mobile, automotive, insurance and finance.
  5. Run a good ship. This Eclipse Foundation employs several staff and represents hundreds of stakeholders. It is important that the Foundation be a well run organization internally and externally.
  6. Continue to grow a diversified revenue model. Reliance on a single source of revenue to fund the Foundation puts at greater risk of being negatively impacted by industry specific business cycles. It is a goal of the Eclipse Foundation to ensure revenue sources from multiple types of organizations, and seek other sources such as events and sponsorships.
  7. Ensure adequate resources are invested in the core technology platform. Although Eclipse hosts well over 100 different projects, many depend on a core set of projects to continue to evolve and innovate. It is important the new entants be encouraged to participate in these core projects and be informed of the importance of and need for their support.

Future Directions

The goal of the Roadmap is to provide the Eclipse ecosystem with guidance and visibility on the future directions of the Eclipse open source community, and to involve the Eclipse membership in a dialog about those future directions. In that vein, this section discusses our current vision of the future as a set of future projects that expand the value of the ecosystem for all of its members.

The Themes and Priorities document prepared by the Requirements Council describes a number of requirements and focus areas for the existing Eclipse projects.

In addition to the Themes and Priorities requirements on existing projects in Helios, we envision future growth in Eclipse projects in the following major areas. These are areas in which we envision starting new projects in 2010-2011, not areas in which we envision having completed Eclipse-quality standards-based frameworks and tooling.

Eclipse 4.0

2010 will see the first major release of the Eclipse Platform since 2004. The major goals of this new release include:

  • Making it easier to write plug-ins
  • Allowing better control over the look of Eclipse based products
  • Providing a uniform, pervasive platform across computing environments (Web / RIA, Desktop, Server, Cloud, Embedded)
  • Increasing diversity of contributors to the platform
  • Maintaining backward compatibility for API-clean clients

Cloud

Projects such as Amazons AWS tooling build on the Eclipse Platform give instant credibility to Eclipse as a important piece of the strategy for cloud tool providers. Eclipse has a role to play in the entire development lifecycle from development, deployment to testing and QA. In addition to tools, OSGi and Equinox will play an important role in the cloud. The ability to maintain configurations and deployments in large scale applications will be essential to scaling the cloud.

eclipseRT

EclipseRT will continue to grow and evolve. The recent Gemini and Virgo projects at Eclipse demonstrate the community is starting to associate Eclipse as a great place to do runtimes. The key uniter of the various runtime technologies at Eclipse continues to be OSGi as the kernel, but it is plausible for some other complementary technology to become an Eclipse project.

Web Development

Eclipse tools have historically had a very strong correlation with the Java language. However, with the rapid growth of Rich Internet Application languages and technologies such as JavaScript and Ajax, the Eclipse community must support the requirements of these developers as well. Eclipse will begin to invest in re-tooling the Eclipse platform with the needs of Web developers in mind.

The Roadmap Process

The process of creating the Eclipse Roadmap is described in the Eclipse Development Process. The key pieces are:

  • The Councils propose a set of Themes and Priorities that realize the purposes and that respond to requirements elicited from the Strategic Developers, Strategic Consumers, Sustaining Members, and other constituents of the ecosystem. The EMO ensures that the Planning Council and the Development teams have access to all requirements. Updates to the purposes are likely to require updates to the Roadmap and its associated themes and priorities; proposed Roadmap updates may also be motivated by new technologies or opportunities.
  • The process of producing or updating the Roadmap is expected to be iterative. An initial set of Themes and Priorities may be infeasible to implement in the desired time frame; subsequent consideration may reveal new implementation alternatives or critical requirements that alter the team's perspective on priorities. The EMO orchestrates interaction among and within the three Councils to drive the Roadmap to convergence.
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