Eclipse Working Group Process

Revision 1.5 July 31, 2013

Purpose and Scope

This document describes the process for creating and managing Eclipse Working Groups ("Eclipse WGs" or "WGs"). In particular, it describes how the Eclipse Foundation ("Eclipse") membership (the "Members") lead, influence, and collaborate within WGs to develop a common set of Materials (as defined below).

Eclipse WGs are established to facilitate the collaboration between Eclipse Foundation Members. The collaboration should be intended to focus, promote and augment Eclipse technologies to meet the needs of specific industries. The collaboration can take the form of the development of Materials for use by a specific community and/or joint Marketing Programs to promote Eclipse in a certain industry. Unlike Eclipse open source projects that are open to participation by anyone, participation in an Eclipse WG is open only to Eclipse Members.

This document has 3 sections:

  1. Terminology
  2. Participation structure for Working Group
  3. Working Group Lifecycle, describing Working Group creation and development

All participants in WGs must respect the agreements, policies and procedures of Eclipse. In particular, and without limiting the foregoing, at all times, participants in all Eclipse WGs must conform to the Eclipse IP Policies and Antitrust Policies.

All WGs must operate in an open, transparent and vendor neutral manner.

Terminology

"Materials" is used to describe an asset that is created by an WG. An asset could be a technology roadmap, test suite, documentation, specification, package of Eclipse technology (other than that intended for download to Eclipse end users), etc.

Unless otherwise approved by the Eclipse Management Organization (the "EMO"), any third party content used by an WG in the creation of Materials must be submitted to Eclipse under the Eclipse.org terms of use.

The work product of an WG will be Non-Code Content (as that term is defined in the Eclipse Terms of Use). Any code developed by in relation to the activities of the WG must be developed as part of an Open Source Project.

"Marketing Programs" is used to describe a set of activities which may be undertaken by an WG to promote Eclipse technology and Members companies in a specific market or geography. Example Marketing Programs could include participation in a trade show, joint press release put out by the Eclipse Foundation, the creation of a logo to identify the working group, co-sponsored webinars to create leads for WG participants, etc.

2. Participation Structure for Working Groups

Participation in WGs is only open to certain Members of the Eclipse Foundation. Each WG will have two types of participants: Steering Committee Participants and Member Participants (collectively, "Participants"):

The Steering Committee Participants shall be Participants of the WG who agree to actively participate in the WG Steering Committee and which satisfy the Steering Committee Participants requirements set forth in the Member Participation Guidelines (as defined herein) as determined by the WG Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee is responsible for writing and maintaining an WG Charter (a "WG Charter") consisting of the following:

  • A description of:
    • the purpose and scope of the WG
    • the Materials and Marketing Programs to be developed by the WG
    • proposed Schedule for WG activities
    • the objectives, strategies, policies and plans of the WG
  • The guidelines for each of the Steering Committee Participants and Member Participants in the WG ("Member Participation Guidelines"). The Member Participation Guidelines in both cases must be objective, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory standards and must not be designed to exclude or impose commercially unreasonable terms on any particular Member or group of Members. That said, the expectation is that the Steering Committee Participant Guidelines will expect a greater investment of time, effort and resources than the Guidelines for the Member Participants. The Member Participation Guidelines will also specify the Eclipse Foundation membership level requirements for Steering Committee Participants and Member Participants of the WG. The Member Participation Guidelines must be based on Eclipse meritocratic principles that allow for a community of Members to grow within an WG. The Eclipse Foundation Executive Director will have final approval on WG Member Participation Guidelines (including any modifications thereof).
  • An identification of the technology features/components that are the focus of the WG
  • A statement of resource commitments for all Participants in that WG that will cover external resources (development, marketing programs, etc.)

Member Participant is a Member of the Eclipse Foundation (excluding Associate Members other than research institutions, academic institutions or government agencies specifically approved by the Steering Committee) who agrees to actively participate in the WG and meets the Member Participation Guidelines.

Any Member that satisfies the Member Participation Guidelines of an WG must be permitted to be a Participant in the WG. Any Member wishing to join the WG would contact the WG Steering Committee to indicate their interest and describe how they fulfill the Membership Participation Guidelines. The Steering Committee is responsible for maintaining and publishing the list of all Participants on an ongoing basis.

All Participants in an WG, whether Steering Committee Participants or Member Participants, can participate and will have voting rights with respect to all WG matters, including scheduling meetings and activities, and will have equal rights of access and participation in the development of all Materials, including Marketing Programs, Material development, mailing lists and wikis.

Unless decided by the WG Steering Committee and stated in the WG Charter, there shall be no additional charges or fees for Eclipse Members to be a Participant in an WG.

3. Working Group Lifecycle

Following is a description of the lifecycle of an WG.

Proposal Phase

Any Eclipse Strategic, Enterprise, or Solution Member(s) (an "Initiating Member(s)") can create a draft WG Charter and request the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director to make it available in the appropriate area on Eclipse.org. Upon the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director's approval of the draft Charter, the Executive Director will do so, and an e-mail will be circulated announcing the availability of the draft Charter for review. The Proposal Phase will commence upon the distribution of that e-mail.

The Proposal Phase will last no less than thirty (30) days.

During the Proposal Phase, one or more individuals designated by the Initiating Member(s) shall work with Members to produce a proposed Charter. Among other things, during the Proposal Phase, the Initiating Member(s) will work with the Members to

  • Define the WG name, goal, and description
  • Define the WG's scope in terms of explicit inclusions and explicit exclusions
  • Refine the description of Materials and Marketing Programs to be developed.
  • Refine the schedule and define milestones.
  • Identify potential intellectual property that may be created or contributed by the WG
  • Refine the Membership Participation Guidelines
  • Define operational rules for the WG. As part of such rules, the Charter shall provide that:
    • the WG is open to participation by any Member who meet the criteria specified in the Membership Participation Guidelines.
    • all WG meetings are announced and open to all WG Participants
    • all WG meetings are recorded via minutes and posted to a newsgroup, mailing list and/or wiki available to all Members. Minutes will include the names of all participating Members, and record any decisions made by the WG.
    • unless stipulated in the WG Charter, all Materials, including drafts, are available in a public forum available to all Members.
    Engage the Members to solicit additional WG participation and define ways the WG can be leveraged across Eclipse.
  • Recruit Members of the WG, including both Participating Members and Steering Committee Members. In addition, recruit the WG Chair(s). The Chair(s) must be employees of a Steering Committee Participants. The Chair(s) shall act as both the Chair(s) of the WG as a whole, and of the Steering Committee.

At the end of the Proposal Phase, subject to the Initiating Member's compliance with the terms of this Policy, and the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director's approval of the Charter, and based on the feedback from the Eclipse community and in consultation with the proposed WG Steering Committee, the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director will determine whether to create the WG. Once the WG is created, a notification will be sent to the Members with the initial list of Participants and an invitation to other Members to participate. At this time, the IT infrastructure for the WG will be established.

At this point, the Implementation Phase for the WG shall commence.

Implementation Phase

The majority of WG's work is intended to be accomplished during its Implementation Phase. The development of the Materials and Marketing Programs for each WG is undertaken by its Participants during this phase. The WG Steering Committee shall provide regular systematic status reporting to the EMO. The WG Steering Committee will provide overall coordination, will monitor progress of the WG against the WG Charter milestones and schedules, provide attention to issues involving dependencies between WG, and publish all plans, documents, reports, and interactions to the Participants in the WG.

The Implementation Phase culminates with a Release Review for Materials.

The Release Review is conducted by the EMO before each release of Materials to verify that the key goals of the WG, as anticipated in the Charter, have been accomplished and to verify that all intellectual property rights issues have been resolved. Assuming the WG presents the Materials to the EMO sufficiently in advance of the anticipated release date for the Materials, the Release Review will be conducted sufficiently in advance by the EMO before the target release date to allow time for the WG to respond to feedback.

The first step in a Release Review is a telephone conference call open to all Eclipse Members. All materials for the Release Review including at a minimum the final draft of the Working Group's Materials must be made available to the public no less than fifteen (15) working days prior to the date of the Release Review.

A formal release review is not required for Marketing Programs. The WG Steering Committee and the Eclipse EMO needs to approve any Marketing Program before they are executed.

For WG Materials to be approved for a Release Review, a majority of Eclipse WG Member Participants and a majority of the WG Steering Committee Participants must provide a positive vote with three (3) working days of the Release Review. In addition, the EMO must approve the Materials. Voting will be done electronically via an openly readable email list to which only WG Members may write (the "Members Mailing List"). The Executive Director has the final authority to approve the Release Review.

In the event the WG Materials are not approved, the Participants of the WG are expected to reply via the Members Mailing List to achieve consensus through dialogue. However, in the event that this dialogue is not successful, the WG Steering Committee may after a period of no less than fourteen (14) days may call a vote of the Steering Committee. The super-majority (two-thirds) decision of the WG Steering Committee is final and binding in the approval of WG's Materials.

At the completion of the Release Review, the WG Steering Committee will publish the Materials, as approved, on a public wiki, mailing list or newsgroup. The Materials will be marked as being final and an appropriate announcement will be made.

Some WG Materials will go through several version releases for new features or simple maintenance. For each release, the WG is expected to cycle through an Implementation Phase and Release Review.

Working Group Termination

It is expected that some WGs will exist for a specific period of time to accomplish a specific objective and some WGs will continue for an extended period of time. Regardless, at some point in time the operation of WGs may need to be terminated. Two events may trigger the termination of an WG: 1) a super-majority (two-thirds) of the WG Steering Committee requests to the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director that the WG be terminated, or 2) the WG is deemed inactive or non-compliant with the WG's Charter by the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director in their sole discretion.

The EMO will terminate a WG by putting a public notice on the WG mailing list. All Materials created by the Working Group will be archived.

Modifying a Working Group Charter

An WG may modify their WG Charter. Any modifications to a Charter must be approved by: 1) a super-majority (two-thirds) vote of the WG Steering Committee and 2) the EMO.

Modifying This Process

This process may be modified by the EMO with thirty (30) days written notice to the Eclipse Foundation membership-at-large.