The primary objective of this project would be to help catalyze the growth of a new and vibrant segment within the Eclipse ecosystem by reducing the gap between "developing" with Eclipse and "sharing" with Eclipse.
The Eclipse technology foundation is of nearly universal interest to developers of software products. However, the development process and infrastructure that Eclipse.org provides, although equally successful, is applicable only to a relatively small number of Eclipse-centric projects.
Excluded are projects lacking the scope, ambition or licensing model required of top-level projects (or subprojects). Examples include projects creating applications or run-time-only (as opposed to "tooling"), open source projects involving code licensed under a non-approved license, commercial software products including closed-source code and projects for which Eclipse management overhead is unsupportable.
Infrastructure outside of Eclipse.org supports collaborative development of Eclipse-centric projects. Open source projects, for example, can use SourceForge. Web services providers (such as AOL, a co-submitter of this proposal) provide virtual infrastructure that is available to developers without IP constraints (subject to standard commercial terms, etc.). And projects can always provision and maintain their own infrastructure, where economically feasible.
However, the cost and effort needed for an "excluded" Eclipse project—for example, an individual developer who wants to create a personal open source project—is quite high, while the quality of integration between the Eclipse environment and sharing infrastructure outside of Eclipse.org is unacceptably low. What is missing is the equivalent of "my space" for Eclipse developers.
The Spaces project will provide an extensible framework and exemplary implementation for an Eclipse feature/plug-in set that streamlines the process of publishing, materializing and sharing a code base against a specified set of virtual services for source management, release staging and downloading, bug-tracking and community collaboration. The initial exemplary implementation will include an adapter to connect the framework to an extended version of AOL's virtual storage infrastructure (XDrive). Other exemplary implementations to capable and available virtual infrastructures will be included based on community demand and project resources (the project welcomes additional contributors to help with, e.g., an adapter to SourceForge).
The objectives of the project will be to:
We have identified the following functional elements as being within scope of the proposed project:
The primary focus of the proposed project will be to address a set of unmet community/market requirements. The proposed project will leverage other Eclipse technologies to add functional breadth and depth within its target scope. And wherever possible, the project will attempt to extend and re-use complementary technologies developed by other Eclipse projects, rather than re-implement them.
Eclipse technologies that have been tentatively identified as applicable include:
We will seek input and participation from the project teams of these complementary technologies, and will proactively suggest and/or contribute enhancements and extensions.
The initial committers will focus on specifying the set of target virtual infrastructure services and designing and implementing the Spaces plug-in/feature-set and initial exemplary back-end implementation. The initial committers are:
In general, our agile development process will follow Eclipse.org standards for openness and transparency. Moreover, we will pro-actively seek participation in the project, whether as committers, interested parties or otherwise, from individuals or companies that can help the project address the requirements from the broadest possible segment of the ecosystem or can extend the range of virtual infrastructure services available to EclipseSpaces users.
The following parties have expressed interest extending the platform, contributing ideas, guidance and discussion. Key contacts listed:
The proposed project addresses the requirements of a highly disparate group of developers, as such, supporting and soliciting feedback from a large user community of developers is critical to creating the right offering. We plan on achieving this by using the standard Eclipse.org mechanisms of supporting an open project and community of early adopters.
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