I hope everyone realizes I was being a
bit provocative just to prove a point (I think I learned this from you
Doug ;) Committers are generally pretty reasonable and will always
try hard to keep adopters satisfied. Adopters are obviously very important
to any project and their views should always be considered. I'm hopeful
in this particular case we'll find a middle ground that allows progress
to be made without further unnecessary disruption for consumers. My main
goal was refuting the assertion that "adopters have to be pleased"
and that committers are not permitted to make disruptive changes if adopters
don't like it. The final decision on direction for any Eclipse project
will be made by its own contributors.
John, you are right by the letter of the
law. But I think the point is, if the contributors want the platform to
be successful, they have to be sensitive to the needs of adopters. They're
who make a platform successful. If they aren't then who are they building
the platform for? (And as much as we don't like to talk about it, I really
hate the real answer to that question).
For Eclipse to be a successful platform
going forward that has to change. Or, yeah, we could just fork it. A lot
of us who build products on it already have. But no one is suggesting that's
the right thing to do in the long run. Or are we?
> >The project is it's contributors not it's API.
> That sounds a little as if Eclipse projects are only playgrounds for
> "the cool kids". I think a project is successful if
> what it produces (including the APIs) is successful, i.e. widely
> adopted. The adopters have to be pleased, not the contributors.
You're definitely wrong about this part. Committers and contributors will
always have the final say. An adopter that is not contributing has *absolutely*
no say in the direction of the project. This is not my opinion - this is
clearly defined in the Eclipse charter, by-laws, and dev process, and is
the same for most other open source projects. The historic platform contributors
(e.g., IBM), placed extremely high value on stability and compatibility.
If those committers are gone and a new set of committers arrives that values
innovation and change over stability and compatibility, then that's the
direction the project will take. If adopters don't like that direction,
then they need to get involved to influence the direction, fork the project,
etc. Even as a PMC member I have no right to value the needs of adopters
over contributors - quite the opposite I have a clearly defined obligation
to enable the project's contributors to make progress in the direction
they want to take.