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[] What your committer reps are doing


You might have asked yourselves what the committer reps are good for. We admit that this is hard to assess for those of you we have not yet had direct contact with. With this email, we would like to do two things:  1) describe our activities and plans 2) encourage you to communicate with us about your needs and ideas regarding the Eclipse committer community.

The committer reps are members of the Eclipse Foundation's Board of Directors ( The Board defines the high level strategy of the Eclipse Foundation thereby providing guidance to the Eclipse Management Organization (EMO) in which direction to steer and what to focus on. The Board also supervises the business aspects of the EMO. Four times a year the Board meets face to face for one to two days. Between those meetings, the Board coordinates its work via monthly phone calls. The protocols of the meetings are available on the web site:

Given the nature of the Eclipse Foundation, its strategy has to accommodate a diversity of interests. As committer reps, our responsibility is to make sure that the strategy aligns with the interests and long term goals of the committer community. We focus our activities on three complementary issues:
- ensuring the quality of the Eclipse projects
- simplifying the day to day activities of the committers
- developing and supporting the Eclipse committer community
In order to work on these issues we must - with your help - identify the problems, sharpen the Board's awareness of the problems, build consensus among the Board members about the scope of possible solutions, propose solutions, and help enact those solutions.  

Ensuring the quality of the Eclipse projects
The Eclipse committer community has built up a reputation of shipping on time and with high quality. This reputation reflects well on us as part of the committer community. Naturally, keeping up with the expectations associated with this reputation becomes more challenging as more projects are pursued on We are investigating what can be done on a strategic level to help the committer community to sustain and enhance this reputation. Our starting point is the Eclipse Development Process ( We are working with the EMO (which has done most of the work so far) and others including the Eclipse Councils on guidelines that provide additional clarity to the Eclipse Development Process. We trust this will help articulate the culture of quality that Eclipse embodies, and strengthen our shared vision of Eclipse. We anticipate an initial draft of these guidelines in September (hopefully sooner) that will then be open for discussion/revision. The Board agrees on the importance of the issue and supports this work.

Simplifying the day to day activities of the committers
We are focusing the EMO's attention on several different aspects: a) infrastructure availability b) adding/enhancing infrastructure services c) extending the project self administration capabilities d) bugzilla improvements and extensions. All four areas are focused on saving the time of committers and thus make them more productive. We will continue to collect and prioritize committer effort saving issues.  The Board agrees on the importance of the issue and supports efforts to maintain and improve committer productivity and satisfaction.

For 'Availability'  we are working towards acknowledged and overall agreed on availability requirements. The Board asked the EMO to monitor the availability of the infrastructure. The numbers that will be collected will be used as starting point for any further work on availability requirements.

For the remaining three areas we describe the action items that we think are important to solve. Please send us your feedback and the additions you would like to see on the list.

'Infrastructure services' is about improved communication means. Our first goal is to provide an Eclipse wiki that can be used by the committers.  'Self administration' is about reducing the amount of work that is necessary for tasks such as creating a new top level folder in the CVS repository, granting a committer access to a folder in the CVS repository, etc. It would be useful if the PMCs could perform those operations. This needs alignment with the Eclipse Development Process. 'Bugzilla improvements' is mainly focused on reducing the work load of those who are responsible for triaging problem reports. This includes help in finding duplicate defects, detection of incomplete bug reports, and other facilities that would make defect handling simpler and quicker.

Developing and supporting the Eclipse committer community
The Eclipse committers are actively communicating among each other using news groups, mailing lists, bug reports, blogs, IM and  other communication technologies.  However, we feel that both intra and cross-project communication can be made easier, more effective, and more  enjoyable, and that this will result in stronger projects and a stronger committer community.

As we believe that any institutionalized approach to make people talk to each other will eventually fail, we decided to start small and concrete by bringing together committers of several Eclipse projects located in the same geographical area. The first occurrence of that will be in Portland, Wednesday, July 27. Please contact slewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you are able and would like to participate. It will be an informal, technically-oriented exchange for Eclipse committers. We will use our experience with this event to decide if this is a useful venue for committer interactions, and if we should replicate it in other locations.

Please tell us what you think.  How can we better support you? From your chair, what would make you and the committer community more effective and satisfied?
The committer reps
John, Kai, Scott

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