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 (http://www.eclipse.org/org/directors.html).
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 eclipe.org web site: http://www.eclipse.org/org/minutes.html
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
- simplifying the day to day activities
of the committers
- developing and supporting the Eclipse
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 eclipse.org. 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
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