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[] The "Eclipse Projects" Market

Greetings Architecture and Planning Councils.

I've spoken about my plans to create a new Eclipse Project market [1] on Eclipse Marketplace on some of our calls. I've started implementing it. I intend to post something like this message on cross-project-issues-dev (and maybe on a blog post) early next week. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Some of this is already discussed on Bug 459905 [2].

By way of background, the Eclipse Marketplace is divided into several markets. The largest market is the "Tools" market is which is where the community and eco-system puts their plug-ins and such. There's also an "RCP Applications" market, one for services, and one for Long Term Support. For all of these markets, inclusion is self-selecting.

The Eclipse Project market is more exclusive.

I'm starting by making a solution in the Eclipse Project market for each of the packages that includes what makes the package distinct. The "Java" solution, for example, includes the JDT, Code Recommenders, m2e, XML editor, Mylyn integration, and WindowBuilder that's provided in the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers. I've done something similar for the C/C++ and PDE packages. I haven't done any more than this *yet* as I'm using these three entries to sort out how this is going to work.

The focus of this market is to provide solutions that make it very easy for end users--who are starting from one our packages either downloaded or installed via Oomph--to add functionality. The focus will be exclusively on tools that extend the IDE and are of general interest to IDE users. The principle of least surprise applies.

The overall number of solutions will be kept small. Too many entries does not serve the interests of users. I'm not quite sure what the definition of "small" is, but this may require some hard decisions. In the end, it's about not confusing users, so right-sizing this will be iterative. I look forward to your enthusiastic participation in the decision making process.

I'm not generally interested in single-project or single feature solutions. This is not to say that there will be no such solutions, just that I will tend to prefer solutions that are more complete offerings. This is not the right vector to promote a project. We have other vectors for project promotion. This is about making the end user successful and generating all sorts of warm squishy feelings in their hearts about Eclipse. This market needs to have a narrow focus to be successful in that regard.

The general intent is to restrict this to include only functionality provided by projects that participate in the simultaneous release. But this is only a guideline. We will use this to promote solutions that we feel are in the best interests of our users. I intend, for example, to include a solution based on the Gradle integration provided by Buildship (which is not joining Mars GA).

I will likely play around with the names of these solutions. I'm thinking, for example, that it makes sense to align with the package names instead of specific project names, e.g. "Tools for C/C++ Developers", and "Tools for Java Developers". I will endeavor to be consistent.

I'm going to work out a consistent format for the descriptions. I'm thinking that we start with a short paragraph, links for finding help or more information, a short feature list, and some sort of "hey, you should contribute" message. As you can see from the entries, I've used a combination of text from the package and--in some cases--specific project websites as a starting point.

We will leverage the new version support provided in the Marketplace (Chris sent out a note about this yesterday). My initial focus will be on providing solutions of Mars-based technology, so if you try to add features to a Luna package using the MPC, this market will appear empty. I may at some point go back and add solutions for earlier simultaneous releases.

My understanding and experience is that the drag and drop install functionality works quite nicely, we're probably going to push that a main means of adding functionality.

These solutions are included in general search results in the MPC. The MPC has the ability to filter on markets which--in the case of this market--will narrow searches nicely. Don't confuse markets with marketplaces. The icons along the bottom of the MPC are marketplaces. These are a different concept.

At present, only I can include a solution in the Eclipse Project market. I will be leaning heavily on you for advice. If you feel that it is in our users best interests that particular tools be included, let's discuss it. But please keep a maniacal focus on making the end user successful in mind.

I will encourage projects to add and promote their own MPC entries in other categories and include links to them in project metadata. I'm hoping to implement the drag and drop install from the PMI project download page in time for Mars.

I'm not asking anybody to do any extra work here. This is not a requirement for participation in the simultaneous release. At the end of the day, I'm planning to do most of the work and be the one who will make the hard decisions on behalf of the community. I expect however, that there will be a few people in the community with strong opinions who will make them known. I will work with whoever steps (keeping the maniacal focus in mind).


Wayne Beaton
The Eclipse Foundation
          France 2015

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