My POV on this as a contributor, independently of my position at Red
The current issue with the contribution model, especially for
platform, is that there is no guarantee that even by doing the work,
a feature will get reviewed, approved or merged in time. Without
this guarantee, one can see contributing as a potential waste and
will be reluctant to start a contribution work. I don't think
companies wish to pay developers to do work they can do by
themselves. What they wish is more ability to make things happen.
I don't get why paying someone working for the Foundation would help
in getting stuff done in Eclipse faster than contributing code
directly. It would appear to me that if we go for a "let's pay the
Foundation for a feature" mode, it means that this developer will
need to have super-fast reviews of his patches and a very quick
feedback/merge loop in order to honor the contracts. But why would
someone in particular have that privilege of fast review? In a
community, any contributor should start with the same status based
on merit, independently of its employer or contract. If someone gets
hired by organization X (may it be the Foundation or something else)
and gets its Gerrit patch reviewed before mine just because of his
employer, I would find it almost insulting.
As a contributor, what I find frustrating and slowing down for the
development process is not my ability to write code, but the long
feedback loop between a push to Gerrit and some feedback, and then
the long feedback loop between the merge of my code and the release.
It's really slow to get something part of next Eclipse release, it
can even be discouraging.
There is progress on that side with Gerrit and so on, but it's still
a long time to wait for an answer. I understand that current
committers on Platform have many things to do and that they're doing
there best to find time to review, it's not a personal accusation.
So overall, those 3 points lead to the idea that what is needed
isn't more developers, or a paid developer to do some things, but
rather more reviewers that will shorten feedback loop and speed up
the heartbeat of the project. I may be wrong, I think that's what
Linux has been paid for at the Linux Foundation: now writing code,
but reviewing it.
But it's easier said than done: let's say the Foundation goes for
hiring a reviewer for Platform, or JDT; there are concretely a very
few people able to handle that task. Would anyone want to take this