The assumption behind having Eclipse Foundation hire developers is that they would concentrate on a handful of core projects and as the result of this full time focus rapidly earn the committer rights through the usual process. The dynamic for part-time contributors is quite different.
From: ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ide-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mickael Istria
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: [ide-dev] Why we dropped Eclipse in favour of IntelliJ | Java Code Geeks
My POV on this as a contributor, independently of my position at Red Hat.
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 role?