I see a lot of discussion in the blogs on how to invite new developers to participate. They all are talking about people being reluctant to do development, making the eclipse.org site interface more inviting – but really, is this the biggest problem? I wonder, does anybody think obscure location of the CVS URL would really stop anybody from trying to enhance the favorite framework?
Consider this (the ones that I remember):
Bug 287887 – I haven’t seen response like “why would anybody want this” or else. The patch was submitted 3 months ago.
Bug 155479 – several commercial projects would like to see it. Patch was submitted in April.
Bug 166906 – pretty irritating bug. The patch was submitted four years ago.
Note – these are patches to make Eclipse better from the end-user POV. It’s not the patches to make Eclipse frameworks more open for extension so we can build better products on top of it – I’m pretty sure that most commercial developers know that there is next to no chance to get such change into Eclipse.org.
The result is quite simple. I joined a new company recently and from the start I say – do not expect the Eclipse.org to cooperate. We need to consider a way to branch projects we use – before we reach the point it is not possible to deliver proper product to our customers because the framework was not designed to support something.
I believe there should be a strict policy in Eclipse.org for handling patches – i.e. the projects should commit to responding for the patch in 2 weeks or one month – and either describe what’s wrong or to incorporate the patch into main repository. Otherwise there will be many Eclipses – Git makes it really simple.
And I’m not mentioning this: 262846 – pure enhancement to make simple API for the popular feature. I submitted this one in February – and I missed some Eclipse.org deadline. The result? Even in the best-case scenario I won’t be able to use this in my commercial product till Summer 2010 – 1.5 years. That’s if we don’t consider that the chances of this bug being committed are still slim. So why bother? 1.5 years is a long time.