>Some Intellectual Cramps on e4.

>I’m sitting here with a blizzard going on outside, stuck on a problem with a XSL Content Assist, and reading about all the e4 chaos. Personally, I think having e4 is a good thing, and I don’t think anybody or any blog I’ve read has disagreed with that. What I do see happening is that there still is difference between a corporate mentality and an open source agile mentality.

I’m one of the biggest proponents for visibility. One of my on going fights at work is to try to make us more open, to bare it all. There is resistance to this for many reasons, and most arguements are trying to explain why. Sorry the damage is done, let’s move on and not make the same mistake again. Regardless of good intentions, the eclipse platform needed at least a bug report open to track these changes. There is now an e4 wiki page, but nothing I believe before the announcement.

Unfortunately, this particular project came in under the radar. Compare that with the XSL Tooling project (I’m biased as a committer here so take this with a grain of salt.). Bug 89469 was started in 2005, it was entered by a community member wanting to contribute code, it sat idle for a long time, until Chris poked some embers, and finally the XSL Tooling project came to life. The whole process has been in the open.

One thing that e4 has shown, and I hope that all projects take it to heart. If you are going to be doing something, let the community know that you are thinking about doing something. At least open a bug report on any changes you are working on. The more open the process, the better they will feel that the wool isn’t being pulled over their eyes.

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4 Responses to >Some Intellectual Cramps on e4.

  1. Ed Merks says:

    >David, you make some very good points. Folks like Bjorn will agree that we can’t have double standards at Eclipse; the rules and expectations are the same for everyone. I’ve certainly tried hard to make it very easy for people to get involved as committers with incubating components in EMFT. Whenever Chris or I catch a hint that someone needs something similar somewhere else in Eclipse to move their process along, with your case being an example, we jump in and encourage others to follow suit.As Doug has pointed out for the CDT project, being open counts and can be assessed in various ways. All the ways of being open are important and all of them are liberating for the people already involved in the project, for those who want to get involved, and for all the users along for the ride. I don’t think CDT would have survived without Doug’s approach.I wanted to thank you personally for your contributions to Eclipse and for having the patience to keep at it until you succeeded. Eclipse needs more people just like you!

  2. McQ says:

    >I’m in total agreement with the need to be open, but I do take issue with the description of the “e4 chaos” as being precipitated by corporate mentality.I believe what did cause the situation was our fundamental belief that it’s not worth talking until you have something worth saying. This is not a corporate view, it’s a personal commitment to not wasting your time.Now, if the argument is about whether you believe we put too much thought into it, before we started talking, I’m fine with that.

  3. David Carver says:

    >McQ, the part about the corporate mentality wasn’t just directed at ‘e4’, but the way it came about and the way it was initially announced had that corporate feel to it. By this I mean, there wasn’t a very visible or visibly promoted way of this being implemented or announced to the community. This is my interpretation of why the community has re-acted as strongly as it has.Eclipse is about being open, about letting people in early on the process and evolving the design together. Unfortunately, the community took this the wrong way. I’ve seen this same thing happen on other eclipse projects, where corporate committers have added something that was important to their tooling, but was given very little notice before the community could way in any thoughts. This is the feeling that I received when I read the initial e4 announcement and project incubator. Plus having the initial committer/contributor pool being entirely lopsided by one organization, just made it seem corporate driven instead of community driven.It’s something that all eclipse projects need to be aware of when bring up any type of changes or introducing any type of new project. Perception is a fickle thing.

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