Service Releases of Third Party Content in the Eclipse IP Due Diligence Process

Some time ago, the Eclipse Foundation’s Board of Directors passed the following resolution.

RESOLVED, that previously approved dependencies of Eclipse projects can be
reviewed and approved by the EMO as follows:
a) Service releases (e.g. x.y., bug fixes, security fixes) will require no review.
b) Minor revisions (e.g. x..) will require a reduced review by the EMO.
c) Major revisions (e.g. ..) will require a full review by the EMO.

At the time the resolution was passed, it was decided that project teams would still be required to register the use of service releases for third party content with the Eclipse Intellectual Property (IP) team (i.e. create a Contribution Questionnaire); it was decided that the resolution really only impacted how the IP Team would process the content: at least in theory, the IP Team would rubber stamp requests for service releases. I say in theory, because the IP Team would still eyeball these requests and sometimes invest some modest effort to ensure that significant new IP hadn’t been introduced.

We’ve reconsidered this position.

Project teams are not required to engage with the Eclipse IP Team to review service releases for third party content, provided that the service release is based on a previously-approved release. This assumes that the providers of the third party content regard service releases in the manner described by Semantic Versioning (i.e. a patch of backwards-compatible bug fixes) and that the service release does not include significant new IP.  Of course, if a project team isn’t sure, they can always just submit the content for review anyway.

We envision a scenario where project teams will take advantage of this for milestone builds, but then get full approval for final versions of their third party content. This isn’t required, but it is an option that’s available for project teams that feel that it’s necessary.

For major and minor releases, the manner in which the the project team interacts with the Eclipse IP Team does not change. Note that it is implied that the reduced review for minor releases follows an approved full review for a corresponding major release and that any service release follows an approved major or minor release.

For more information, to add your thoughts and concerns, or to track our progress with regard to updating our documentation, add yourself in copy to Bug 512465.