Today we are announcing that the Eclipse Foundation is transitioning itself to become a European-based organization, specifically a Belgian international nonprofit association. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our plans for the transition and what the announcement means to our community.
Let’s begin with some context. The first quarter of 2020 was the most successful in our organization’s history, as measured by the addition of 40 new member companies, five new working groups, and 11 new project proposals. Over the last few years, our community has expanded to create new projects in technology areas such as cloud and edge applications, IoT, artificial intelligence, digital ledger technologies, open processor designs, and many others. Combined with our roots in Java, tooling and rich client platforms, and modeling, this has made Eclipse Foundation the home of an incredibly diverse range of exciting, commercially-focused open source technologies.
Our goal is to continue this growth and diversification, and to continue to establish the Eclipse Foundation as an institution enabling global open collaboration and innovation. We believe that this strategy makes the Foundation, and by extension your investments in our open source projects, more secure and sustainable.
We believe this “move to Europe” is the most effective way for us to achieve this goal. The reason is straightforward – while we support a diverse, international ecosystem, most of our growth has already been happening in Europe. With 170 of our member organizations and more than 900 of our committers based in Europe, the Eclipse Foundation is, by those measures and others, already the largest open source organization in Europe.
Which brings me to today’s announcement. By creating the Eclipse Foundation AISBL, an international non-profit association based in Brussels, we are furthering our vision of the Eclipse Foundation as a global institution that builds on our existing membership base, active developer community, and strong institutional relationships to enable the free flow of open software innovation. We believe that our transition to Europe will help to advance toward this goal, for the benefit of industries and developer communities worldwide.
Here are the highlights of our action plan:
- We expect to create the Belgian international non-profit association by July 2020.
- In parallel, we will establish a modern open source project development forge based on GitLab and physically hosted in Europe. We expect the forge to be operational this summer. This will provide our projects and committers a third option for their development forge.
- The Eclipse and Eclipse Foundation names, trademarks, and brands will be controlled by the new Belgian entity, as will the core policies such as antitrust and intellectual property. Going forward our membership dues will be stated in euros.
- The Eclipse Foundation, while currently a USA incorporated not-for-profit organization, already manages its operations split between Canada and Europe, so there will be minimal to no impact to the Foundation’s operations.
So, what does this move mean for our members? For our corporate members, there is no immediate change. Our projects and working groups will continue operating exactly as they are. Once we have the Belgian entity up and operating, we will reach out to you with more details, but do expect your engagement with the Foundation to remain largely unchanged.
To our Committer members, as well as our project committers and contributors, the message is two-fold. First, thank you for your commitment and participation. Second, keep doing what you’re doing. In the near-term, it will be “business as usual” for committers and contributors of Eclipse projects. In the medium term, we are standing up a new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe that will be available as a choice for any projects that would like to use it.
And, critically important as it is the main driver for the move, as we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new opportunities for our global community members to participate in innovative new open source projects.
Read the full text of the announcement here. Additional resources and information on the Eclipse Foundation’s plans and how interested parties can get involved at eclipse.org/europe. Resources include:
- Frequently asked questions
- A white paper elaborating on the Eclipse Foundation’s role at the center of European open source innovation: Enabling Digital Transformation in Europe Through Global Open Source Collaboration
- A helpful presentation about the Eclipse Foundation AISBL
I hope that this has helped clarify our motivations and the way forward for the next exciting phase of our community’s expansion. More details will follow over the coming weeks as we quickly execute on these plans, but if you have questions in the interim, feel free to reach out to me, or to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to this exciting next chapter together – thank you for your continued support!