Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of the Eclipse IDE Working Group. A year ago, the Eclipse Foundation launched this Working Group focused on the Eclipse IDE and the Eclipse Simultaneous Release (SimRel). We would like to share some of our successes since the launch of the Working Group in April 2021.
- 20 Years of the Eclipse IDE: 2021 was a momentous year for the Eclipse IDE, as we celebrated its 20 year anniversary!
- Welcome Ed! Ed Merks joined us as a SimRel Architect and Release Engineer. Ed’s first set of tasks included preparing PGP signing support for the 2022-06 release and mapping out the project dependencies.
- Productive collaboration Our collaboration with the Planning Council has been very effective. We have identified the top issues as outlined by the Planning Council and have a plan to address them.
PGP: A Community Success Story
A great community success story for the Eclipse IDE Working Group is the delivery of a fully-functional, secure PGP implementation for Eclipse 4.23 (SimRel 2022-03). This enhancement augments Eclipse’s existing security support which is based on jar signing. Jar signing has the significant drawback that artifacts originating from external dependencies must be modified in order to sign them, i.e., jar signatures are intrinsic to the artifact. In contrast, PGP signatures are extrinsic to the artifact and have long been used in Maven repositories to provide certification of origin. Eclipse’s PGP support facilitates significantly streamlined consumption of Maven-based artifacts by Eclipse projects, making it easier for our community to exploit and deliver the latest and greatest libraries with each quarterly simultaneous release.
The initial proof-of-concept PGP implementation was contributed by Mickael Istria. In combination with Mickael’s on-going participation, along with Christoph Läubrich’s technical insights, the working group has helped to harden the PGP implementation to industrial-strength quality for the SimRel 2022-03 delivery. Even the existing support for jar signing has been improved, as users can now easily save trusted X.509 certificates to avoid repeated trust prompts as is typical with self-signed certificates. Issue 11 provides a detailed track record of all the activities around PGP signing during the 2022-03 release cycle as well as additional background information.
With this groundwork in place, our community as a whole can exploit PGP signing for broader adoption in the Eclipse 4.24 (SimRel 2022-06) delivery this coming June.
Planning Council’s Top 3 Items
The Planning Council plays an important role in the Eclipse IDE WG. The Planning Council can be seen as the “technical” arm of the WG. At the beginning of the first year, under the leadership of Mélanie Bats, the Planning Council was tasked by the Steering Committee to identify the top issues affecting the successful release and adoption of the Eclipse IDE as a platform and a product.
After much brainstorming and debate the Planning Council recommended the “top three” items to the Steering Committee to focus on:
- The “Bus Factor“, particularly of the release engineering processes of the Simultaneous Release (SimRel).
- Identifying individual project risks, for example identifying which projects contributing to the SimRel are under-resourced and understanding which downstream projects are affected.
- Updating the graphical layer Eclipse where it is lagging behind operating system changes, for example improving dark mode, better operating system and web browser integration.
The Steering Committee took these items and translated them to action points that are now being carried out and has allocated a substantial portion of the IDE WG’s budget to improving these common parts of the Eclipse IDE. The highlights of this work include:
- Hiring Ed Merks as the SimRel release engineer.
- Ed has also found time to start mapping out the incredibly complicated dependency graphs between the dozens of different projects contributing to the SimRel to better understand the impact of any particular project discontinuing participation and to fully understand the dependency chain of each bundle in the SimRel repository.
- The Eclipse Foundation has created new guidelines for funding work such as the graphical layer improvements. This is the most recent action point and already some bugs are being fixed under this program.
One year into the Eclipse IDE WG and Jonah Graham is now the chair of the Planning Council. The Planning Council is pleased to see some concrete actions taking place under the new Working Group. The structures and processes in the Working Group have progressed well and additional funding of the IDE WG will see direct improvements in the quality, stability and adoption of the Eclipse IDE.
Engage in the Working Group
We still have much to do! If you are interested in joining us and supporting the development of the Eclipse IDE technology stack, improving the user experience of the platform, and making it more attractive for organisations, let us know. We welcome the opportunity to speak with everyone who wants to help shape the future of the Eclipse IDE.
The resources funded by the IDE Working Group members are really paying dividends for our community, both for the producers and for the consumers. If you’re a consumer, please consider investing in our community’s ongoing success by supporting the Eclipse IDE with funding, contributions, new ideas, new points of view, and by getting directly involved in development efforts. Better funding enables us to achieve more, and more hands make the work lighter.
If you are interested in becoming a Working Group member, you can get in touch with us by completing the membership form or by sending an email to the Membership Coordination Team. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, let us know.
Stay In Touch
We love exchanging ideas, so if you have any questions or would like to know more about what we do here, connect with us! You can also join our meetings to find out more about what we’re up to. They are open to the community and take place every 2 weeks from 2:30pm to 3:30pm (CET) on Tuesdays. Or you can contact a member of the steering committee, we’re always happy to talk to you.