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Membership Value Programs for 2010

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 15:28 by Mike Milinkovich

Monday I blogged about some of the program plans we have for 2010 that are targeted at our project and committer community. Today, let’s turn to some of the things that we have in store for our members and the commercial ecosystem around Eclipse. Not all of these are new, but in each case there is significant value to the community, and there are at least a few new twists that we have planned for 2010.

  • Events: First of all, we are going to be continuing with the program items which have been very successful for the community the past couple of years. Amongst the most successful are the event programs that deliver the Eclipse Days and the Democamps. You may not be aware of this, but each of these events is sponsored in part by the Eclipse Foundation, in conjunction with one or more member companies. They have been enormously successful for bringing the community together, and in delivering value to members. For next year we are planning Democamp programs that line up with the Helios and e4 releases. And we hope to work with the members to bring even more topical Eclipse Days to your locale.
  • Conferences: EclipseCon and Eclipse Summit Europe are significant events in the annual calendars of the ecosystem. Although the content is very technical, a great deal of the talks are relevant to Eclipse users and adopters. The exhibit halls are also a great place for companies to show the cool products that they’ve been building with Eclipse. Running these conferences is a huge amount of work for a small organization such as the Eclipse Foundation, but they do great things for the ecosystem.
  • Eclipse Marketplace: As Ian blogged about yesterday, this week saw the launch of our new “Eclipse Marketplace”. This is a completely new replacement for the venerable Eclipse Plug-in Central (EPIC) website that has served the community well for so many years. Marketplace is a new code base with more features and more flexibility. (As an aside, I would like to recognize the great work that Genuitec, Instantiations and EclipseSource (formerly Innoopract) did in creating EPIC, and then helping us with transitioning its hosting to the Eclipse Foundation.) In 2010 we are going to be looking to expand Marketplace’s visibility in a couple of interesting ways:
    • We are going to be creating a Marketplace client that will ship with the Helios packages. The hope is that by making it easy to get plug-ins directly from within the IDE that will be able to drive more traffic to the commercial and open source plug-ins which make up the Eclipse ecosystem. Please comment on the bug where we are gathering requirements.
    • We are going to be working to make it easier for users and adopters to find products and services which are based on particular Eclipse projects. Using the data that we will have in Marketplace you will, for example, be able to find the companies that offer services for a particular Eclipse project.

    By the way, if you just read the above and are thinking “that’s lame, where’s the Eclipse AppStore?” you are not alone. We looked long and hard at doing an appstore in 2010 but in the end decided that we just did not have the resources. It turns out that while building the infrastructure for a commercial appstore may be tractable for an organization as small as the Eclipse Foundation, dealing with the legal and tax issues of selling in countries around the world is not. We will be re-evaluating this decision again next year.

  • Ship Helios and e4: Many readers may be surprised to see this topic listed under the program value for the commercial membership. After all, aren’t these Eclipse open source projects? They are indeed. But in terms of the value that the Eclipse Foundation brings to its commercial membership, these major new releases represent a lot of marketing, IT and IP value add from the Foundation staff. The annual release train brings enormous value to the commercial ecosystem because it provides them with a stable, predictable and IP reviewed platform each year upon which products can be built. The release train has been enormously beneficial to the commercial ecosystem. Obviously, most of the work is done by the project community. But it also represents the single largest work item on our annual calendar at the Eclipse Foundation.

So those are a few areas that the Foundation staff will be working on next year. I hope you agree that it looks like a busy and productive year coming up in 2010.