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Lunch with the Eclipse Foundation

I just had a nice lunch with Ian Skerrett and Denis Roy from the Eclipse Foundation here in Ottawa. Ian is the foundation's Director of Marketing and Denis is Eclipse's webmaster.

We talked mostly about blogging and Eclipse. I think the Eclipse Foundation is taking some very positive steps by adopting blogging -- it can only broaden the Eclipse community and enhance Eclipse's value to everyone.

A lot of community involvement can also further separate the Eclipse Foundation from IBM. There's obviously nothing wrong with being associated with Big Blue but I've been reading that many people have the opinion that IBM still has a lot of influence over Eclipse. It seems as though the Eclipse Foundation is trying very hard to distance themselves from IBM for this reason.

Even if IBM's power over Eclipse is not the reality it's a perception that hurts Eclipse. That perception could change if the Eclipse Foundation was seen as a more personable and open organization than a company the size of IBM.

Blogging could open up the Eclipse Foundation and give it a much different feel as an organization and therefor a much different public perception. Other communication tools and further process transparency could have the same effect.

In other very good news: Denis mentioned that search engines like Google can index the newsgroup and mailing list archives, which is fantastic. There's a lot of great content in there -- and now people will be able to find it quickly and easily.

Posted at June 13, 2005 at 01:19 PM EST
Last updated June 13, 2005 at 01:19 PM EST

It was good talking with you, Ryan. You have some good insight on blogging, and on community building as a whole. Thanks.

» Posted by: Denis Roy at June 13, 2005 08:53 PM

It's actually the reality. The Eclipse Foundation (any open source project) is nothing without the contributors/committers and the vast majority of these today are IBM employees who are paid to be so. If IBM reassigned these people the "Eclipse plan" would become a wish list.

» Posted by: Bob Foster at June 13, 2005 09:47 PM

The vast majority? I'd be interested in seeing some real numbers. What percentage of full time Eclipse contributors are IBM employees? What percentage of Eclipse management are IBM employees?

» Posted by: Ryan at June 13, 2005 10:00 PM

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