Eclipse Foundation has much to lose in the Hudson saga

Oracle's transfer of Hudson to the Eclipse Foundation could lead to Eclipse holding the bag on a struggling project

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Eclipse at risk of becoming a graveyard for abandoned open source projects

Like most, I'm a big fan of the Eclipse Foundation -- and not simply because marketing direcor Ian Skerrett and excecutve director Mike Milinkovich are fellow Canadians. However, I fear that Eclipse is at risk of becoming a home for projects whose owners are looking to gracefully reduce their investments while gaining open source kudos along the way.

Rewind to November 2009 when Oracle and SpringSource jointly announced the Gemini project proposal. Gemini was based on SpringSource's DM Server technology. Two short months later SpringSource announced the Virgo project proposal to contribute SpringSource's DM Server to Eclipse. Although SpringSource had been a big proponent of OSGi, OSGi and DM Server became less of a priority for SpringSource after it was acquired by EMC VMware.

SpringSource tried to play up the potential for increased community contributions to the Gemini project. However, VMware/SpringSource killed off its DM Server product as a result of contributing the project to the Eclipse Foundation. The lack of a product and revenue linked to the Eclipse project should have been a warning sign.

In the same vein, OSGi support is offered by WebSphere, GlassFish, and JBoss, and it continues to gain developer attention a year and a half later. At the same time, the Eclipse Gemini project is stuck in neutral.

Does Oracle or -- more important -- the Eclipse Foundation truly expect a better fate for Hudson? Oracle doesn't have a viable business associated with Hudson. This makes any future investment decisions regarding the project at Eclipse tenuous at best. Cue the graceful exit music.

While I agree with the "if you're going to kill it, open-source it" argument, I simply don't think that the Eclipse Foundation needs -- or should want -- to be the destination of choice for these types of kill projects.

I hope I'm wrong about the fate of Hudson at the Eclipse Foundation. The foundation itself is too important to open source projects to become, or even be viewed as, anything but a leading destination for new and exciting projects.

Follow me on Twitter at SavioRodrigues. I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

This article, "Eclipse Foundation has much to lose in the Hudson saga," was originally published at Read more of Savio Rodrigues's Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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