It’s Time to Revise the Eclipse Development Process: 2015 Edition


Every couple of years, I work with the Eclipse Architecture Council to revise the Eclipse Development Process (EDP). The EDP is the document that describes the structure of projects, relationships between projects and committers, and the sorts of activities that projects are expected to engage in.

After many years and many revisions, it’s past time for a complete (or near complete) rewrite. That’s an exhausting thought, frankly, but it’s my hope that we’ll be able to do just that.

I’ve started gathering ideas for how the EDP can change on Bug 463857; this is an umbrella bug to collect the issues that need to be addressed. I’ve already added a few blocker bugs for some issues that I feel need to be addressed. Feel free to add your comments and other blockers as you see fit. Please do join in the discussion.

The first thing on my list is release reviews. Originally, a release review was an event: a conference call on which the project was required to defend their release to the community (or at least that subset of the community that joined the call). In those days, review materials needed to be prepared and disseminated a week in advance of the call to allow the community to prepare. But as community participation dropped, so to was the conference call and we turned the week of review material availability into the review itself.

I’m not at all convinced that there’s much value in the formal week of waiting to release. The community rarely–if ever–comments on release review documentation and since we set reviews up to succeed, they never fail. Further, I’m of the mind that anybody who is interested in an open source project is either already following the progress of the project or should be. If you’re waiting for the release review to be notified that something new is coming from your favourite open source project, it may be time to consider getting more directly involved with project discussion.

For releases, I’m thinking:

  • Get IP Team approval of the IP Log;
  • Get Project Management Committee (PMC) Approval of the release; and
  • Ship it.

Documentation requirements are the PMC’s call. Personally, I think that it’s totally reasonable to require that projects produce at least a single paragraph that describes the nature of the release in broad terms. And planning needs to happen in some form: either as a formal plan or more informally via target milestones on Bugzilla records.

Add your thoughts on Bug 415620.

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Eclipse Mars New and Noteworthy: Java 9 Beta

Java™ 9 support has not yet landed in our standard download packages. But you can add an early access preview to your existing Eclipse Mars install.

The Eclipse Java™ 9 Support (BETA) contains the following:

  • ability to add JRE and JDK 9 as installed JRE;
  • support for JavaSE-1.9 execution environment; and
  • ability to create Java and Plug-in projects that use a JRE or JDK 9.

At the moment Eclipse must be run with Java™ 9 if you want to use Java™ 9 in your workspace. You can download from

This is an implementation of an early-draft specification developed under the Java Community Process (JCP) and is made available for testing and evaluation purposes only. The code is not compatible with any specification of the JCP.

Install the Java 9 Beta via the Eclipse Marketplace:

Drag to your running Eclipse workspace to install Eclipse Java™ 9 Support (BETA) for Mars

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Eclipse Mars New and Noteworthy: Perspective Customization

The Customize Perspective dialog is back! Use this dialog to configure the visible menu, toolbar, action sets and shortcuts in your workbench.

Customize Perspective

This functionality was broken in Eclipse 4.2, together with the the ability to reset the perspective.

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Eclipse Mars New and Noteworthy: Automatic Updates by Default

With Eclipse Mars, the automatic updates option is turned on by default. With this, Eclipse will periodically check with our servers to see if there are any updates available and give users the option to download and install them.

Automatic Updates

Use the “Automatic Updates” preferences page to further tune the update behaviour.

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Eclipse Mars New and Noteworthy: Tools for Apache Cordova

Develop, run, and test Apache Cordova applications for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Drag to your running Eclipse workspace to install Eclipse Thym

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Eclipse Mars New and Noteworthy: New Java Quick Fixes

Eclipse Mars includes new Quick Assists (Ctrl+1) for Java developers.

Add and remove the parentheses around lambda parameter:

Explicitly add the inferred types of the parameters in a lambda expression:

Convert from method reference to lambda expression:

Or from lambda expression to method reference:

The full set of Eclipse Project new and noteworthy, grouped by milestone is available here.

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Screenshot of the Week: Error Reporter

The Error Reporter orovides valuable information to project teams that might otherwise not be captured.

The Error Reporter itself has morphed over time to provide a very slick user experience that stays out of your way, inconspicuously opening a tray notification in the lower right hand corner of the screen that is equally easy to use to report an error or just ignore and keep on with what you’re doing.


If you do decide to click “Send” to report the error, you’re given a chance to provide a little more information (e.g. what you were doing at the time).


You don’t need to create an account, or provide any identifying information at all (though, it’s helpful if you do in case the developers need your input in diagnosing the problem). Settings let you decide whether or not you want obfuscate any potentially personal information that might appear in a stack trace (e.g. your company name might be in a package name, or the error message).

If you choose to do so, you can visit your error report to check up on its status (a link is provided after you submit the report).

ErrorReporter3I received email notification today that one of the bugs that I reported against Thym (which provides Cordova tools) was accepted by the development team and is being investigated.

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