If you follow me on Twitter (@waynebeaton), then you may have noticed that I’ve been doing a reasonably good impression of the Grim Reaper. A lot of Eclipse projects have been terminated over the last couple of weeks. There’s more to come.
Termination of projects is a pretty natural part of the process. Some projects just have a short expected lifespan. Others die for various reasons; the lack of development resources is the real killer. This is one of the reasons why growing the diversity in your project is an important activity: a project resourced by a diverse set of interests can survive the temporary or permanent loss of some developers.
Community involvement in an open source project doesn’t just happen; it needs to be invested in, solicited, cultivated, and maintained.
— Wayne Beaton (@waynebeaton) November 28, 2012
Growing the three communities (users, adopters, and developers/committers) and increasing diversity within your project has to be a priority from the beginning. This is something I really harp on with projects that are just getting started at Eclipse.
But why now? Why are the terminations happening now?
It’s no coincidence that these terminations are happening in the days leading up to December 21/2012.
With the end of days approaching quickly, projects are scrambling to make things right. Most of the terminated (and terminating) projects use CVS, and the deadline for CVS shutdown at Eclipse is December 21/2012. Those projects that are unwilling or unable to dedicate resources are facing reality and are just shutting down.
It’s always sad to see a project terminate, but it’s a natural part of the process.