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Architecture Council/Ask the AC

EclipseCon Entry

This page is for collecting ideas for the "Ask the AC" panel at EclipseCon 2009.

Participants


Andrew Overholt is going to be the Moderator.

Bernd Kolb also said he could join if needed.

Questions to Ask (FAQ type)

About the AC

  • What would happen if the AC went away?
    • A: New projects would lose their mentors, who can help them get acquainted to the Eclipse Ecosystem. Other AC tasks would likely be picked up by other bodies such as the Planning Council or the Committer Reps, but a useful body for information interchange would likely be missing.
  • What power does the AC really have?
    • A: First of all, the power of the high technical reputation that the AC members have in their respective bodies; but also the power that the combined technical expertise of the entire Ecosystem has when interacting with the EMO, the Board or the Projects. We do not, however, have direct power over any budget.
  • How does one avail oneself of the august wisdom that is the AC? (Open a bugzilla?)
    • A: Yes, by filing a bug against the AC via the Architecture Council homepage or by putting the eclipse.org-architecture-council@eclipse.org bugzilla user on CC of an existing bug.
  • Who can do the availing? Is it just the PMC's? Or can a muggle ask questions too?
    • A: Anybody can ask, as long as the AC can handle the bandwidth.
  • What are appropriate AC questions?
    • A: See the list of questions that has been asked before (available from the Architecture Council wiki homepage). Asking for a mentor is the most common question, but questions of process, culture, netiquette, infrastructure, or programming patterns can be asked too - especially if they have a nature spanning multiple or all Eclipse projects.
  • Where can I find the accumulated decisions of the AC?
    • A: On the Architecture Council Wiki, which has links to the list of resolved Bugzilla's, meeting notes and wiki pages.
  • If the AC says something, does that mean it is gospel, or is the AC just advisory?
    • A: Well the gospel position is taken, and the AC cannot physically force anybody to do anything. But given that the most influencial members including Mike Milinkovich are on the AC, the AC can say things with authority that's better not ignored.
  • Who/what is the official mouthpiece of the AC?
    • A: Any delegate that the AC names, in most cases it will be the Chair of the AC (currently Martin Oberhuber).
  • How fast does the AC turn around questions?
    • A: An initial response can be expected within 1-2 work days, an actual resolution of an issue depends on how hard the issue is. Some things can be solved by E-Mail / bugzilla interactions only, while others require agreement in meeting or consulting with other bodies. Most things should be resolved over 2 meetings (i.e. 2 months) at most, so please inquire back on your bug if you don't get a satisfactory answer by then.
  • Who can be on the AC and how do you get there?
    • A: The council considers new members at least once a year using the typical Eclipse nomination process. As well, each Top-Level Project PMC may appoint one member and the Executive Director can appoint members as he/she sees fit. Strategic Consumers as a group are entitled to designate one member. Finally, each Strategic Developer or Strategic Consumer with 8 or more developers working on Eclipse platform projects may appoint one member (unless an employee is already appointed). Simply put do amazing work that propels Eclipse forward over an extended period of time and you will get noticed.
  • What is StAC, and how is its charter different from the AC's?

Mentorship

  • What are the most frequently asked questions to you as a mentor?
    • A: How do other projects (perform builds, organize their bugs, organize their website); what is the standard/expected way of (doing X).
  • What do you see as the key to success getting Community Contributions for your project?
    • A: Caring for bug reports and questions, then asking for contributions and caring for them. Contributions come out of bug reports or questions (assuming that the project is actually being used already).
  • How much time do you have for coding, compared to other tasks?
    • A: Always too little :-)

Development Process

  • What is the most problematic violation of IP policies that you've come across so far, and how do you avoid IP violations in your projects?
    • A: Copy and paste because 3rd party sources are so easily available in Eclipse. Constant reminders for committers.
  • Following the Development Process takes so much time! How do I fulfill the Process with the least effort?
    • A: Make the process your own: the process is there for everybody's good, and having to do some documentation etc pays back in terms of community development. By changing the mind to see the process as your friend rather than foe, you'll find it much less of a burden. Then, look for mentor's advice and tooling where you still find it cumbersome.
  • Why should your average developer care about the development process?
    • A: The Eclipse development process, with its stated goals of being open, transparent and a meritocracy and the associated IP policies, is the cornerstone to the wide adoption of Eclipse within the open source and commercial ecosystems. Without the development process, Eclipse would never have become the standard platform that it is today. Working on something that no one uses or is interested in would really make you a less than average developer.

Eclipse

  • How do you remain informed about what's going on at Eclipse?
    • A: Planet Eclipse and the monthly AC meetings :-)
  • What do you see as the biggest challenge to Eclipse in the next 10 years?
    • A: The burden of backward compatibility for a HUGE ecosystem while having to remain at the forefront of innovation
    • A: Scaling up to more and more integrated technologies while remaining slick
  • What do you see as the biggest chance for Eclipse today?
    • A: As Equinox and the EPL get adopted in other communities, more alignment and integration. The e4 project has large potential as well.
  • Who really shot JFK?