This is the proposed Report for the TmL project, to be presented to the Eclipse Board on September 17, 2008.
Review of project scope and charter
(a description of where within the defined scope work is actually taking place. The PMC should also provide some guidance as to whether the scope and charter documents should be revised. Things may have changed since the charter was approved by the Board.)
The Tools for mobile Linux (TmL) project was initialized chartered in January 2007 with a goal of providing tools to the mobile devices industry that are not already covered by CDT or other DSDP projects.
TmL is implemented in pure Java, and supports all common Host development platforms, Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
A high-level review of technical progress, strategy and release plans.
TmL is currently in the incubation phase and does not yet have a traditional release cycle. Plans are underway to create a 0.1 release in Q4 2008. For the upcoming year, TmL plans to release 0.1.1 and 0.1.2 updates to coincide with the Eclipse Ganymede updates of 3.4.1 and 3.4.2. The plan is to also have TmL 0.2 shipping with the Eclipse Galileo 3.5. The long-term goal is to have TmL out of incubation during the June 2010 release.
The TmL project is divided into two main components: Device Framework and VNC Viewer. Device Framework is responsible for supporting emulators, devices and VNC Viewer is the libraries and plugins responsible for providing VNC connectivity to a remote host. These components are largely complete with only bug fixes and some minor architectural reworking going on.
For the 0.2 release, several new components will be added. The TmL engineering team has created a framework for communicating with the /proc file system on the remote target to retrieve diagnostic data. They will release this framework along with several reference implementations of /proc file viewers. They are also working to define a device proxy to send data from real devices like GPS, orientation sensors, and FM radio to the emulator as if they were embedded devices.
Currently, three engineers at Eldorado are permanently assigned to the project (Fabio Fantado, Otavio Ferranti, and Daniel Franco). Eric Cloninger from Motorola is the lead for the project. Christian Kurzke was previously the lead for this project and still operates as the architectural advisor.
Self-assessment of the performance of the project
under the following headings (inspired by the Three Communities section of the Development Process):
Performance as an Eclipse open source project
After the "project reboot" in Q1/08, MTJ was mainly driven by Motorola, and the principal developer behind EclipseME, Craig Setera. With the support and engagement of Craig, we have created a very open and thriving Eclipse project.
Since then we have received positive feedback and involvement from other Eclipse developers and have attracted more contributors from Sybase.
TmL is open to external observers and participants.
The TmL project leadership and engineering teams participate in bi-weekly conference calls. The calls are documented in advance on the TmL wiki page, which is linked from the TmL project page. Email reminders of the meeting are sent on the Friday in advance to the previous attendees and the agenda is posted at that time as well. Once the agenda is completed, anyone is free to suggest new business.
All discussions relating to the architecture and execution of the TmL project are to be done via the dsdp-tml-dev mailing list. This is an area we are striving to improve, as we have occasionally done our business using direct emails in the past. As we are moving toward our first release, this is a process we have eliminated.
All our work is documented using the standard Eclipse tools, Bugzilla, IP Zilla, and SVN/CVS commit logs.
We evaluate feature proposals on technical merit, and all participants on the TmL committer team have equal voice in the discussions.
Currently, the committer membership is made up of the three Eldorado employees currently assigned to the project and the project lead from Motorola. Two new committers have been added in CY 2008, based on direct and noticeable quality contributions to the project. Another election from outside Eldorado/Motorola is planned for the period following the 0.1 release based on contributions made over the last few months.
The project is primarily driven by Motorola and its needs for their MOTODEV Studio products. Given the popularity of Linux as an embedded development target, there is interest in the project from other companies. Montavista has had several engineers make contributions to the project and the intent is to raise one of these engineers to committer status on the project once the 0.1 release is completed.
There is also interest from companies like Palm Inc, Access (PalmSource), Symbian, and GreenSocs (Eclipse VPP Project).
Compliance with the Purposes (e.g. are they successfully “..supplying frameworks and exemplary, extensible tools..”?)
TmL is still in incubation, so there is not much variance from the original charter. TmL is currently expanding beyond the original definition of "creating an emulator framework" to "creating tools for mobile Linux development".
End user community and adoption.
There is interest in this project. Christian Kurzke and Eric Cloninger gave a 1 hour talk at Linux World in August 2008 to about 30 audience members and had several follow-up conversations with developers from several companies. We’ve had on-site discussions with developers from Access, Palm Inc, and Montavista during 2008 to drive adoption of the project and build a community.
At present, there have been sseveral dozen downloads of the TmL JAR files. However, since TmL has not been on the nightly build process, we do not have good download statistics available. We are in the process of getting all the source code transitioned to SVN and then we will begin the nightly build process and make a first stable release. Once that is over, we will begin to have better download numbers and statistics.
Commercial community and adoption. E.g. is the technology from the project showing up in products.
TmL is being used in 2 separate Motorola products—-MOTODEV Studio for WebUI and MOTODEV Studio for Linux. These products shipped as previews in June 2008 and July 2008 respectively. Montavista is planning to use TmL components in their DevRocket product with an unknown future ship date.
Compliance with the Roadmap
We are currently very well aligned and have a road map to take the project through August 2009.
- Establish a mentorship process for new project leads. Doug Gaff has taken on this role for me because we have a prior working relationship. Were I not so fortunate in this regard, I would not be able to make the progress that I have made. Perhaps have periodic “1-day project lead boot camps”. The content would go beyond just the tools available, but the processes involved, with state diagrams.
- We need quicker turnaround on the CQ process.