This page captures frequently asked questions related to the Location Working Group at Eclipse.
Q: What is the Location Working Group?
A: The group is a partnership between organizations (and individuals) that have a strong interest in Location technology.
Q: What is Location technology?
A: The group intends this definition to be broad. 4 main focus areas are key at the time of writing this:
- Desktop, Mobile, and Web mapping
- Data capture, exchange, and processing. esp. for very large data sets and real-time demands
- Aggregating and relating data from diverse sources
- Model based design
Q: What does the group do exactly?
A: The group collaborates to:
- Produce re-usable software components,
- Foster exchanges between organizations such as industrial partners, academia, community, and consumers
- Ensure a sustainable commercial ecosystem exists around the software components
- Organize events, and jointly market and promote the group, and software
Q: Will it be called "Eclipse" or "Location Working Group" or "Location Industry Working Group"
A: While it will use Eclipse Foundation staff and infrastructure, it will not be called Eclipse or use the Eclipse namespace. We'll select a good name. Then we'll create an outstanding logo and work on developing a brand people recognize and trust.
Q: Is this just Java code?
Q: Is there requirement to pull in/use Eclipse components?
A: No. In fact, many of the early projects involved here will be stand alone libraries.
Q: Will _________ be involved with the Location working group?
e.g. OpenStreetMap, OGC, CompanyX, etc.
A: Some already are. There are 24 organizations involved as of writing this. Many the most influential companies in the industry. This will likely grow quickly as a dozen more firms are inquiring currently. All are invited. Once the group launches formally, a list of members will be publicly available.
The group's governance allows the Steering Committee to invite influential non-profit organizations to participate without dues.
The group intends to have a symbiotic relationship with OSGeo. OSGeo has been asked to participate and will respond. A good write up of the discussion is available here.
Q: Why would a project want to host here?
A: There's a number of potential reasons. Here are just a few:
- Stability & growth. Eclipse has a wide and growing member & project base.
- Potentially more contributors & users. Nothing guarantees this of course, but the governance model, IP policy, license, marketing, and membership base do help.
- Infrastructure. The infrastructure at Eclipse (git, gerrit, hudson, bugzilla, asterisk, mediawiki, etc.) is maintained by a professional and responsive staff.
- Business development. Eclipse is one of the most business-friendly open source communities and has multiple full time staff members dedicated to business development.
- Community. It is easy to forget that Eclipse has a massive user base involving countless millions of users around the globe. Chances are your project has something interesting for some of these people.
- Re-use. Enterprise. Eclipse is ubiquitous and particularly in Enterprises. The trust of Eclipse processes, licensing, IP policies, and so forth should help grow the base for Location technologies.
- Strategic investment. Organizations will spend marketing dollars to reach an audience. This is good but may fluctuate. It is a whole different level of investment when an organization depends upon open source components to deliver its products and services. This is core to how the organization does business.
Q: Will this group sponsor my project, event, research, book, trip, etc.?
A: The group will decide on opportunities of value to them. The Steering Committee for the group decides on funding based on available budget.
Q: What is the difference between Eclipse and OSGeo for example?
A: Eclipse is different from OSGeo in a few significant ways.
- The Eclipse Foundation provides five services to the Eclipse community. Full-time staff are associated with each of these areas. Volunteers at OSGeo provide IT infrastructure only.
- IT Infrastructure
- IP Management
- Development Process
- Ecosystem/Business Development
- Conference planning
- Eclipse has a business model funded by membership dues that supports a professional staff of 15. OSGeo is volunteer driven exclusively.
- Eclipse is designed to encourage organizations producing products and services based on technology. When technology from the open source projects is integral to their business, organizations have motivation to invest strategically in the projects as part of doing business.
- Eclipse has a long history of producing a simultaneous release of technology each year on time... 9 years running. This year's simultaneous release will include 72+ projects. At OSGeo, there is no simultaneous release. Perhaps the closest thing is the OSGeo Live images.
- The Eclipse Public License (EPL) is the default OSI approved license used at Eclipse. It is designed to be friendly to businesses while balancing the interests of the project. If you modify EPL code and re-distribute, you are compelled to give the changes back. If you build a product or service on top of EPL code but do not modify it, your finished product can be licensed under a commercial license.
- Eclipse is incorporated as a 501c6 not-for-profit. OSGeo has not yet successfully completed 501c3 incorporation and has been operating since 2006 under the assumption it will.
- Eclipse is quite a bit bigger. There are 187 member companies, many of them leaders in the software and technology industry, involved with it, and 265 projects. OSGeo has 11 sponsors and 22 projects.
- OSGeo has a much bigger following/community in Geospatial technology as of writing this. Eclipse is just getting started with Location as part of this initiative.
Q: I'd like to host my project here, but it is MIT or BSD license
A: As stated above, the EPL is the preferred and highly recommended license. We do have permission from the Eclipse Foundation board to host projects that are licensed under the MIT & BSD licenses.
Q: I'd like to host my project here, but it is LGPL license
A: Sorry, we cannot host LGPL projects. In the case of projects using LGPL components, we can re-distribute the binaries for certain components. For example, we have permission to re-distribute Geotools, JTS, and GEOS.
Q: I'd like to host my project here, but it is GPL or AGPL license
A: Sorry, this isn't the forge you're looking for. We cannot host projects under the GPL or AGPL licenses. Our members feel these licenses are not friendly to business.
Q: Can an OSGeo project also be an Eclipse Location group project?
A: We think this should be able to work. We'll update this entry when we know for certain. Eclipse project requirements are more stringent than OSGeo's. So long as a project follows the Eclipse Development and IP policies, this should work. Whether a project would want to do this is up to them.
Q: When will the group launch?
A: It is expected the group will launch in Q3/2012.
Q: Does this cost anything? / What are the dues?
A: Please see our (draft) Charter. The dues for the membership levels are set by the Steering Committee (which is made up of members).
Q: Is this just for big companies? As a small or medium sized company, won't my voice be drowned out?
A: There are two levels so that firms who wish to participate more actively and have more influence can do so. As per the (draft) Charter, fees for all participation levels are a sliding scale based on revenue.
Q: Will committers in the location group be eligable to participate in committer representative elections for the Eclipse Foundation board?
A: Yes. They are full-fledged committer members of the Eclipse Foundation, in addition to their involvement in the location working group.
Q: Will solutions members in the location group be eligable to participate in Solution member representative elections to the Eclipse Foundation board?
A: Yes. They are full-fledged Solutions members of the Eclipse Foundation, in addition to their involvement in the location working group.