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Development Resources/HOWTO/Pre-Proposal Phase

See "6.2.1 Pre-Proposal Phase" in the Eclipse Development Process

An individual or group of individuals declares their interest in, and rationale for, establishing a project. The EMO will assist such groups in the preparation of a project Proposal.

  • The Pre-proposal phase ends when the Proposal is published by EMO and announced to the membership by the EMO.

Project or Contribution?

One of the major purposes of the Eclipse Development Process (EDP) is to ensure that the projects are open and transparent to the membership and ecosystem. Another major purpose is for the Councils to minimize duplication across the projects, i.e., we strive to have one official Eclipse framework for each technical area. Thus, as the first step in a new proposal, we ask four questions:

  1. Is there already a Project at Eclipse working the same technical area (i.e., a Project whose scope includes this area)?
  2. If so, would this proposal be more suited as a contribution to that project or a new sub-project of that existing project?
    • Note that an overlap between projects is not prohibited but is strongly discouraged. The Eclipse membership has indicated that they are ok with multiple incubating projects in a given technical area, but would prefer a single project once the frameworks mature.
    • In all "competing project" situations to date, the projects eventually realized that it would be in their best interest to work together and thus merged their projects before graduating.
  3. Is this new effort going to be managed as part of an existing project or is it going to be a separate entity?
    • Here we examine the interaction of the project leads and the synchronization (or lack thereof) of release schedules. For example, if the new effort is always going to release at the same time as another project and the leads of the new effort and the other project are regularly coordinating development plans, then perhaps this new effort is a component of the other project. Otherwise, if the new effort is more independent (in management and in release schedule), then perhaps it should be a separate project.
  4. Is this new effort within the scope of the (optionally) enclosing parent Project and charter of the enclosing Top-Level Project? For example, a new "syntax highlighting editor for Pascal" would not be in scope of the "Web Standard Tools" project.

The new effort must be in scope with respect to its enclosing Project(s).

Project Name

Naming and branding are challenging issues. In order to provide a consistent brand for Eclipse, projects must follow the project naming guidelines which effectively say:

  1. The best names are descriptive but at the same time memorable.
  2. The project name does not include "Eclipse" or "Project".
  3. The project name is not the name of an existing product and will not be used in the name of a product.

Clear, Concise and Understandable Proposal

Create the proposal here.

We provide an online template that you fill in with the proposal details.


  • Use plain non-technical English.
  • Describe all acronyms.
  • Provide urls where appropriate to direct reader for further information.


  • Eclipse projects involve substantial on-going development activity. Thus proposals should be convincing about the resources that are being brought to the project in addition to any initial code contribution.

The proposal should include a list of interested and committed persons and companies and their affiliations, but should not include corporate or group logos.

  • Eclipse is place for vendor neutral projects which includes being operating system agnostic. If, as is usually the case, the proposal is coming from a single company, the proposal should explain how the resulting

project will be vendor neutral. Similarly, the proposal should explain away any operating system dependencies.

Proposals to Review for Guidance

Sections To Fill In

Please fill in the following sections. Headings follow the listing in the online proposal system.

Basic section

  • Provide a project name.
  • Click "I know what I'm getting into" checkbox.

Discussion section


  • Describe where the project came from. What is the historical journey of the project; who/what company wrote the project. Did it go through any significant alterations/rewrites/language changes?


Provide an introductory paragraph describing what the project aims to be followed by several bullet points. The scope should allow for some flexibility, but still provide well-defined boundaries for the project.

  • What is in-scope?
  • What is out-of-scope?


The introductory paragraph should clearly explain what the is and does. Think of this as an expanded elevator pitch.

  • Use plain English.
  • Include graphics/tables if they help with clarity.
  • Focus on the technical aspects of the project.
  • Is there any collaboration/usage by/with other Eclipse projects?
  • Does it build on top of other projects? What are the dependencies? Does it overlap with existing projects? Why are the needs this project meets are not met by existing Eclipse projects?

Why Here

  • Why does this project want to host at Eclipse?
  • What do you expect to gain by having your project at Eclipse?
  • What value does the project provide to the Eclipse community and ecosystem?


  • Check the licenses that apply to the project.
  • Under what license(s) will the project's artifacts be distributed? If you're not sure, contact the Eclipse Management Organization (EMO) for assistance.
  • If the initial contribution is currently distributed under a different license, please make note of the current licensing terms in the "Legal Issues" section.

Legal Issues

  • Please describe any legal issues around the project and/or code.
  • List the current licenses of the main code.
  • List the 3rd party dependencies and associated licenses.

Initial Contribution

  • Where is the code coming from? Current Eclipse project/GitHub repository or other.

Future Work

  • How is the project going to grow its community (users/adopters/committers)?
    • Run events, attend conferences, write great documentation etc
  • What are the major items to be developed?
    • Couple of bullet points of major items.

Source Code Section

Repository Source Type

  • Select the type of source code repository the project will use as its primary host.

Source Repositories

  • If you have existing publicly-accessible (ie. GitHub) source repositories for this project, list the URLs for them here.


  • A project needs a project lead and at least one committer.
    • These can change down the road.

Initial Committers

  • Need to already have committer status at Eclipse.
    • If not, then they will not show up when searched for.


  • These are folks who will be working on the project but are not currently Eclipse committers.
    • List all involved here; if not once project is created it will require an election to add additional committers (not difficult).


We will request members from the Architecture Council to fill these.

  • Mentors are members of the Eclipse Architecture Council. For help, please see Mentorship.
  • New projects (i.e., incubating projects) require the supervision of at least two Mentors.
  • Proposal can be opened for community review without mentors.
  • Mentors must be present before we can schedule the Creation Review without mentors.
    • We seek mentors on behalf of projects.

Interested Parties

  • Who is interested in this project? This could be individuals or companies.

Refining Proposal

The EMO will review the proposal. Please expect a series of back and forth emails to clarify and improve the proposal. This can take time, so please be patient.

Posting and Declaration

Once the proposal is ready, the following steps occur:

  • The EMO modifies the proposal text to include the correct internal Foundation database record identifier.
  • The proposal can only accessed by a limited number of people with permission to view and edit.
  • The EMO will send a short email message to the Eclipse membership-at-large stating that X is proposing project Y at Eclipse.
    • The EMO requires positive approval from at least three people before publicly posting the proposal and sending the declaration.

All three people (or their appointed delegates) must reply that they are ok (+1) with the hidden-url proposal and the declaration before the proposal will be made public:

    • The proposer, speaking for all the people and companies involved
    • The Eclipse Foundation's Director of Committer Community
    • The Eclipse Foundation's Executive Director

Once approval is given:

  • The proposal will be made public for community review.
  • We will create a new proposal topic at eclipse forums.
  • Post on various social media.

Press and Publicity

  • Please let us know how you would like this handled.
  • If you would like to issue a press release, the Eclipse Foundation Marketing Director can help coordinate. Please email the EMO.

Legal Paperwork

It's important to review the Legal components of being an Eclipse project.

It is important to start the various Committer Agreements with your company's legal department.

  • The project cannot be provisioned (source code repository, bug repository, website, etc.) without completed legal paperwork.

Start gathering the required documentation for the initial code Contribution Questionnaire (CQ). The important information includes:

  • Documentation of code ownership and the right of the proposer to contribute the code under the EPL.
  • Licenses, source code, and provenance of all third-party (non-EPL) code included or referenced in or by the EPL'ed initial code.
  • And by all, we mean ALL the code: many third-party libraries include other third party libraries and those include others and so on and so on.

Next Steps

  • Proposal are posted for a minimum of two weeks for the community to review.
    • Please monitor the communication channel for the proposal (community can comment at bottom of the proposal and at Eclipse Forums/Proposals
    • You can update the proposal at any time during the community review.

The EMO will schedule a creation review once the project has met the following conditions:

  • Minimum of two weeks for community review have passed.
  • Successful trademark review completed.
  • Two mentors for project.

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