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Development Resources/HOWTO/Starting A New Project

Before you propose a new project at Eclipse, make sure that you understand the value proposition. Eclipse is more than just a place for hosting code; Eclipse is very much about community, adoption, and eco-system. Projects are expected to take necessary precautions to mitigate the risk to adopters; a company that integrates the code from your Eclipse project, for example, does so with confidence that the code in your project can legally be distributed under the agreed-to terms. The processes that we have in place are designed to support this.

Ensure that you are familiar with the Eclipse Development Process (EDP), Eclipse IP Policy, and IP Due Diligence Process.

The EDP is mostly about community involvement. An Eclipse project is considered successful only if a vibrant community develops around it. While the reviews and processes described by the EDP may seem onerous, they are a necessary part of community development. You should anticipate spending a significant amount of time responding to questions posed in various forums (Eclipse Forums, mailing lists, or even Stack Overflow. You should plan on attending conferences (especially Eclipse Summit Europe and EclipseCon), presenting webinars, writing papers, etc to support your project.

There is tremendous value in the Eclipse IP Policy, but that value comes at a cost. It is important that you understand what is involved. Code provenance tracking is critical (we need to know the source of all code that ends up in our repositories). To that end, all new projects are required to make an initial contribution before any code is committed to an Eclipse source code repository (one implication of this requirement is that we assume that a new project starts from pre-existing code). The Eclipse IP Team will review your initial contribution to ensure that the code can distributed through an property. In effect, we review to code to make sure that it hasn't been copied inappropriately, that licenses are being used correctly, and so forth. As part of this process, the IP Team will research the source of all code; depending on the size of your contribution, this can be a time-consuming process. Furthermore, any third-party libraries required by your code will have to be checked and approved by the IP Team. As an Eclipse project you are expected to maintain an IP Log containing (among other things) information about all contributions and third-party libraries; you are required to submit this log for review and approval as part of the release process.

The Eclipse Foundation holds the trademark for all Eclipse projects. Trademark assignment is undertaken prior to the creation of any new project. If you already have a trademark on your project name, that trademark must be assigned to the Eclipse Foundation.

Here are some other links that should help you with the process:

This should sound like a lot of work. For many projects, the investment is worthwhile.

If you are concerned that the requirements and responsibilities of operation of an Eclipse project are too great, you should consider hosting your project at Eclipse Labs. Note that, should you hope to one day move the project to Eclipse, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with our processes to avoid surprises downstream (e.g. you should consider carefully tracking all contributions to the project).

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