Today it was announced that SugarCRM has joined the Eclipse Software Foundation as an Add-in member. I've been monitoring the Eclipse Software Foundation (ESF) for quite a while now and I have come to the understanding that I have absolutely no understanding of what it means to be an Add-in member. The logical rebuttal to that would be, "Of course you don't, you've never been one before." But what I am saying is that I don't understand how a foundation that is built on the principles of open community based exchange does not stress those same values within its relationship with its members.
Personally, I think the ESF should be more transparent in general. How about a list of participating parties and a list of the tools they have contributed to the FOSS Community, if this exists somewhere shouldn't it be a link off the eclipse.org site? I'd like to see into the processes of Eclipse not because I want to pry but because I think it will provide members of the ESF one more reason to give more back to the community. What I'm not saying is that none of the members are giving back but that there still remains more to be done. What I am saying is that Eclipse is nothing without the users, the volunteer developers and the other supporting members of the ecosystem.
IBM could partner with as many vendors as it wanted and create an outright great piece of software but without community what is there. If volunteers are giving of their free time and energy and Add-in members are able to come in and capitalize on that work by generating press and gaining credibility through association with the ESF, that same community should be given the opportunity to get a more transparent look at ESF. Granted, I'm not calling anyone a liar nor am I saying that Eclipse is by any means wrong. I am simply saying that perhaps a more open look at ESF can be passed to the community by IBM and the other members of the ESF ecosystem.
I also fully understand that IBM plays a huge role in donating software engineers to the team Eclipse and I'm not asking them to hand over the reigns for driving Eclipse I would just like to see them adopt a more transparent methods that are more inclusive of different community methods and people. And as usual if any of the 3.57 persons who read this blog everyday know more about this subject feel free to contact me anytime. I'm just throwing some things out there...