Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ignorantia iuris nocet

I recall Platform switch to 4.2 nearly a year ago, followed by appropriate discussion in the cross project newsgroup.

No objections then, although 4.2 was unusable at that point. Really. Even basic and the most core projects were throwing vile exceptions during 5-minutes-what's-the-impression test.

Even after M6, Juno was still barely usable - being an Eclipse packager means being a very early adopter. And then something amazing happened - with each build there was a clearly visible improvement. Less bugs. Less exceptions. Less surprises. A few months more and Juno would be the state-of-art software.

The platform team indicated that it is understaffed and more community help is needed to make Juno successful in the meantime.

And nothing really happened, probably because of a common belief that Platform is granted*, and expected to always work. That has been proven to not work. Open Source is about freedom, and freedom is about contributions. The blog title explains it all. It's too late. There was a time to protest and demand switch back to 3.x stream nearly a year ago. This could be possible then, but... it would require at least some testing, which was important, but not urgent ;-).

I do not think switching to 3.x is doable anymore. So, maybe instead of complaining about 4.x shape, it is time to fix some bugs?

It's not about charity, it's not about common good. It's all about being as much egoistic as possible. It's all about solving your problems!  Freedom is about contributions.

I have opened a bug, in which I request to lower the entry barrier to the platform. If you have an idea what could help to grow the commiter pool, please comment.

* This statement was formulated by Pascal, although I failed to find a proper link to it.


  1. Big +1 here: most of those who are criticizing now did not give feedback when Platform team asked for (the last 2 years).
    So new people are forced to give feedback, we can start improving things.

  2. The community was giving feedback in the form of hundreds of bug reports, many of which were still outstanding as Juno was drawing to a close. When McQ indicated that 4.x effort is understaffed, that should have been a signal to the planning council to revisit the decision to make 4.2 the primary platform for Juno. The planning council decided to push forward regardless. There was dissent, but it looks like this wasn't recorded in the minutes.

    Many hoped that 4.2 would stabilize in time and honestly, it was difficult to get a good handle on the performance problems without a wider user base that didn't exist before the release.

    Past is the past. Mistakes were made. We now know more than we did half a year ago. It isn't too late to get Eclipse back on a safe road and stop antagonizing users. The safe road is better for users and better for long term viability of 4.x stream.

  3. +1, Even though performance improvements are required, Eclipse 4 is great.