Eclipse Ecosystem

A blog devoted to promoting the Eclipse ecosystem

Friday, August 11, 2006

Eclipse Summit Europe!

Registration is now open for Eclipse Summit Europe, which will be held in early October near Stuttgart Germany. The track is looking fantastic and there are some very cool things that will be part of the program.

First, is the use of the LAWST Symposium format for some of the tracks. Best of all, I like that the Symposium are being user community driven, that should really bring a lot of experience to them. Very cool.

Second is the use of a "sponsors network" instead of a "traditional booth and pod" approach. The system is not up yet, but very soon it will be possible for registrants to register with the "Sponsors Network" and pre-arrange time to network with the various sponsors and let them know ahead of time what kind of things they wish to talk about.

Third, we're going to have a track through the conference that represents an Eclipse members meeting. The last session of the day in that track will be the membership update session where Mike and I will give an update of the foundation just as we will be doing in September in Dallas.

Check it out!

- Don

PS - If you're interested in being a sponsor, drop me a note. Details can be found here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A different picture of Mike?

I don't know why, but I've never been a fan of the pic of Mike on display at

I've opened bug 153492 to try to rectify the situation. Please vote or offer suggestions.

- Don

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ecstasy of the Commons

Mike was recently asked the question: "Do you think Open Source Software is suffering the tragedy of the commons?"

The "tragedy of the commons" is a concept popularized by ecologist Garrett Hardin in a 1968 article of the same name. Simply put - shared resources are doomed to over-exploitation. Oceans will be over fished, forests will be over cut, communal fields will be over grazed, and so on. More cynically, we are all incented to act in our own self interests even if they harm others through "negative commons" such as pollution. Garrett's note and subsequent research is MBA101 reading as it hits on so many concepts from economics to sociology to game theory.

Mike's response was blunt - "No". In fact, Mike, who is great with snappy one liners, said that he thought Open Source Software will become the defininition of the "Ecstasy of the Commons". What a great concept!

So here's the punchline - Open Source software is an example of a commons that gets BETTER every time it's used. Imagine if every time you drove your car, you reduced greenhouse gasses! Imagine if every time you threw out a piece of trash you made the environment cleaner. Every time you caught a fish it magically created two more somewhere else. Every time you use a piece of software, you're (for all intents and purposes) testing it. The more critical eyeballs that roam the code, the more wacky situations the code is put in, the more ways it gets extended and adapted - the better it gets. Better quality and more secure.

Are there any other commons that get better the more people use it? Is there any way we can apply some of the principles of open source to other commons so that they benefit the more they're used?

I have a number of conference sessions coming up soon where I'll be fleshing out this idea in more detail and applying it to the success of Eclipse. What is it about the Eclipse governance model and practices that facilitates the "ecstasy"? How does the F/OSS model work in the face of the "tragedies' noted by Hardin?

- Don