You want to do what with Eclipse?
It's my birthday, and I'm giving myself the present of playing Devil's Advocate about Eclipse.
At eclipse.org we talk a lot about "extensible frameworks and exemplary tools." Frameworks are meant to be built on, and are not end-user tools by definition. Some projects even use this word in their name:
- EMF: Eclipse Modeling Framework
- GEF: Graphical Editor Framework
We also use the word "platform" a lot, especially in project names. Examples:
- DTP: Data Tools Platform
- WTP: Web Tools Platform
- TPTP: Test & Performance Tools Platform
- STP: SOA Tools Platform
- DSDP: Device Software Development Platform
I'll take the notion of "platform" to mean something like what Michael Cusumano has written: "...an evolving system made of interdependent pieces that can each be innovated upon." ("Platform Leadership," p.2-3).
Yet we also find an emphasis on tools:
- JDT: Java Development Tools
- CDT: C/C++ Development Tools
- BIRT: Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools
Those of us who work on "platform" or "framework" projects, however, often get requests and questions from end users, typically trying to use the example (exemplary) tools for a particular task. Now (and here's the Devil's Advocate): Why would you try to use a platform or framework to do a end user task? It's not a coincidence, I think, that the last three projects above have strong user communities and the earlier examples tend to have much strong extender communities. In the end, it is really is an expression of the committer base and those who "fund" the open source project by enabling committers to work on them. If platforms or frameworks are primary, then that's great for extenders, but not so good for end users.
Is this obvious? Even if so, if this the direction that eclipse.org should be moving? If you don't think so, then what can you do to motivate change?