|[actf-dev] Proposed restructure of Eclipse ACTF|
This note is to formally introduce and receive approval for a restructuring of the Eclipse Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) project. It follows a number of communications with you and the ACTF community, including a teleconference for the ACTF community hosted on Fri Jan 22 9AM EST  to discuss this restructuring.
Recently, there have been a number of resource limitations and shifting internal priorities at the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center (HA&AC). Also, since the inception of the ACTF project in October 2007, we have seen little participation in or consumption of our contributions to ACTF. We, the HA&AC, cannot continue to shoulder the requirements that must be satisfied by our componentry that are necessary to ensure the advancement of the ACTF project to graduation (e.g. provide and implement a project plan and regular release schedule, continue to solicit community involvement and requests for enhancements, etc.). On the other hand, we do not wish to prevent our colleagues in Tokyo and other members of the ACTF community from carrying the project to graduation. Thus, Kentarou Fukuda and I, as co-technical leads of ACTF and Chieko Asakawa, ACTF project lead, are proposing a restructuring of ACTF.
In discussing this proposal with members of your committee, two approaches have been recommended:
1. Wayne Beaton, the Technology PMC Lead, suggested dividing ACTF into subprojects , presumably so that all HA&AC-contributed componentry will reside in one subproject, that subproject then being archived according to the Eclipse development process.
2. Also from the Technology PMC, Konstantin Komissarchik wrote, "There is really nothing stopping a project from throwing away chunks of the code base for a variety of reasons. There is no formal archiving process as there is for projects. You just delete the source in CVS and that's
that. Just make sure that you have involved your entire project in the decision and have communicated your intentions accordingly to any potential downstream consumers."
The HA&AC will no longer actively participate in this project and, therefore, our contributions, which consist entirely of work done by IBM commiters and contributors and have no down stream dependencies or consumers of which we are aware, will be removed from the ACTF project following the guidance of the second recommendation above. In particular, we are proposing the following:
1. Remove from the Eclipse CVS repository the ACTF Java Validation Componentry (Javaco) feature and its related plugins and resources. The ACTF community, with input from the IBM HA&AC, will maintain control over decisions
about the project's future reactivation or enhancement (should further requirements arise and resources permit). The last release of this componentry (v0.4.0), both its binary and SDK versions, will remain on the Javaco downloads page  with a notice that the componentry is no longer actively developed or supported. No attempt will be made to archive this codebase on eclipse.org.
2. Remove from the Eclipse CVS repository the ACTF Web Validation Componentry (Webelo) feature and its related plugins and resources. The ACTF community, with input from the IBM HA&AC, will maintain control over decisions
about the projectthe 's reactivation or enhancement (should further requirements arise and resources permit). The last release of this componentry (v0.2.0), both its binary and SDK versions, will remain on the Webelo downloads page  with a notice that the componentry is no longer
actively developed or supported. No attempt will be made to archive this codebase on eclipse.org.
3. Remove from the Eclipse CVS repository the ACTF Accessibility Probe (AccProbe) RCP application as well as its related plugins and resources. AccProbe will remain an Eclipse RCP application but further development and enhancements will be directed by the IBM HA&AC and by the IAccessible2 community residing at the Linux Foundation  and in a code repository designated by that organization. The last release of AccProbe (v0.4.4), both its binary and SDK versions, will remain on the AccProbe downloads page  with a notice that the new home of
AccProbe is the Linux Foundation.
Of course, any plugins or resources that are shared between our components and components thus far developed by other teams within IBM or by external committers will remain in the Eclipse CVS repository hosting ACTF and these can be developed as their leads see fit. We would like feedback from the members of the ACTF community, the Technology PMC, and the community at large as well as other interested parties regarding this proposal.
1. host a phone conference for the ACTF community and other interested parties regarding this matter by the end of January 2010 (see above and note )
2. receive any concerns or questions about this proposal within four weeks of the date of this proposal being discussed on said teleconference (Fri Feb 19, 2010)
3. alert the ACTF community of any changes or updates given feedback to this proposal and adjust time table accordingly
4. once all objections and concerns have been addressed, implement the above restructuring
We expect the restructuring to be complete by the end of February 2010 and look forward to your comments. Also, please let us know if any type of review is in order.
--> Mike Squillace
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center