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Re: [technology-pmc] [recommenders-dev] How to attract more research at eclipse?

Resend from different address. + added comment on CBI.

On 11.06.2012, at 18:08, Marcel Bruch wrote:

Hi Ian, 
Hi Wayne,

IMHO research projects are most interested in more publicity and assistance in building a community. I don't think that a forge or a wiki page helps much here. Even forums won't help as developers don't know anything about the projects behind them.

As you both propose, a page that lists all ongoing research projects under, say, http://eclipse.org/research/projects would be nice. Such a page could be driven by some tags in the Eclipse Marketplace with relatively low effort I think.

Wayne, regarding the proposal process. I know it's there for good reasons. But at the same time I think that projects like Snipmatch wouldn't have considered joining Eclipse if they had to declare a committer team, a project proposal, a project plan and the like. This is too heavyweight.

I think Incubators are the right way to go. They don't need a project proposal nor naming a committer team nor declaring a project plan (even it would be great to have one for Snipmatch ;)) I think, there should be a lightweight process that enables research projects to join another project and naming one or two committers without the need of a big commit history. Then, there should be incubator update sites that make is easy that projects get their tools out to the users. The hosting project should also make the marketing (blog-posts, tweets etc.) to get these tools out to the developers - at least enable incubators to use existing channels. CBI is good as it enables  quality assurance and build automation with minimal effort.

And these things and expectations should be documented somewhere. I had hard times to figure out where to ask for permission of whatever. Something like the committer resources wiki page for research projects would be nice.

Wayne, I think technology project is fine if one of it's goals is to host research projects. It should just be more present, i.e., more actively advertising itself as such. FWIW, I wasn't sure which top-level to pick as tools, mylyn and technology all looked good to me. I'm not sure if another top-level project like "research" would help much. Maybe if eclipse would make it a large sandbox for research projects as I described above :)

These are just some unfiltered thoughts I had after discussing ideas with some researchers.


On 11.06.2012, at 15:59, Wayne Beaton wrote:

Hi Marcel. I'm a member of the Technology PMC; of course I'm listening (FWIW, I listen on all PMC list and a great many project lists).

We've been doing a lot of work lately to try and make a few things easier for projects. The Common Build Infrastructure should make building a lot easier. A lot of projects just use the metadata driven websites rather than create their own; we're doing some work to make this even better and easier with the new Project Management Infrastructure initiative.

Can you be more specific about what parts of the entry barrier should be lowered? Is the proposal process too difficult/too time-consuming?

The Technology project was originally intended (at least partially) as a place for research projects. I think it's fair to say that it has evolved away from that. Maybe, as Ian suggests, we can start by making university research projects be more prominent on the site. We can do all of the things that you suggest within the scope of the Technology Project. Or maybe it's time to create a new top-level project.


On 11.06.2012, at 15:19, Ian Skerrett wrote:

I think we should always be looking to improve how we reach out to different communities, the research community certainly being an important one.  

 EclipseLabs was an attempt to create an extend community for projects that didn't want to be 'official' projects but wanted to be closer to the community.  It was setup so the researchers didn't have to worry about setting up their own forge and the project code was available in the open.   

It seems like you are looking for a bit more exposure for research projects or 'home' for these types of projects.  I wonder if some type of wiki page and/or forum would be a starting point?


On 06/10/2012 05:10 AM, Marcel Bruch wrote:
Hi technology-pmc,

If this reads a bit like a rant, please excuse. It's not. Its intent is to get one or two ideas how to improve the current situation.

I'm just back from a research conference and have been asked by a bunch of researchers how potential collaborations with Eclipse and Code Recommenders in particular could look like. The scope of these works varies from applying Natural Language processing (NLP) on documentation, bringing NLP into code completion, integrating Code Recommenders into Code Bubbles, developing a parameter guessing recommender, collaborations on code search engines, mining on user interactions, and generally extending the idea of IDE 2.0 for lots of other ideas. 

I don't think that many of these ideas will actually turn into code at eclipse.org but if a few projects or ideas will do so, it would be a great success.

I wonder whether Eclipse could do more to get more research ideas into Eclipse and provide them a platform for their work. In my opinion putting something into the marketplace is not enough - research people don't get the feeling that they have a huge outreach there. Can't we do a little more that they get the feeling of being "part of Eclipse" rather than "yet another research prototype using Eclipse"?

Or can we lower the entrance barrier for research at Eclipse? I know that eclipselabs.org was (also) designed for this case, but do they work as expected? And: is providing a repository a useful support? What distinguishes it from SourceForge or GitHub? I think these research projects should be coupled more to existing Eclipse projects; they should be treated more like incubators with associated (top-level?) projects giving them a platform for instance with an aggregator update site, blog posts etc.

Also, projects still have to provide the whole infrastructure like a build server, a web server etc. on their own. We, for instance, have a shadow infrastructure with Bugzilla, Gerrit, Jenkins etc. running at the university from the first days which was a huge invest we had to make upfront.  And at the end everything still stays in the university network. This doesn't feel like open source then and such a huge support from my (very personal) viewpoint.

A few thoughts on whether or how we can change some things a little would be great. I hope the technology-pmc list is appropriate for this as I'm only hoping for some small changes inside technology top-level project but not for changes in the Eclipse bylaws ;) But maybe this should just go to the foundation. If so, I hope Wayne is listening.


P.S.: I know the discussions about "researchers want to publish papers and don't want to support tools for long time". This is not the direction I would like to take in this post. It's about simplifying the process iff someone wants to go a few steps further - like we did with recommenders. It just doesn't need to be that hard as it was for us.

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Wayne Beaton
The Eclipse Foundation
Twitter: @waynebeaton
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