I appreciate you taking the time to say these thoughts.
First, all of the words that are published in the Eclipse Foundation newsletter are the words of the author, not of the Foundation itself.Â So you can squarely put any concerns on specific language towards me as the Eclipse Che project lead.Â Though given that it is branded as an Eclipse newsletter, it is likely that an anonymous reader will infer that the words are endorsed and reflective of the views of the Eclipse Foundation. So we have a scenario where a project leader - myself - is using strong language, and getting tacit, implied support for a broader organization based upon the nature of how it is published.Â But for the most part, while the foundation could be somewhat complicit, let's go ahead and assume that any concerns that were generated by the article can be addressed with me, both as a project leader, author, and board member.
Second, I -- and everyone involved with the Eclipse product areas -- know that there are tireless hours that the engineers assigned to the Eclipse IDE put into maintaining it. To those people who are sweating the details, it is a labor of love. No one would ever want to imply or suggest that those who are committed to the product are not committed, with strong convictions, and performing at the highest caliber.Â For that, everyone honors you, and you have built a market-leading product that is used by millions.
Third, this article is intended to do good for all Eclipse projects, especially the IDE.Â And it actually gathered the Eclipse IDE team a lot of amazingly good market will.Â
Fourth, the intended message of the article was to:
a. Energize the market place.
b. Get people to believe that Eclipse has a project which is a substitute to IntelliJ.
c. Get people to believe that Eclipse is working on a second IDE, which could also be a substitute to the Eclipse IDE.
The response has been phenomenal:
1. Highest rated Eclipse foundation article ever in terms of likes, reads, etc.
2. I had my inbox flooded with >200 emails from ecosystem leaders, developers, and competitors praising the efforts of the foundation, the project, and wanting to talk about ways they can help the foundation.
3. The online comments were stunning.Â Please note that none of these comments said "Che".Â They only said "Eclipse".
Fifth, in some ways, the nature of this message was a necessity. The Eclipse IDE itself has lost some market share. History tells us that when a market leader loses some of its market share, it rarely recaptures the same market share by doing incremental improvements with the same product. Mindset plaque requires some deep scalpaling.Â The only way an entity change the trend is by changing the market dynamics. The previous market was a three-product market: Eclipse - IntelliJ - NetBeans.Â Incremental improvements to each product will not fundamentally change people's market views.Â The only fundamental way to do that is to either kill one of the products (which would be bad for proponents of choice), or to introduce a new product.Â Now it's a four product market, with two of those products under the same banner.Â I like the way that sounds.
Sixth, let's say that Che is successful in commanding market attention - even ahead of the Eclipse IDE. Isn't this good for all of us?Â If through the initiation of a new project we can bring new people to the Eclipse Foundation, energize the ecosystem, and get them to coalesce around the idea that the market needs more choice alternatives to IntelliJ, this creates a halo affect that benefits every person at the Eclipse Foundation working on developer tools.Â And if Che does command this attention, we are part of the same Foundation and in a position to align our products in such a way where there is true workspace portability to create network effects of usage between the products.Â The Eclipse IDE has tremendous advantages (actually all Eclipse projects) to benefiting from the gains of any other Eclipse project before the rest of the market can.
Seventh, let's also be a bit cognizant that the Eclipse IDE project has unfair advantages to Che, or really any other project at the foundation.Â Unlike the Apache Foundation, your project name matches the name of the Foundation.Â At Apache, every project has a name that is distinct and apart from the Foundation. This is a double-edged sword for your project, as anything the Foundation does in the market that is a net gain, is automatically implied to be the result of the efforts of the IDE team.Â And anything negative that happens to the Foundation, is equally implied to be the result of the efforts of the IDE team. This advantage shows up in numerous places from the way downloads are structured, to the way projects are managed, to the branding requirements, and so forth. ÂSo let's not be too upset about Che's success because when the market is automatically applying their positive juju on that project to the Eclipse IDE.Â I cam across just as many people who think that the Eclipse IDE team is the drivers of Che as any other team.Â As a small, young project, we required a marketing strategy that not only advertised the product on its strengths, but was strong enough to stand up against this inherent advantage that the IDE project has over every other project within the Foundation.Â We had market tested a lot of language - maybe 20 taglines over a year.Â There were only 2 that got people to stick their head up and listen: "Next-Generation Eclipse IDE" and "Open Source Alternative to IntelliJ".Â So, that is the language that stuck.
I apologize for such a long message. But I felt it was essential to lay out the nature of the dynamics that are at play and the challenges a small, young project faces when presenting itself to the market place. We are open to a variety of inputs, contributions, and collaborations. If any of you would like to have a deeper conversation about this, happy to make 1:1 time.Â Our collaborations together will far outweigh any concerns on which party is getting credit.Â Also, I'll be at EclipseCon in early March, and can also take any conversations (or beers!) together then.