It's been awhile since I gave an update on the EGL open source project. As many of you know, at the Rational conference in June, IBM and 7 partners announced plans to create an open source project for the EGL language, compilers, and subset of tools and generators on Eclipse (read the proposal
). For many of you that have been around EGL for awhile, you know this is a big thing. Besides getting more people involved in driving innovation around EGL, making EGL open will drive new people to the technology. As many of you know, there is a big group of developers and shops out there that won't even consider a "non open" language. There are many different forms of "open", but we view open as making the source of the core EGL technology available to everyone, under a truly open license. Contributing a good portion of EGL (including the language itself and compiler) to Eclipse does just this.
I was recently ask by Chris Maxcer "why is making EGL open source cool"? I think my response captures what many of us in IBM believe ..
Making EGL to open source is cool because it's going to really broaden the awareness of the technology and open EGL to a whole new group of developers. This includes expanding beyond the traditional IBM customer base. Also, for a long time we have been hearing that although EGL seems like a great technology (it is, btw), there has been an unwillingness to take on the risk of a proprietary language. I certainly understand the concern: there have been plenty of examples in the past where vendors have either discontinued the technology or jacked up prices on their customers. There is also inherit risk in any single-vendor technology, since nothing says the vendor will be around forever and that their commitment to the technology will remain the same. Open source allows a technology to grow and evolve outside the boundaries of a single company. In most cases, this results in a better, more well-rounded technology that better addresses the needs of *all* its consumers.
Anyway, back to the original topic :) On Wednesday, August 18 we submitted the required project creation documentation to Eclipse. Eclipse has a well-established process for reviewing and accepting new projects, and just like every other Eclipse project, we are following the same process. Barring any major setbacks or objections, the Eclipse EGL Development Tools project should get approved for creation on August 25
. Feel free to crack open a cool beverage and celebrate when this happens, I know I will ...
The next big step is for us (IBM) to begin seeding code into the project. As you can imagine, we have a lot of code that needs to be refactored and made open source ready. This work has already started, and you should start seeing code out in the Eclipse project in the next few months.
Let us know what you think ...