Eclipse project names new board members

As expected, the Eclipse open source tools project founded by IBM Corp. announced this week that it has been reorganized into a not-for-profit corporation and named the first members of its new board of directors.

The changes give IBM less of a controlling interest in Eclipse and have been seen by some analysts as a way of broadening the project’s appeal among software vendors. As part of the restructuring, Skip McGaughey, the IBM staffer who served as the consortium’s executive director, is stepping down to be replaced by a full-time executive director.

Along with IBM, the members of the new Eclipse board include Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., SAP AG, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, MontaVista Software Inc., QNX Software Systems Ltd. and Serena Software Inc. The board members will elect a new executive director in the coming weeks, according to an Eclipse statement issued Monday. The news coincides with the start of the four-day EclipseCon conference in Anaheim, Calif.

IBM launched the Eclipse project two years ago, providing a software platform into which Java development tools from third-party vendors could be plugged. Vendors such as Borland Software Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG have joined the effort, offering software that runs on top of Eclipse, although prominent Java vendors BEA Systems Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have yet to join.

Sun flirted with the idea of joining last year but dropped out of negotiations in December, saying it had been unable to reach acceptable terms with the Eclipse board existing at the time.

The new board aims to drive the platform’s evolution by liaising with vendors, developers, standards bodies and others in the Java development world. All technologies and source code contributed to the project will remain openly available and royalty free, the group said in its statement.

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