McGaughey, executive director of Eclipse, said the new organization will work and look a lot like the Apache Foundation. Members of the organization will have to commit to providing a commercial product that supports Eclipse within 12 months of joining, he said. In addition, McGaughey said there will be different levels of membership in the independent organization. Membership in the new Eclipse will no longer be free for commercial entities. The entry-level members, to be known as the Plug-In tier and which will consist of Eclipse add-on vendors, will pay $5,000 a year. There will be two levels of Strategic Partners, who must commit developers and pay up to $250,000. In addition, there will be individual committers, or individuals elected to develop code for Eclipse and who will have write-access to the code base, McGaughey said. There will also be Associate memberships, which will include academia, open-source organizations and non-profits. There will be no membership fee for individual committers and associate members.Click here for more about the Java Tools Community. Although the new board will have to decide what the organization does, "Im optimistic that this is going to be a very positive thing," McGaughey said. Andrzej Delegacz, a database analyst with the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, said, "Eclipse is a big thing in Java programming, but not just Java. It has the chance to become a common platform for other languages as well." An independent entity is better from "an open source community point of view," he said. Meanwhile, McGaughey will relinquish his executive director title and go back to work at IBM, where he was on loan from. He said the new Eclipse board will elect a new director from four candidates that have been culled from the group; "a non-IBMer," he added.
McCaughey acknowledged that talks with Sun continue and that an invitation to the company remains open. In addition, he said Eclipse is considering whether to join or how to work with the recently formed Java Tools Community (JTC), an effort led by Sun, Oracle and BEA Systems Inc. to promote tools interoperability.