Google and the Eclipse Foundation have launched a beta of Eclipse Labs, a portal for hosting open-source projects based on Eclipse.
In a May 13 blog post, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said Eclipse Labs gives developers who want to create Eclipse-based projects a "third option." The other two options are to use the formal Eclipse process and "propose a project with the Eclipse Foundation," or to "start a project on one of the existing forges, [such as] Google Code, SourceForge [or] Codehaus."
Milinkovich continued, "Eclipse Labs allows you to very quickly create an open-source project with access to an issue tracking system, source code repository (Subversion or Mercurial) and a project Website. The default license is EPL [Eclipse Public License] but you can change it to the other licenses available on Google Code. Anyone can create a project on Eclipse Labs at any time."
Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for Eclipse, said there are lots of Eclipse-based open-source projects that people start but don't need or want to be official Eclipse Foundation projects. Eclipse Labs is now a destination for those projects. Google is hosting Eclipse Labs as a service on the Google Code Project Hosting.
Milinkovich also said, "Eclipse Labs project owners will be encouraged to create tags [or] labels to describe [their projects]. We have prepopulated a set of Eclipse-specific labels that will be displayed on the Eclipse Labs search page. Eclipse Labs will also have an API that allows people to search on these labels. ... We also want to populate Eclipse Marketplace with the projects from Eclipse Labs. The API is not yet available but it should be in the next couple of weeks."
However, "Projects hosted on Eclipse Labs are not official Eclipse projects," Milinkovich noted. "Therefore, they can't be called Eclipse projects, use the org.eclipse namespace or be included in the Release Train or Packages."
In a post on the Google Code blog, Ali Pasha, a product manager for Google Project Hosting, said, "The goal of Eclipse Labs is to improve the visibility of unofficial add-on projects. We hope that this will help Eclipse users find those projects quickly and that it will help popular projects get on the path to becoming Eclipse Foundation projects."
Pasha said there are two projects that have migrated to Eclipse Labs: Workspace Mechanic for Eclipse and Project Hosting Connector for Mylyn, an Eclipse plug-in for the Google Project Hosting issue tracker.
Google Software Engineer Robert Konigsberg explained, "The Workspace Mechanic is a publicly released version of a tool we use at Google to automate maintenance of our engineers' Eclipse environments."
For more information on Eclipse Labs, check out the FAQ.