Oracle Vet Takes Over Eclipse

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-05-27

Oracle Vet Takes Over Eclipse

The open-source Eclipse Foundation is expected to name Mike Milinkovich, an Oracle executive, to the position of executive director of the organization Tuesday.

According to sources, Milinkovich, who has a great deal of experience in the Java and object-oriented programming worlds, will join the foundation following its exhaustive search for an individual to lead it as an independent entity.

Milinkovich, of Ottawa, will have to give up his post at Oracle Corp. and move over to the Eclipse Foundation, sources said. Prior to Oracle, Milinkovich held positions at the now-defunct WebGain Inc., The Object People Inc. and Object Technology International Inc.

Reached by phone, Milinkovich said he could not comment on the status of the position.

Sources said Milinkovich was chosen for his technology skills, as some of the other candidates did not have such strong technology backgrounds. But one source close to the process, who asked for anonymity, said, "They dont need a coder; they need somebody with organizational experience."

Last February, IBM Corp. spun the Eclipse consortium out from under its sponsorship and influence and into an independent entity to oversee the development and maintenance of the Eclipse open-source application development platform.

The Eclipse Foundation coming-out party was held at the EclipseCon conference in Anaheim, Calif., in early February.

A study shows that Eclipse is growing steadily in several geographic markets. Click here to read more.

In March, the foundation began naming individuals to key positions in the organization, based on internal elections.

From those elections, Todd Williams, vice president of technology at Dallas-based Genuitec LLC, and Rich Main, director of Java development environments at SAS Institute Inc., of Cary, N.C., were elected to the Eclipse board of directors as the two add-in provider representatives.

More than 40 add-in providers selected Williams and Main to represent them on the board.

Next Page: The move could free the foundation to look at working more closely with Sun and IBM.

Other Issues

Also in the earlier elections, the individuals elected to represent Eclipse "committers"—the folks who have the ability to partially control the content distributed in the CVS (Concurrent Versions System) repository—are John Wiegand, Eclipse platform lead for IBM in Portland, Ore.; and Bjorn Freeman-Benson, a research scientist at the University of Washingtons Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Skip McGaughey, who formerly served as chairman of the Eclipse board and is now a spokesman for the organization, told eWEEK in a past interview that one of the primary criteria for a new executive director was that the person not be an IBM employee. McGaughey is himself an IBM employee. Asked to comment for this story, McGaughey and members of the board gave a collective "no comment."

But some observers said the naming of a new executive director is good news for the foundation, allowing it move forward with other pressing issues such as dealing with the possibility of working more closely with Sun Microsystems Inc. and BEA Systems Inc.

The two Java companies have had little to no dealings with Eclipse so far, although board members have said the organization has extended invitations to both companies to join.

Sun toyed with the idea for several months before pulling back, yet still held out the possibility of working with Eclipse in some capacity.

BEA, which recently open-sourced the runtime framework for its WebLogic Workshop Java development tool, has said it welcomes working with Eclipse on the open-source front.

Read more here about BEAs strategy, now called Apache Beehive, to turn over the development framework.

Cornelius Willis, BEAs vice president of developer relations, said Beehive, being a framework and not an IDE, is complementary to Eclipse.

"We would love it if there was a plug-in for Eclipse targeting Beehive," Willis said.

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