Eclipse Platform Ready to Forge Its Own Path

Eclipse is preparing to formally spin off from IBM.

When members of the Eclipse organization gather in Anaheim, Calif., next month, it will be to refocus the group as a new, independent entity no longer in the shadow of IBM.

At EclipseCon, the first conference dedicated to the Eclipse open-source Java development platform, the consortiums 50 members will announce the Eclipse Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization.

Although the announcement will not be certain until a "super majority" of Eclipse consortium members vote on spinning off as an independent entity, the organization is "infinitely close" to being able to make the announcement, said Mike Taylor, chief executive of Instantiations Inc., a Java tools maker based in Portland, Ore., and an Eclipse member. Taylor said that as of last week, Eclipse was but one signature shy of meeting its super majority and that he expected the organization to get that signature before the conference begins.

"We believe that the new independent entity will make Eclipse much stronger, more open and more customer-focused," said Rich Main, director of Java development environments for SAS Institute Inc., of Cary, N.C., and an Eclipse member.