Eclipse Names Executive Director

As it reduces its financial dependence on IBM, the organization must become effective as an independent entity.
Three months after reorganizing itself as an independent non-profit foundation, the Eclipse board of directors said Monday that it had hired its first executive director.

The Eclipse board named Mike Milinkovich to manage the organization's day-to-day operations, according to a news release. Milinkovich, previously the vice president of OracleAS Technology Services at Oracle Corp., will serve a one-year term as Eclipse executive director.

Milinkovich is a 20-year IT industry veteran who has worked in a variety of business and technical positions, including posts at current Eclipse members WebGain and Object Technology International. Milinkovich recently resigned his position at Oracle; the Eclipse Foundation bylaws forbid the executive director from serving as an active employee or officer at a member company.

Milinkovich has several important tasks facing him in the weeks ahead. Eclipse 3.0, the next major version of the organization's open source IDE, is due in mid-June, and the release will serve as a major test of the Eclipse Foundation's effectiveness as an independent entity. He will also have to oversee the foundation's fund-raising efforts as it reduces its financial dependence on IBM.

In addition, Milinkovich will have to decide how to manage the foundation's relationships with major IT companies that have not joined as members, including Sun, Microsoft and BEA Systems. Sun, for example, has continued to work on its NetBeans IDE since declining to join Eclipse, and the company plans to release version 3.6 of NetBeans later this year. At the same time, BEA executives recently suggested the company would consider joining Eclipse, although BEA has not announced specific plans to do so.

Eclipse was initially launched as an open source software development project at IBM, which donated components of its WebSphere software stack to serve as the project's technical foundation. Last March, in an effort to build industry support for the platform, IBM spun Eclipse off into a completely independent, non-profit foundation. Eclipse currently includes around 50 member companies, including IBM and Oracle, and the platform has spawned hundreds of related software development plugins.

A May, 2004 Evans Data Corp. survey found that Eclipse has become the most popular IDE among developers in North America and second to Borland's JBuilder tool in Europe.

This story courtesy of TechWeb.

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