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Eclipse to split from IBM

Eclipse, an open source development tools organization backed by IBM, plans to transition to an independent foundation by next month, a representative said on Tuesday.

The Eclipse consortium has filed papers to change its corporate status and expects to complete the process by the first week of February, said Eclipse chairman Skip McGaughey. The long expected change is timed to coincide with an Eclipse technical conference, EclipseCon 2004, to be held in Anaheim, California from February 2-5. The current Eclipse consortium, which is made up of about 50 software companies, will be incorporated as the Eclipse Foundation, a non-profit modeled after other successful open source organizations, such as the Apache Foundation, said McGaughey.

Eclipse will establish tiered membership levels and a board of directors made up of "strategic partners" which will contribute cash and people to Eclipse, he said. The plan is to create a board with members from small and large companies representing traditional information technology, Linux and embedded systems, McGaughey said. Membership is free for individual contributors and non-profit organizations, such as universities and other open sources outfits. Commercial companies can also join for $5,000 if at least one commercial product is based on Eclipse. The transition from a consortium to an open source organization is a long-awaited move in the development tools segment of the software industry.

IBM started Eclipse in November 2001 with a $40 million donation and has contributed significantly to its development. The Eclipse software creates a software "framework" for using different development tools, such as a code editor and an application modeling tool, within the same application.

News source: C|net

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