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Eclipse Fills Board with Open Source Directors

Open source consortium Eclipse Foundation Wednesday rounded out its 12-member board of directors with four new members. The appointments put the finishing touches on a reorganization that began several months ago in an effort to bring the group closer to end users.

Joining the software development tools group are: Eclipse Project Lead John Wiegand, of IBM; Todd Williams, of Genuitec, Rich Main, of SAS; and Bjorn Freeman-Benson of the University of Washington.

The newly elected members, who will represent Eclipse's Open Source project community and commercial supporters, join the eight strategic members who were elected along with the reorganized group's unveiling at the EclipseCon developer forum in Anaheim, Calif., last month.

Those directors are: Ericsson's Ronald Ingman; HP's Michael J. Rank; IBM's Dave Thomson; Intel's Jonathan Khazam; Jim Ready of MontaVista Software; Dan Dodge of QNX Software Systems; Michael Bechauf, of SAP AG; and Boris Kapitanski, of Serena Software.

The Eclipse board was installed following months of reorganization planning aimed at killing the perception that IBM ruled the consortium, a sentiment that in part stems from IBM's $40 million investment when the consortium launched in 2001.

Eclipse has now made it clear that it's a not-for-profit organization, in a bid to entice reticent vendors, such as Sun Microsystems, to join.

Sun, which is developing its own tools platform NetBeans, has repeatedly declined to join Eclipse and repeatedly invited Eclipse to join the NetBeans organization. IBM recently invited Sun to create a project to make Java open source, but the Santa Clara, Calif. concern laughed off the suggestion.

Eclipse spokeswoman Barbara Stewart told internetnews.com the new directors took longer to elect than the previous leaders because Eclipse members were required to vote on them. The other appointees are strategic directors chosen based on their contributions to the Eclipse development platform, a Java-based software architecture developers are free to use to create software tools.

All of the directors are responsible for planning the group's strategy, commercial development and software development roadmaps.

"This will be a critical year for the Eclipse Foundation as we strive to move from an organization that is focused primarily on the development community to one that is an increasingly attractive option for end-user consumers, as well," said Rich Main, director of Java development environments at SAS, in a public statement.