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Happy Birthday Eclipse…now some pictures from your youth

Saturday November 7th, 2009 is Eclipse’s 8th birthday. Eight years ago the first Eclipse downloads were publicly available along with the source code.

Here’s a picture of the first http://www.eclipse.org. The website was slashdotted shortly after the “Eclipse is open source” announcement was made. The hard drive had to be replaced, thus the missing cover. This machine was replaced by a real server a few weeks later. A couple of years later, this was replaced by faster and more fault tolerant hardware managed by our most excellent webmasters.

I went through my desk the other day, and found some emails of the original requirements for the eclipse infrastructure, project structure and commit rights. A fast server has 512MB RAM and 20GB of disk space…really? Okay, I feel old.

Bugzilla was there from the start.

Some of the first mailing lists. A few disappeared but even more new ones were created. Today, we have eclipse on twitter, forums, conferences, marketplace, blogs and the list goes on. Pretty impressive!

In 2001, the linux kernel still fit on a floppy disk. It was useful to have a boot disk in the event that the boot partition became corrupted and the machine wouldn’t boot. Much easier than booting from a rescue cd and mounting all the partitions by hand. Especially at 4am. Here’s a picture for those who’ve never worked with a diskette (*ahem* co-ops :).

Initial project structure. Today we have so much much more.


The first commit rights – hello PDE family! Today we have an amazing diversity of committers from around the world and many companies. Eclipse also has friends, but would always like more….who doesn’t?

In reality, the past doesn’t matter that much, and we need to focus on the future. Sometimes I’m cynical about Eclipse, because as a long time committer, I notice that many people like to play (consume), but fewer want to pay (contribute). And to some degree we make it difficult to contribute without a significant investment of time and a steep learning curve. But most days, I’m absolutely amazed by the work that we as a community can do together, when smart, passionate people strive toward a common goal. Happy Birthday Eclipse!

5 comments on “Happy Birthday Eclipse…now some pictures from your youth

  1. Great pictures Kim. The community really has accomplished a lot over the last 8 years.

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  2. Great post, Kim. Thanks. I'd like to see what the first build servers looked like, too šŸ™‚

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  3. Thank you Kim. Great post!

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  4. Thanks for the post. Nice to see the 8 year old documents, floppy and machine!

    Was the growth of Eclipse Community happened just as planned? Or were there surprises, twists!

    Just curious to know the history of the technology which provides me the daily bread!

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  5. @Madhu: The webmasters' blog has more information regarding the infrastructure. See http://dev.eclipse.org/blogs/eclipsewebmaster/

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