Google donates to an Eclipse performance test lab - update
Google has contributed $20,000 to the Eclipse Foundation for hardware to assist in the task of performance testing the foundation's integrated development environment (IDE). The extra contribution from Google's Open Source Programs Office is over and above Google's membership, and comes after the Eclipse community raised concerns about the faltering performance of Eclipse 4.2 especially when compared to Eclipse 3.8.
The donation, announced by Google's Shawn Pearce, is specifically for building a common testing lab but, if required, some of it can go to Eclipse's common build infrastructure. The seeding of a testing lab should help bring back the use of performance regression testing, which was part of the Eclipse process for earlier versions, but was dropped for 3.8 and 4.2 because of a lack of hardware and the human resources to organise it.
On the Wednesday before the donation, Eclipse Project PMC Mike Wilson had explained that performance testing needed dedicated machines and it was the lack of these dedicated systems which had resulted in the stopping of performance testing. Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich thanked Pearce and Google for responding so quickly. Google relies on the Eclipse IDE to provide the foundation for Android's development environment.
Update - Mike Milinkovich has now written a blog post which gives further background to the issues of performance in Eclipse, notes that it is too late, as some have proposed, to move the release train back to 3.8, and looks forward to performance improvements in the forthcoming SR1, future SR2 and Kepler releases of Eclipse.