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Announcing Availability of Free Error Reporting Service for Eclipse Plugin Developers

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Dr. Marcel Bruch

What annoys software developers most? Probably when the tools they use Just Don’t Work. And it doesn’t matter what kind of software it is; or whether it’s open-source, or commercial. If it fails, it sucks. Users don’t show mercy.

The same holds for the Eclipse IDE. In recent years, many users complained that Eclipse was way too buggy and moved on to the competition. To stop that trend, we started the Automated Error Reporting Initiative for Eclipse. Our main objectives were (i) to make reporting problems with Eclipse as easy as possible and (ii) to make Eclipse committers aware which parts of their code contains bugs. Two years later I can say that it’s a huge success. In the meantime more than 400.000 developers reported their issues and helped to uncover and fix more than 8,000 problems in Eclipse. Awesome! A loud shout out to every Eclipse user who sent us his or her error reports!

But I hear you saying “Great. But what about all the other Eclipse plug-ins out there? How can they benefit from the error reporter?” Today it’s my pleasure to announce the general availability of a new and free error reporting service for all Eclipse plug-ins! This is a great step, technically and legally. Opening up the Eclipse IDE error reporter for every third party plug-in vendor required many conversations with the Eclipse Foundation, especially with Mike Milinkovich, Wayne Beaton, Ian Skerrett, and Janet Campbell. Many thanks for the great and constructive discussions we had. Many thanks also to Max Andersen, Red Hat, who supported these discussions and pushed towards opening the automated error reporting client for any Eclipse plug-in provider.

» Free Error Reporting for all Eclipse Plug-ins! «

So what’s offered exactly? It’s basically the same software we built for and use at eclipse.org but with a few constraints: We don’t know where this is heading, and thus, have put some traffic limits on the free plan. It’s certainly high enough for most Eclipse plug-ins out there. But if you have a large user base or misbehaving code, you may hit the limits. In that case, contact me so that we can tweak the limits or discuss alternatives. In case you are a commercial vendor, you may consider upgrading to a payed plan for additional features like synchronization with commercial products like JIRA.

We hope that many of the Eclipse Plug-in developers will embrace the new error reporting opportunities! For more details about the error reporting client and web service, please visit the website or contact me directly by email or via twitter. I will gladly answer any questions you may have.

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