Contributing Articles to Eclipse Corner
Eclipse Corner Articles
Articles appearing on Eclipse Corner have been written by members of the development team and other members of the eclipse community. You too can contribute! Eclipse Corner depends on contributions from people like you.
Before we get to the good stuff, it's probably best that you have some idea what kind of content we accept at Eclipse Corner.
Articles should be timeless. Or at least relatively timeless. That is, articles that contain time-sensitive material or are likely to expire in a relatively short period of time do not belong on Eclipse Corner. An article that discusses the ins and outs of some Eclipse API belongs on Eclipse Corner because APIs are forever. An article discussing the most recent Eclipse conference or release probably doesn't fit.
Perhaps a little on the gray side of things are articles that discuss how to use exemplary products produced by Eclipse products. These aren't API and so may change and evolve, potentially rendering the content obsolete. Despite this danger, this sort of article does tend to be considered acceptable Eclipse Corner content.
Articles must pertain to Eclipse projects. Ideally, articles are about how to make Eclipse things (like APIs) work. Eclipse Corner is not the place for articles that discuss the specifics of proprietary products or code from other sources. More on the gray side of things would be an article that discusses how Eclipse APIs are leveraged to build a commercial product. As long as the article focuses on how to do great things with Eclipse it's okay; overt advertising of any commercial product doesn't belong on Eclipse Corner.
Articles should be explicitly associated with one or more Eclipse projects. Ideally, the Project Management Committee (PMC) or Project Lead (PL) from the projects to agree that the article is something valuable that should make it to Eclipse Corner.
Article proposals must be commented on in Bugzilla. Comments indicate interest. If there is no community support behind an article submission, then it might be best to just pass on it. Ideally three-to-five people, including at least one committer from a pertinent project, have to believe that the article is appropriate content for Eclipse Corner.
The editorial staff, at their discretion, may waive this requirement for articles that they deem to be useful additions to Eclipse Corner despite an apparent lack of immediate interest by the committee.
As a general rule, we endeavour to publish an average of two articles each month. As articles reach an appropriate level of maturity, we will schedule a date for publishing by indicating a date in comments to the Bugzilla entry. This general rule is more of a guideline, and is more a function of managing the time available to the editorial staff to perform editorial responsibilities. More simply, articles are published when they are ready.
Before writing the article
Before you start churning out the content, take a few minutes to search Bugzilla to make sure the subject is not already being covered. All requested, proposed, and in-progress articles are listed in the Community project, Articles component. This is also a good way to find out what articles people want if you're trying to decide what to write. If someone else is working on a similar article, consider joining them as a co-author, or adjusting the focus of your article so they don't overlap.
Next, write down a short outline of your article and the main topics you intend to cover. Open a new Bugzilla entry for the article if there's not one already and put your outline in the comments there. Indicate a rough idea of when you expect the article to be completed. Also, explicitly state the Eclipse projects that you believe most closely align with your content (don't assume that this is obvious).
Once your outline is entered in the system, interested parties will provide you with additional ideas and feedback. Feedback is good. No feedback is not-so-good. As a general rule, the editorial staff will solicit feedback from appropriate projects on your article. Consider soliciting feedback from your community (blog, newsgroups, mailing lists, etc.) if you don't receive feedback on your article within a week or so. Be aware that only those who explicitly express interest in hearing about Eclipse Corner proposals will be automatically notified by the Bugzilla system. In general, this does not include developers from Eclipse projects.
Writing the article
Assuming the feedback on your outline is positive, then it's time to write the content. To get you started you can extract the following document template. Be sure to read the readme.txt in its root directory.
Try and keep it fun and lively, after all, you probably wouldn't want to read a boring article! Keep your article practical and if you have code snippets always have your article link to a zip file containing a plug-in with the code.
The last tip is to aim for maximal content with minimum words. Forty page articles could better be published as paper back novels.
After finishing the article
When you have finished your draft article, zip it up and attach the zip to the Bugzilla entry.
The Articles Editor and one or more reviewers will work with you (via Bugzilla comments and/or email) to finalise the article. As you come up with new revisions, attach them to the Bugzilla entry.
Don't be discouraged if you get lots of feedback. Most articles require at least two drafts before they are finalised. Remember, the reviewers are trying to help you make the article the best thing since the invention of those tiny umbrellas they put in drinks.
Before the article is posted on Eclipse Corner, the editors will ask you to certify that the content is all original and/or can legally be published under the EPL. If you cannot certify your content, it cannot be published.
Posting the article