The Core component forms the base of the Eclipse platform's runtime configuration. It includes mechanisms and facilities for:
The Core is excruciatingly generic -- all plug-ins installed and run on the Core infrastructure are treated equally. The contents of resources are never examined in any domain-specific way and the Core can run equally well with and without a UI.
Note that much of the Core component's function now falls under the Equinox OSGi project
If you are interested in participating in the development of the Core component, check out the developer's mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat with people there about your problems and interests, and find out what you can do to help.
In particular, if you are interested in system level code and are intimately familiar with Java classloading, thread management, filesystem resource management on a variety of operating systems, Windows/Linux filesystem callback management, or programming for speed/space, the Core team wants to talk to you.
Upcoming work is primarily in the details of currently supported function.