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Due to its strong emphasis on safety, reliability and quality, the development of embedded and critical systems is based since the beginning of its history on numerous software tools. But while the life cycle of critical and embedded systems goes from 10 years up to 80 years in the case of aircraft, the tools frequently become obsolete or disappear after less than 15, 10 or even 5 years. Polarsys has been created to take advantage of open source to bridge this gap and to foster innovation in this domain. The mission of the Polarsys Top-Level Project is therefore to host the open source assets of Polarsys.

The aim is not to host all technologies that can be applied to Embedded Systems design and development. The components with a larger audience than only critical and embedded systems will instead be hosted by a most relevant community. Good examples of this situation are some components from the Eclipse Modeling Project like MDT Papyrus, Acceleo or other development tools like the CDT. They will neither move nor be duplicated into the Polarsys Top-Level Project, but they may be referenced by Polarsys, and some complementary assets (specific functional tests, extra documentation, etc.) may be hosted in Polarsys.

Projects hosted by this Top-Level Project can be licensed under either the EPL or any other licenses approved by the Industry Working Group and the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors, including BSD-like licenses and the LGPL. See the Licensing section for more information. While most PolarSys projects will probably publish Eclipse features, some others may produce other kinds of component like stand-alone tools and servers.

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