The Eclipse Foundation, which oversees the open-source Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), today rolled out “Europa,” its latest annual “coordinated project release.” The huge release spans 21 projects and over 17 million lines of code, and weighs in at “more than double the size of last year's record-setting release,” the Foundation said.
According to the Foundation, the Europa release involved code contributions from over 310 open source developers located in 19 different countries. Last year's “Callisto” release, in comparison, is said to have involved 10 project teams, 7 million lines of code, and the work of 260 open source developers in 12 countries.
The foundation claims this to be the fourth consecutive year that the “Eclipse community has shipped a major release on schedule.” Executive director Mike Milinkovich added that the Europa release represents “an important milestone for fulfilling our community's strategy of providing a common development platform for embedded, rich client, rich internet, and server applications.”
Among other “innovations,” Europa includes “new runtime technology for creating server applications, developer tools for service-oriented architecture (SOA), tools for improving team collaboration, and support for users of the popular Ruby programming language,” the Foundation said.
Key highlights of the project enhancements included in Europa, as listed by the Eclipse Foundation, include:
- Eclipse Equinox — has added new services and capabilities to ease the development and deployment of server applications running on the Equinox runtime.
- Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) — has added support for dynamic crosstabs, output to Microsoft Word and Excel formats and now allows for web services to act as a data source. These new features allow for more sophisticated reporting functionality to be integrated into Java applications.
- SOA Tools Project (STP) — has made available their first release. The release provides SOA developers tool support for SCA and JAX-WS standards, as well as a BPMN Modeler tool.
- Modeling project — has updated the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) to support Java 5 generics, allowing for creation and management of more complex and flexible data models.
- Mylyn (formerly named Mylar) — has added new collaboration features to enable task-centric collaboration for development teams. For developers working on large applications Mylyn's task-focused UI reduces information overload and simplifies multi-tasking.
- Dynamic Language Toolkit (DLTK) — has introduced IDE support for Ruby and provides a framework to reduce complexity of developing IDEs for other dynamic languages, such as TCL and Python.
- CDT — has made significant improvements for easier tool chain integration, specifically tighter integration with the MinGW gnu tool chain thus making it easier to develop C/C++ applications on the Windows platform.
- Java Development Tools (JDT) — has introduced a number of features to increase the productivity of Java developers using Eclipse, including an enhanced debugger via hyperlinking and a new Quick Access feature to provide easier IDE navigation.
- Web Tools Project (WTP) — has introduced a number of features to increase the productivity of Web developers including a new visual editor for HTML, JSP and JSF, as well as support for new standards, such as Axis2 and basic JEE 5 support.
Overall, the following 21 projects are encompassed by the massive Europa release: AJDT 1.5, BIRT 2.2, Buckminster 0.1.0, CDT 4.0, DLTK 1.0, DSDP DD 0.9, DSDP TM 2.0, DTP 1.5, ECF 1.0, Eclipse Platform 3.3, Dash 1.0, EMF 2.3, EMF-QTV 1.1, M2T (JET) 0.8, GEF 3.3, GMF 2.0, MDT 1.0, Mylyn 2.0, STP 0.6, TPTP 4.4, and WTP 2.0.
Eclipse had its origins as an IBM IDE for Java, similar to Sun's freely downloadable NetBeans. IBM released Eclipse under the Common Public License (an “Eclipse Public License” was later used) as part of a “billion dollar” investment in open source in the 2000 timeframe, and Eclipse subsequently saw wide — if not universal — adoption among commercial embedded Linux tools vendors, in part because it solves the problem for relatively small companies of having to maintain tools for multiple development hosts: the basic open-source Eclipse framework is maintained on Linux, Windows, Solaris, QNX, and a various other operating systems.
Milinkovich added, “The tremendous advantage Eclipse provides is that it spans these different types of applications with a common component model, frameworks, and tools.”
The Europa release will be available from eclipse.org on June 29, the Foundation said. New download options will simplify the downloading of “complete packages” of a Java IDE, JEE IDE, or C/C++ IDE, or an SDK (software development kit) for RCP and Plugin developer.
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