June 27, 2007

Eclipse Foundation releases humongous open development platform

Author: Shirl Kennedy

The non-profit, member-supported Eclipse Foundationannounced the availability of its "largest-ever" release. The release includes 21 projects by 310 developers in 19 countries, and more than 17 million lines of code -- more than double the size of last year's release.

Last year's release, codenamed Callisto, was developed by 10 project teams with 260 developers from 12 countries, and included 7 million lines of code.

The key component of this release -- code name Europa -- is the 3.3 version of the Eclipse Platform itself, which provides "the core frameworks and services upon which all plug-in extensions are created," facilitating the creation of a variety of integrated tools by other developers.

Europa also offers new runtime technology for creating server applications, service-oriented architecture (SOA) developer tools, team collaboration tools and enhanced support for the popular Ruby open source programming language.

"The Eclipse Europa release is an important milestone for fulfilling our community's strategy of providing a common development platform for embedded, rich client, rich Internet and server applications," said Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich, in the release announcement. "The tremendous advantage Eclipse provides is that it spans these different types of applications with a common component model, frameworks and tools."

The reason for the simultaneous release of so many projects is, ostensibly, to reduce confusion among developers regarding version compatibility, etc. However, each of these remains a self-contained open source project with its own plan and structure.

The full Europa release will be available from Eclipse on June 29. See the project Wiki for continually updated information.

The Eclipse Foundation, established in 2004, is not-for-profit, member supported corporation that manages the IT infrastructure for the various Eclipse projects, "including CVS/SVN code repositories, Bugzilla databases, development oriented mailing lists and newsgroups, download site and Web site."

Shirl Kennedy is the senior editor of theDocuTickerandResourceShelfWeblogs as well as the "Internet Waves" columnist forInformation Today. She has been writing about technology since 1992.


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