Eclipse releases annual developments tool updates

The Eclipse Foundation Wednesday begins the annual coordinated release of new versions of its 21 open-source projects. The updates include new runtime technology for creating server applications and tools for improving collaboration, according to the foundation.

The release, which Eclipse calls Europa, includes 17 million lines of code and contributions from more than 310 open-source developers in 19 countries. The code will be available on June 29.

Wednesday's announcement marks the second time Eclipse has released new versions for all of its projects simultaneously. The foundation had moved to the new schedule to help foster collaboration among developers working on multiple projects and to boost commercial adoption of Eclipse open-source tools.

"[Europa] is actually a very broad range of technologies that is really developing on the vision of the Eclipse IDE open development platform," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "[The coordinated release] has made it easier for [software vendors] to adopt Eclipse because very few adopters rely only on a single Eclipse."

Milinkovich added that a simultaneous release ensures that all tools receive the same amount of compatibility testing and that the various tools are compatible, he said. That "has really helped vendors accelerate their adoption of Eclipse," he added.

Europa marks an important milestone for Eclipse's strategy to provide a common development platform for embedded, rich-client, rich-Internet and server applications, he added.

Features in the Europa release include the following:

-- Eclipse Equinox (an implementation of the OSGi 4 framework), which Eclipse says can ease development of server applications running on Equinox runtime.

-- Advanced reporting functionality for Java applications in the Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool.

-- The first technology to come from the Eclipse SOA Tools Project.

-- Collaboration features that support task-centric collaboration for development teams in Eclipse Mylyn (formerly called Mylar).

-- New IDE support for Ruby development in the Eclipse Dynamic Language Toolkit.

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