Rapid Growth

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-11-15 Print this article Print

How has Eclipse evolved since it became an independent organization?

Now that the world sees that Eclipse is clearly independent, the status has led to rapid growth in both the projects and the membership. We believe that there were quite a few developers and companies who were waiting to see if the Eclipse Foundation would successfully establish itself as an independent entity. That is now behind us, and we are gaining enormous traction as a result.

Has Eclipse learned anything from the Java Community Process?

Eclipse had the benefit of looking at the experiences of many different organizations, and we definitely learned a great deal from the JCP. We view them as a very important standards organization, and we implement many of the JSR [Java Specification Request] specifications within various Eclipse projects. I would say that two of the things we learned from the JCP are the importance of openness and transparency and the advantages of ensuring that no organization has more than one vote.

Is Sun Microsystems Inc. joining Eclipse a dead issue?

The idea of Sun joining Eclipse is certainly not dead from the Eclipse perspective. Our door is always open.

Click here to read about the Eclipse development package for the Linux platform. How do you see the Eclipse ecosystem shaping up against the Microsoft [Corp.] ecosystem that theyre shooting for with Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio Team System?

As the old saying goes, "Imitation is the finest form of flattery." Eclipse started working on its ecosystem three years ago, and its growth and energy speaks for itself. I expect that if Microsoft focuses on community building that they will be very successful. Eclipse stands out as the only credible non-Microsoft tooling platform, but I personally dont feel that we compete with Microsoft or Visual Studio. Usually, developers pick the tools based on the platform they are targeting. So the decision to use Visual Studio or Eclipse is rarely made by directly comparing the two technologies or their ecosystems.

Whats the significance of Eclipse 3.0?

Eclipse 3.0 was a very important milestone for Eclipse for a number of reasons. It was the first time that we shipped a number of different projects at the same time. In June, we released the Eclipse platform and Java development tools—what most people think of as Eclipse 3.0. But at the same time we also shipped new versions of our C/C++ development tools and our test and performance tools.

Second, the Eclipse platform shipped a couple of very significant enhancements that moved Eclipse to being a platform for applications construction and integration as well as tooling. The Eclipse Rich Client Platform is a wonderful technology that provides application and product developers with the ability to create, deploy and manage rich-client applications on multiple platforms. Third, Eclipse is now becoming a mature, stable platform. We expect Eclipse 3.0 to be the basis for commercial and open-source projects for a long time to come.

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Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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