Eclipse Foundation Brings Its Marketplace to Light

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-12-11 Print this article Print

The Eclipse Foundation launches Eclipse Marketplace, a catalog of solutions built on the Eclipse open-source development platform.

The Eclipse Foundation on Dec. 8 launched its Eclipse Marketplace, a catalog of solutions built on the Eclipse open-source development platform.

In a Dec. 9 blog post on the launch, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said the new Eclipse Marketplace "is a completely new replacement for the venerable Eclipse Plug-in Central (EPIC) Website that has served the community well for so many years."

Indeed, "Marketplace is a new code base with more features and more flexibility," Milinkovich said, and it is built on an open-source foundation, the Drupal content management system.

In a Dec. 8 post, Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for Eclipse, said the primary goals of the Eclipse Marketplace are to:

"??Ç   Dramatically increase the usability of [the market] through improved navigation and graphic design.

??Ç  Make it easier for solution providers to manage their product entries.

??Ç   Provide better linkage between [the] EPIC site and the vendors' update sites.

??Ç   Host EPIC on a new content management system.

??Ç   Offer benefits to members of the Eclipse Foundation."

Eclipse Marketplace "goes a long way to meeting these goals," Skerrett said. Eclipse has "introduced the concept of an individual Favorite list." In addition, "In the era of crowdsourcing, we wanted to find a way to show what are the more popular solutions and allow people to share their favorite lists," he said. "Therefore, we have ... created Top Favorite lists and enabled the ability to explore other [people's] favorite lists. [Users] can also share the URL to their favorite [lists]."

Also, search has been improved in the new Marketplace over that in EPIC using Apache Solr. Solr is an open-source enterprise search server based on the Lucene Java search library. In addition, with the new Marketplace, plug-ins can be in multiple categories rather than limited to a single category as in EPIC, and users can now use Eclipse Bugzilla accounts to log in to Marketplace, Skerrett said.

However, one thing the Eclipse Marketplace is not is an application store, Milinkovich said. On this point he said:

"By the way, if you just read the above and are thinking "that's lame, where's the Eclipse AppStore?" you are not alone. We looked long and hard at doing an appstore in 2010 but in the end decided that we just did not have the resources. It turns out that while building the infrastructure for a commercial appstore may be tractable for an organization as small as the Eclipse Foundation, dealing with the legal and tax issues of selling in countries around the world is not. We will be re-evaluating this decision again next year."

Milinkovich also gave a nod of recognition to the work "Genuitec, Instantiations and EclipseSource (formerly Innoopract) did in creating EPIC, and then helping us with transitioning its hosting to the Eclipse Foundation." 

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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