A Big Accomplishment

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-06-25 Print this article Print

Mike Taylor, CEO of Instantiations, said that the "simultaneous release of so many projects makes Ganymede a big accomplishment for the Eclipse community and ecosystem...No surprise there. But, honestly, to us the key is the Eclipse 3.4 release that's at its core. We build leading-edge tools and our customers demand the ability to use them on the latest and greatest Eclipse releases. That drives us to update and release our products simultaneously with the major Eclipse releases like Ganymede. If you want to play on the edge, and you play to win, it's really that simple."

Milinkovich said the alignment of versions and delivering compatibility are key to the release trains. The release trains also help to remove latency between projects and spur user adoption and commercial adoption of Eclipse technology, he said.

Yet, as Code's Aniszczyk said in his post:

"The important thing to remember about Ganymede and Eclipse release trains in general is that even though it's a simultaneous release, it doesn't mean these projects are unified. Each project remains a separate open-source project, operating with its own project leadership, its own committers, and its own development plan. In the end, Ganymede is about improving the productivity of developers working on top of Eclipse projects by providing a more transparent and predictable development cycle."

Other new Ganymede features include an improved JavaScript editor and a new JavaScript debugger for debugging report event handlers in the Business Intelligence Reporting Tools project. In addition, cross tables have been improved to support multiple measures, display measure values and totals as text or as charts, provide added support for cross table scripting and offer better filtering options.

The Eclipse Data Tools Platform project has added a new graphical SQL query editor, called the SQL Query Builder, and improved usability of connection profile creation and management for users and adopters/extenders.

The WTP has improved UI support for Java EE 5, including new wizards for Servlet Filters, Application Lifecycle Listeners, Session Beans, Message-Driven Beans; meta-data descriptor trees in the Project Explorer; and Bundled Libraries support for Enterprise Application Archive projects.

The Dali Java Persistence Tools has an expanded UI including a new Persistence.xml editor, new Entity and XML Mapping File wizards and JPA specific contributions to the Project Explorer. Dali has also improved configuration and validation with support for mapping with annotations, XML, or with a combination of annotations and XML.

And the WTP JavaServer Faces Tools Project has added features to improve Web application development productivity. The release provides visual editing support for Apache MyFaces Trinidad components and enables support for future JSF 2.0 enhancements such as Facelets.

In addition, the Ganymede release features enhanced support for service oriented architecture with a new Service Component Architecture Designer that provides a graphical interface for developers who wish to create composite applications using the SCA 1.0 standard.  There also is a new Policy Editor that is a collection of editors and validators that makes it easy for developers to construct and manipulate XML expressions that conform to the WS-Policy standard. And enhancements to the Business Process Modeling Notation Editor make it a mature and reliable framework that allows consumers to construct and extend the BPMN 1.1 standard notation to illustrate business processes.

Milinkovich said only two more projects are in the Ganymede release than were in the Europa release last year. And he identified two projects that he expects will be ready for next year's release train: the PHP Development Tools project and the Mobile Tools for Java project. Eclipse has named its release trains after moons of Jupiter. Last year's was Europa and the year before that was Callisto.

He said the Eclipse Foundation also has been working to attract new members to the organization. He said there are a few potential new members in the works, but he would not disclose their names, as it is Eclipse policy to allow new members to announce their membership themselves.

The projects in the Ganymede release are available for download. Seven Eclipse Packages have been created to make it easier for developers to download multiple projects.

With all the new and improved features in Ganymede, what stands out about the technology to you?

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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