In his keynote address, Paul Buck, the director of IBMs Eclipse development, said Eclipse is a response to the fact that tools from different companies have not traditionally worked well togetherin fact tools from the same company often have not worked well together. "We were as guilty of that as anyone, and realized that developers have better things to do than integrate tool sets," he said. The goal for Eclipse, which IBM describes as an open-source tool framework for the enterprise, is to be a highly extensible platform with out-of-the-box solutions that allow developers to start building applications.With the upcoming Eclipse version 3.0, IBM is pushing user experience and scalability concerns a more responsive user interface, pulling more operations out of the mainline and into the background; as well as making Eclipse available as a rich-client platform, he said. Eclipse version 3.0 is expected to be available toward the middle of 2004, with incremental increases in between, he concluded.
Eclipse is platform-centric rather than tool-centric, and gives users more control as it allows the seamless integration of tools, to which new ones could be added. Java developers also have access to a state-of-the-art Java IDE, while Eclipse is middleware for tool developers, Buck said.