Eclipse Foundation Ships Neon Release Train

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-06-22 Print this article Print
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Meanwhile, the Neon release added several projects that are brand new to the annual release train, including Buildship, which includes Eclipse plug-ins for the Gradle build tool, as well as the Paho Internet of Things (IoT) project and the Andmore project, which provides Android tooling for Eclipse. Other new projects include EGerrit, which is an Eclipse plug-in that provides an integration of the Gerrit review tool in Eclipse as well as Eclipse Tools for Cloud Foundry and EMF Parsley. EMF Parsley is a lightweight framework that allows easy and quick UI development based upon EMF, the Eclipse Modeling Framework.

Max Rydahl Andersen, a software engineer at Red Hat and an Eclipse Foundation board member, told eWEEK that highlights of the Neon release include the improvements and resurrection of Eclipse JavaScript tooling.

"My team in Red Hat worked hard on making JavaScript tooling usable again and being able to add new features like support for npm and Grunt into the toolset." He also said he is impressed with the improved Eclipse debug support for JavaScript as well as the improvements and usability of the Docker tooling.

Andersen also singled out improvements to the Eclipse Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) to make Eclipse run more smoothly on more recent platforms, especially on newer Linux distributions. Moreover, Andersen credited the Friends of Eclipse program (FEP) with helping to improve the platform. FEP uses monetary contributions to fund contracting of developers to fix critical issues that no one else has the time or energy to fix, he said. "For example, we finally have auto-save of editors in Eclipse, and issues around dark theming have been fixed based on the FEP program," Andersen noted.

In addition, Andersen said this release saw an uptake in contributions from the community and Eclipse committers accepted more patches than ever before. "This shows in the breadth of issues fixed across the platform," he added.

Eclipse's Skerrett said each release train is a collective accomplishment where the community has planned, developed and delivered a scheduled, coordinated release that enables users and adopters to update their Eclipse technology in one instance.

"We created the release train process for our adopters—for companies that use Eclipse to build commercial products," Skerrett said.

Prior to the launch of the initial Eclipse release train a decade ago—known as Callisto—Skerrett said Eclipse adopters told the foundation they were using multiple projects from Eclipse in their commercial products, and to simplify the incorporation of new Eclipse releases into their products, they needed the Eclipse projects to be coordinated.

"So one of the key reasons we do these release trains is to make it easy for our adopters and end users to use a number of these projects and get the updates at the same time," Skerrett said.

To promote the Neon release, the Eclipse Foundation has produced a seven-day Neon Webinar series to encourage discussion on the new features and projects within the release.

Oxygen, which is what the twelfth Eclipse release train will be named, is scheduled for release in June 2017.



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