The Eclipse Foundation June 24 delivered the Galileo version of its annual release train, with this year's version consisting of 33 projects released simultaneously.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse, said Galileo represents the sixth year in a row that the Eclipse community has delivered a release train at the end of June. Galileo delivers Eclipse 3.5 and is the largest-ever release from the Eclipse community, comprising 33 projects and over 24 million lines of code. Over 380 committers from 44 different organizations participated to make this release possible, Milinkovich said. In contrast, the first Eclipse release train, delivered in June of 2004, consisted of only two projects.
In an interview with eWEEK, Milinkovich said, "The No. 1 reason we do this is to make it easier for people in companies to adopt Eclipse."
In addition to helping to spur commercial adoption of Eclipse technology, the Eclipse release trains highlight the fact that consumers use many projects, not just the Eclipse Platform. The release trains also reflect the interdependency between Eclipse projects-the Eclipse project teams are independent, but the project code is interdependent. The Eclipse release trains also align version compatibility and remove latency between project releases.
Each year the Eclipse community coordinates an annual release of projects during the last week of June, Eclipse officials said. The coordinated release makes it easier for Eclipse users and adopters to take advantage of the innovations and new features created by the different Eclipse projects. Millions of Eclipse users and thousands of organizations that build software on top of Eclipse can now upgrade to this release.
Milinkovich said the new features in the Galileo release reflect three important trends in the Eclipse community: expanding adoption of Eclipse in the enterprise, innovation of Eclipse modeling technology, and advancement of EclipseRT (the Eclipse run-time technology).
The Eclipse Modeling community continues to create new technology for model-based development frameworks, tools and standards. A key innovation in Galileo is Xtext, a new Eclipse project that allows for the creation of DSL (domain-specific languages). Xtext will create customized Eclipse editors for the DSL, making it easier for developers to focus on a smaller set of APIs and write less code.
"Domain-specific languages or DSLs are really growing [in] popularity," Milinkovich said. "We know it's an area that Microsoft has been looking at; however, we think the stuff in Eclipse is very innovative."
In addition to Xtext, Eclipse's CDO (Connected Data Objects) is a framework for distributed, shared EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework) models focused on scalability, transaction and persistence. New enhancements in CDO include distributed transactions, pessimistic locking and save points, change subscription policies, an asynchronous query framework, and security hooks in the repository.
Meanwhile, adoption of Eclipse in the enterprise continues to grow, Milinkovich said. New features in Galileo help expand the use of Eclipse by enterprise developers, including:
"- New support for Mac Cocoa 32 and 64 bit;- New Memory Analyzer tool to help analyze memory consumption of Java applications;- PHP Development Tools (PDT) 2.1 is first PHP tool kit to support the new PHP 5.3 language release, including namespaces and closures;- New Mylyn WikiText support for editing and parsing wiki markup;- New XSL tooling for XSL editing and debugging; and- Developer productivity improvements to BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tools) report designer and performance."
In a blog post about the Galileo release, Zviki Cohen, founder of nWire Software, said:
"Eclipse Galileo (3.5) is released today. Mac users downloading the new release will notice that, unlike previous releases, they have some interesting choices to make. They need to choose between "Mac OS X (Carbon)" and "Mac OS X (Cocoa)." There's also a third choice, which is currently not mainstream, the "Mac OS X (Cocoa) 64 bit." So, which version is right for you?"
Zviki then answered for himself, saying he prefers the 32-bit Cocoa version. "My current recommendation is: Don't bother. Use the plain 32-bit version," he said.
According to Eclipse, "EclipseRT is the set of Eclipse technologies that provide OSGi [Open Services Gateway Initiative]-based frameworks and run-times useful in building software systems. The Galileo release includes a dedicated category of EclipseRT components including elements from Equinox, RAP [Rich Ajax Platform], RCP [Rich Client Platform], Riena, BIRT, Swordfish, EclipseLink, ECF (Eclipse Communication Framework) and EMF. Notable feature updates that advance the EclipseRT technology stack include that Eclipse Equinox has been updated to support the draft OSGi Release 4 v 4.2 specification. Also, target platform provisioning support in the Eclipse PDE (Plugin Development Environment) makes it easier to develop, test and deploy software to EclipseRT run-times. And the Equinox p2 provisioning system has been updated to be faster, more robust and make provisioning OSGi bundles to embedded, desktop and server environments easy.
Also, for the first time language translations of the Eclipse Platform project Version 3.5 will be available on the release date. "Language packs for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Korean will be available immediately, and other languages and projects will be available when completed. In previous years, Eclipse language translations have taken two to three months to become available. This simultaneous release has been made possible by the Eclipse Babel project and the community of individuals and organizations that have provided translations," Eclipse said in a statement.
"Galileo demonstrates that large distributed software development can be done on a predictable schedule," Milinkovich said in a statement. "This predictability makes it possible for our user and adopter community to quickly adopt new releases from Eclipse."