The Karlsruhe, Germany, company, dubbed Innoopract Informationssysteme GmbH, introduced Yoxos last week as a distribution of the new Eclipse 3.0 technology and many of the popular Eclipse plug-ins for doing Web development, said Jochen Krause, founder and president of the company.
Krause said the value-add Innoopract brings to developers is it eliminates the need to spend time finding and downloading plug-ins and then keeping up with the versions of the various plug-ins.
The model Innoopract has chosen is similar to that of OpenLogic Inc., which launched at JavaOne last week. However, Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based OpenLogic includes not only Eclipse plug-ins, but open-source tools from all sorts of sources and distributions, including JBoss, MySQL and others.
Krause said Yoxos is a definite benefit to Eclipse users, who will not have to obtain plug-ins from various sources and test compatibility because Yoxos features pre-integrated packaging.
However, some observers wondered aloud how Innoopract can make any money by charging only $19.90 for the CD or download for bundling plug-ins developers can get for free.
"The value of Yoxos is that it represents significant savings in time in creating the ideal Eclipse open-source platform," Krause said. "We are able to offer this value through our own intense efforts for creating the platform mix and distributing it through our channels. We believe this far exceeds the modest price we ask from our customers."
Krause said Innoopracts customers have been asking for a service like Yoxos. In a statement, Krause said, "Yoxos is the ideal solution for developers that dont want to limit their choice to commercial offerings but cant spend weeks evaluating dozens of plug-ins and keeping their environment up to date."
"The significance of Yoxos is that it is the first time that Eclipse users can get Eclipse and the most popular open-source plug-ins from a single source and can let someone else manage the updates," said Eric von der Heyden, managing director of Innoopract. "The Eclipse IDE by itself is a terrific development platform, but the real potential is when you take advantage of the entire ecosystem of plug-ins—both from Eclipse as well as from third parties.
"However, there were several challenges in doing so. First was establishing what is available and current. Second was figuring out which plug-ins really work. This almost always involved trial and error. Third is once plug-ins work correctly on the platform, there was the possibility that adding new plug-ins to an existing set would have an ill effect on the existing configuration."
Krause said Yoxos Version 1.0 is being offered as a one-time distribution. The next version of Yoxos will be published after milestone 1 of Eclipse 3.1, he said. Then annual subscriptions will be available.
"Eclipse is growing fast, and the Eclipse ecosystem is extending in many directions," Krause said. "We feel that an Eclipse distribution has been missing to foster the Eclipse community outside the Eclipse foundation. This is a vivid community that produces extensions to Eclipse, and Yoxos makes these extensions more accessible. At the same time, we will try to help establish Eclipse best practices for the plug-ins we include it the distribution."
According to von der Heyden, Innoopract chose Yoxos as the name for its offering because "Yoxos struck us because it is a word in an African dialect that means oyster. Getting to the pearl in the oyster is the metaphor for unlocking the potential of Eclipse."