Eclipse Delivers for Dynamic Languages and AJAX

At its annual EclipseCon developer conference, the Eclipse Foundation announces advancements in its support for dynamic languages and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—The Eclipse Foundation has announced three new project milestones that extend the Eclipse platform to better support dynamic languages and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML).

The three projects include the Eclipse DLTK (Dynamic Language Toolkit), the Eclipse RAP (Rich AJAX Platform), and the Eclipse ATF (AJAX Toolkit Framework). These projects provide innovative new Eclipse-based technology to be utilized by AJAX developers and developers using dynamic languages such as Python, Ruby and Tcl, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation.

At the EclipseCon conference here, which runs March 5-8, the Eclipse Foundation announced that the Eclipse DLTK extends the Eclipse platform to other dynamic computer languages, such as Python, Ruby and Tcl. And DLTK provides the frameworks and components, such as debugging and interactive console, code indexing and refactoring, to simplify the task of adding support for dynamically typed languages to Eclipse, foundation officials said.

The initial release of DLTK is available and provides support for Tcl. Future releases will have support for Ruby and Python. More information can be found at

"Eclipse is an important part of the Cisco development tool strategy and we have plans to expand its use as a development tool," said Ed Warnike, a software engineer at Cisco, in a statement. "We have and will continue to contribute to the DLTK project, specifically to the Tcl, in support of several thousand engineers at Cisco and elsewhere who are using this technology."

The Eclipse RAP project provides a run-time enabling organizations to build rich AJAX-enabled Internet applications. RAP extends the existing Eclipse RCP by adding a series of frameworks that allow developers to quickly create AJAX applications, Eclipse officials said. Based on Eclipse RCP technologies, this new initiative will let organizations use a common component model and platform to build both rich desktop applications and rich browser-based applications. The first milestone release of RAP is now available. More information can be found at

Innoopract Informationssysteme, of Karlsruhe, Germany, is the lead on the RAP project. Last month, Innoopract announced a deal with 1&1 Internet, a leading multinational Web hosting company, for 1&1 to contribute development resources and its open-source JavaScript-based GUI Framework Qooxdoo to the project..

"RAP allows us to build the next generation of our products with full AJAX capabilities, the productivity we are used to from rich-client development, and without the need to write complex JavaScript," said Ludwig Neer, chief technology officer of CAS Software, a CRM vendor also based in Karlsruhe. "By using Eclipse as a platform we get a consistent development model that is all Java and can be used for rich clients, AJAX clients and even for server-side implementations."

The Eclipse ATF project provides the tools and frameworks for building an AJAX IDE (integrated development environment). ATF makes it easy for developers to build, debug and deploy their AJAX applications. It includes a variety of components, including a JavaScript debugger that supports debugging of local and network files and tools for inspecting running AJAX applications. Eclipse ATF supports a number of the more popular AJAX frameworks, including Dojo, Rico and Zimbra. The latest available download of ATF provides support for Mac OS X, in addition to existing Windows and Linux support. More information can be found at

"Nexaweb has incorporated ATF into our Nexaweb Studio, a visual drag-and-drop environment for developing enterprise AJAX applications," said Coach Wei, CTO of Nexaweb Technologies, in a statement.


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